Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Minnie Driver - Biography

The British actress was born in 1970 in London and has starred in Good Will Hunting, Princess Mononoke, and Will & Grace, among others

Minnie Driver attends the Vanity Fair and Lancôme Women in Hollywood celebration at Soho House on February 06, 2020 in West Hollywood, California
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
Updated: 20 June 2023
Share this:

Minnie Driver's Early Life

Born on January 31, 1970 and given the name Amelia Driver, the actress was raised in Barbados, returning to England along with her elder sister Kate after her parents Ronnie (a financier) and Gaynor  (an interior designer and former model) Churchward split in 1976. 

Five years later, she was sent to renowned Hampshire boarding school Bedales, where the budding jazz vocalist and guitarist began to explore her interest in theatre. Minnie went on to enroll in the Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, making her stage debut just two weeks after graduating with an acting degree in 1991.

Minnie Driver's Acting Career

Her career in Britain quickly took flight with roles in BBC TV productions before she made an international splash in 1995's Circle Of Friends, for which she gained 30 pounds. The part boosted her to fame in the US, with critically acclaimed roles following as she mastered American accents in Sleepers (1996) and Grosse Point Blank (1997). She cemented her hot property status when she garnered a best supporting actress Oscar nomination for 1997's Good Will Hunting opposite Matt Damon (more on him later). 

Some of her other most notable roles on film since then include 1998's The Governess and Hard Rain, 2004's cinematic version of The Phantom of the Opera, and 2010's Barney's Version. She has also lent her voice for several notable animated projects, including 1999's Tarzan for Disney and Princess Mononoke that same year for Studio Ghibli.

Minnie has also built up an extensive resume thanks to her work on television, including the shows The Riches, Will & Grace, The Deep, and Speechless.

Minnie Driver's Music Career

The actress began making music while she was in boarding school and has been part of the bands River and Mile Roth Project, eventually signing a recording contract with EMI and Rounder Records in 2001, even performing at SXSW.

She has released three studio albums: 1994's Everything I've Got in My Pocket, 2007's Seastories, and 2014's Ask Me to Dance, putting some of her voice on display for the 2004 Phantom film (although a large part of her vocals were dubbed by an opera singer).

Minnie Driver's Personal Life

Minnie entered into a high-profile relationship with her Good Will Hunting co-star Matt Damon, and they were together for a year before their highly publicized break-up right before the 1997 Oscars.

She was briefly engaged to Josh Brolin in 2001, and has a son aged 14 named Henry from a relationship with TV writer and producer Timothy J. Lea. She has been engaged to anthropological filmmaker Addison O'Dea since 2019.

For more on Minnie Driver, check out more here

More Profiles

See more