Minka Kelly
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Los Angeles, California
5' 6" (1.68 m)
Famous for:
Her role as Lyla Garrity on the NBC series “Friday Night Lights” (2006-2009)
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Friday Night Lights


“I found myself more attracted to the drama. It’s a lot more real, at least for me. I believe in it more for real life. Sitcom is a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of slapstick. I like making material that people can relate to and see how I’m going through it or my character deals with it. I was in high school, I was so eager to be a grownup. I was so ready to get out of there. Now I’m able to embrace life and those experiences.” Minka Kelly (on acting)

American actress Minka Kelly, daughter of former Aerosmith guitarist Rick Dufay and the grandchild of the late actor Richard Ney, is probably best known to television viewers for playing cheerleader Lyla Garrity on the NBC series “Friday Night Lights” (2006-2009). The role earned her a place on the Maxim list of “The Hottest Women of Fall TV ´08.” Her TV credits also include a recurring role in “What I Like About You” (2005) and guest roles in such series as “Drake & Josh” and “American Dreams.” Kelly also had small roles in movies like “Devil's Highway” (2005), “The Pumpkin Karver” (2006), “The Kingdom” (2007, directed by “Friday Night Lights” creator Peter Berg), and “(500) Days of Summer” (2009).

Kelly will play Sara and Hope in the upcoming film “The Roommate” (2010) and the TV series “Body Politic” (fall of 2009), respectively.

As for her personal life, Kelly has been linked to several men. She dated Donald Faison in 2005 and was in a relationship with actor Chris Evans as well. From September 2007 to January 2008, she was romantically involved with musician John Mayer. After their breakup, Kelly dated New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter and actor Topher Grace.

Only Child

Childhood and Family:

Born on June 24, 1980, in Los Angeles, California, Minka Dumont Kelly is the only daughter of guitarist Rick Dufay of Aerosmith fame and Maureen Kelly (deceased), a former Vegas Showgirl. She was raised primarily by her mother and stepfather in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Abandoned by her father, Minka did not reconcile with him until she was 17, when she went to live with him in Los Angeles. She recalled, “I didn’t really grow up with my dad. I met my dad a couple of times throughout my life. When my mom was pregnant with me, he was in Aerosmith and didn’t want to have anything to do with it. It was pretty much my mom and me, the two of us. I was really mad at him for leaving.”

In 2004, Minka's paternal grandfather, actor Richard Ney, died. At the time, he was 88 years old. Ney had been married three times, including to Academy Award winning actress Greer Garson, who was 11 years his senior.

The Pumpkin Karver


Los Angeles-born Minka Kelly spent her upbringing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and did not return to L.A. until after graduating high school. Originally seeing acting as a hobby, she decided to pursue acting professionally. “I got completely hooked. I fell in love. My first acting class changed my entire life and I just kept taking classes from there,” she revealed.

Kelly began acting in TV commercials for “Old Navy” and “Johnson & Johnson” and modeled for a Madge Cosmetics ad campaign. Her first real acting job arrived in 2004 when she landed guest spots in Fox's “Cracking Up” and Nickelodeon's “Drake & Josh,” where she appeared as Monica and Stacey, respectively.

2005 saw Kelly play Bonnie in “Home Again,” an episode of the NBC series “American Dreams.” She then received the reoccurring role of Ricki in three episodes of the WB sitcom “What I Like About You.” She also made her feature acting debut in 2005 with the small role of River in the thriller “Devil's Highway,” which was directed Fabien Pruvot and written by Jennifer Farrell.

Kelly's big breakthrough arrived when she won the regular role of Lyla Garrity on the NBC sport themed series “Friday Night Lights,” adapted by Peter Berg from his 2004 surprise hit film of the same name and H.G. Bissinger's book, “Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream.” Playing a cheerleader, Kelly took some training from the Pflugerville High School cheerleading team in preparation for her role and won praise for her acting. “Friday Night Lights” ran for three seasons of 50 episodes from 2006 to 2009 and in March 2009, was renewed for two additional seasons of 13 episodes each.

The same year she began her work on “Friday Night Lights,” Kelly portrayed the supporting role of Tammy in Robert Mann's horror feature “The Pumpkin Karver” (2006), opposite Amy Weber and Michael Zara. She then appeared with Alexa Vega, Douglas Smith, Majandra Delfino, Kris Lemche and Cody McMains in the award winning drama “State's Evidence,” for director Benjamin Louis. She was reunited with Peter Berg for his political thriller “The Kingdom” (2007), which starred Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman.

Recently, Kelly appeared in Marc Webb's comedy “(500) Days of Summer,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 17, 2009. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, the film is slated to be released theatrically in the U.S. in July 2009 and in Australia in October 2009. She will also portray Sara in the upcoming crime movie “The Roommate” (2010), directed by Christian E. Christiansen and scripted by Sonny Mallhi. Costars in the film include Leighton Meester, Alyson Michalka, Tomas Arana, Matt Lanter and Carrie Finklea. On the small screen, Kelly is rumored to be starring with Gabrielle Union, Jason Dohring, and Brian Austin Green in the new drama series “Body Politic,” which is scheduled to air on The CW network in the fall of 2009.


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Minka Kelly treats herself to a bouquet of flowers and a healthy green tea before sweating it out at the gym
SP_COP - April 03, 2014 -
Minka Kelly was a woman on a mission on Wednesday.Taking the day to run errands, the pretty actress paid trips to grocery store Bristol Farms, a local coffee shop and the gym.With production set to ge...
© Retna
© Screen Gems
She's no diva! Minka Kelly dresses down in jeans and plaid shirt to run errands in LA
SP_COP - April 02, 2014 -
She may have starred on one of the best loved TV shows of all time but Minka Kelly isn't about to turn into a diva.The Friday Night Lights actress was spotted stocking up on some items for her home at...
© Retna
© Screen Gems
Chris Evans is a 'Stud,' Says Captain America's Anthony Mackie!
SP_COP - November 12, 2013 -
Chris Evans carries a large case of liquor out of a store after doing some shopping on Monday (November 11) in Hollywood Hills, Calif.The 32-year-old actor recently resurfaced after his reported break...