Minnie Driver (born 31 January 1970) is an Emmy-, BAFTA- and Academy
Award-nominated English actress and singer-songwriter. She was nominated for an
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 1997 film
Good Will Hunting.
Minnie Driver was born Amelia Fiona J. Driver in Finsbury Park, London, the daughter of Gaynor Churchward (née Millington) a designer and former couture model, and Ronnie Driver, a businessman. Her sister, Kate Driver, is a model and producer. Driver has Scottish, Irish, Italian, and French ancestry. Driver's mother was her father's mistress, and her father's wife was not aware of his other family. She was raised in Barbados, and educated at Bedales school near Petersfield, Hampshire, England, and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Before receiving worldwide recognition, she appeared on British television with renowned comedians such as Steve Coogan and Armando Iannucci and had small parts in such shows as Casualty, Lovejoy and Peak Practice, among others. Driver first came to broad public attention when she played the lead role in Circle of Friends in 1995 and then with her Academy Award nominated performance in Good Will Hunting in 1997. In 2003 and 2004, she had a noted recurring role on Will & Grace as Lorraine Finster, the nemesis of Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) and daughter of Karen's lover, Lyle Finster (John Cleese). Driver has also worked on several animated features, including Disney's 1999 version of Tarzan and the 1999 dubbed-English version of the Japanese film Princess Mononoke which she voices the fictional charcter Lady Eboshi.
On 12 March 2007, Driver made her return to television starring alongside Eddie Izzard on the FX Network show The Riches, a series about a family of Travellers living in an upscale gated community in the suburbs. She was nominated for the 2007 Emmy Award as Best Actress in a Dramatic Series.
Early in her career Driver was a member of a band called "Puff, Rocks and Brown"; the band was signed to a development deal with Island Records, which ended without a release.
Minnie Driver began a low-profile return to music in 2000; the following year, she signed with EMI and Rounder Records and performed at SXSW. Canadian music producer Colin Craig assisted in the eventual release of Everything I've Got in My Pocket, which reached No. 34 in the UK, and a second single, "Invisible Girl" peaking at No. 68. The album was backed by a group including members of the Wallflowers and Pete Yorn's band. Driver wrote 10 of the 11 songs on the album and also covered "Hungry Heart" from Bruce Springsteen's The River. In 2004, Driver was the support act for the Finn Brothers on the UK portion of their world tour.
In 2004, Minnie played Carlotta Giudicelli in Joel Schumacher's film of The Phantom of the Opera. Because of the vocal requirements of the role, Driver was the sole cast member to have her voice dubbed. However, she did lend her own voice to Learn to be Lonely, a song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber specifically for the film version of his musical (it plays over the closing credits of the movie). Driver released her second album entitled Seastories on 17 July 2007. The 12-track set is produced by Marc "Doc" Dauer, who also produced Everything I've Got in My Pocket. Ryan Adams and Liz Phair are among the list of collaborators for the album.
On 13 March 2008, during an appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Minnie Driver announced that she was expecting her first child in August. On 5 September 2008, she gave birth to a boy named Henry Story Driver.
This Minnie Driver Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub