Even though the majority of Minnie Driver's roles have been as the girlfriend of leading men such as Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, her roles are by no means second tier. The stunning British actress has proven time and time again that she not only lights up a screen with her smile, but is also an A-list actress.
Amelia Driver was born on January 31, 1970, to parents Ronnie, a financier, and Gaynor, an interior designer and former model -- which explains the beauty that Minnie and her older sister Kate (also a model) possess.
Born in London, England and raised in Barbados, Amelia (who acquired the name Minnie because her sister could not pronounce her name), can probably attribute her ability to speak in many different accents (perfectly, we might add) to her diverse geographic upbringing.
She attended finishing schools in Paris and Grenoble, and graduated from Bedales School in Petersfield, England. She went on to study drama at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
It didn't take long for the actress and musician (Minnie is also a jazz singer and guitar player) to find work on British television after graduating in 1991. In addition to roles on TV's The House of Eliott and Casualty, Minnie appeared onstage and worked at London clubs singing jazz and playing guitar in order to further supplement her income.
Minnie even starred in a British series called My Good Friend, in 1995. She finally made it to the big screen in 1995 after having fought for -- and won -- the lead female role of Benny in the film adaptation of the novel, Circle of Friends.
Co-starring American heartthrob Chris O'Donnell, this sleeper hit not only won her critical acclaim, but also shocked audiences. The first shock was that Minnie is actually not Irish, despite her flawless Irish accent; the second was that she is actually more statuesque and slim than her character (she had to gain 20 pounds for the role).
That same year, audiences witnessed a more slender figured Minnie in the James Bond film GoldenEye, starring Pierce Brosnan and Famke Janssen. As a Russian lounge singer, Minnie had audiences fooled once again, this time with her perfect Russian accent.
In 1996, Minnie appeared in the drama Sleepers (this time with a New York accent), co-starring Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt, and Stanley Tucci in Campbell Scott's film Big Night (as a New Jersey girl). Her role in 1997's dark comedy Grosse Pointe Blank resulted in a short-lived real-life fling with John Cusack, not to mention critical praise.
No amount of praise could have matched Minnie's next film role, as med school student Skylar in Good Will Hunting. She received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role and, of course, cuddled up to her co-star Matt Damon both on and off screen. Unfortunately, their romance ended on a bitter note when Minnie found out Matt was ending it when he announced it on Oprah.
After having received awards such as the London Critics Circle Film Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year and the ShoWest Award for Female Star of Tomorrow, Minnie co-starred with Christian Slater in the disappointing action film Hard Rain.
After Good Will Hunting, Minnie's roles could not have been any more diverse. She starred as a gentile in the 1998 film The Governess, provided the voice of Jane in Disney's animated version of the classic Tarzan (1999), and co-starred with Rupert Everett as a British aristocrat in an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband (1999).
In 2000, Minnie came full circle with her role as David Duchovny's girlfriend in the romantic film, Return to Me. Following the beauty pageant movie Beautiful (2000) alongside Joey Lauren Adams and Bridgette Wilson, she was in High Heels and Low Lifes (2001).
Also in 2001, Minnie got engaged to her actor-boyfriend Josh Brolin, but she apparently broke it off later that year due to conflicts with Brolin's stepmother, Barbra Streisand. In the meantime, Minnie and her sister Kate founded the production company Two Drivers, responsible for the film Slow Burn, which starred Josh Brolin.
After a short break, she returned to the big screen in Hope Springs and as an unappealing bank clerk in the compulsive gambling drama Owning Mahowny, both 2003 releases. Her next films were the 2004 features Ella Enchanted, starring Anne Hathaway, and the film version of The Phantom of the Opera, starring Emmy Rossum.
She also kept busy in 2003 and 2004 with several appearances on NBC's Will & Grace, as Karen's ex-husband's gold-digging girlfriend.
In October 2004, Minnie released her debut album, Everything I've Got In My Pocket. The multi-talented beauty will surely be driving more hearts off screen, and driving more audiences to theaters in the years to come, starting with 2005's The Virgin of Juarez.