Minka Kelly was born June 24th, 1980, in Los Angeles as the only child of Aerosmith guitarist Rick Dufay and the late Maureen Dumont Kelly. Minka was raised by her mother and they moved around a lot until settling in Chicago, Illinois. After Kelly graduated high school, she returned to L.A. and soon started working as a model while also auditioning for TV and movie roles.

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Her very first credited role came in 2004 on the TV show Cracking Up as a special guest star in the role of "Monica". Soon after, she appeared in some more guest roles on shows like Entourage, Drake & Josh, and American Dreams. Eventually, in early 2006, Kelly got her big breakthrough when she was cast on the NBC drama Friday Night Lights, which premiered on October 3rd, 2006.

Minka Kelly and Taylor Kitsch as "Lyla" and "Tim" in 'Friday Night Lights'.

Friday Night Lights: "Lyla" was Minka Kelly's big break!

The show, based on the 2004 high school football drama movie of the same name, took place in the fictional East Texas town of Dillon and revolved around the local high school football team. Minka Kelly played the role of the cheerleader "Lyla Garrity", who was torn between the two football stars "Jason Street" (Scott Porter) and "Tim Riggins" (Taylor Kitsch).

Her performance was praised as "heartbreaking" by the New York Times. Kelly's character left Dillon for college at the end of season 3 in 2009 and she reprised her role for one more episode in the 2011 final season.

After Friday Night Lights, she was cast for two pilots that were not picked up by the networks until she got a recurring role in the popular NBC drama Parenthood. She went on to star in the ABC reboot of the show Charlie's Angels, but the show was canceled after just four episodes in November 2011. She also starred in the 2011 movie The Roommate alongside Leighton Meester - and while it was a flop with the critics, the thriller turned out to be a commercial success.

Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester on the red carpet in 2011.

Minka Kelly appeared in movies Just Go With It (2011) with Adam Sandler, The Butler (2013) as well as starring in the TV show Almost Human on FOX from 2013 until 2014. After some recurring roles in shows like The Path and Jane the Virgin, Kelly got another big break when she was cast in the DC Universe show Titans. She has been starring as "Dawn Granger/Dove" in the popular show ever since 2018.

Minka Kelly's personal life

From 2008 until 2011, she was in a relationship with a famous baseball star, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees. Kelly's mother tragically died in 2009 at the age of 51 after suffering from colon cancer. Minka Kelly's next big project is the upcoming gangster epic Lansky, alongside stars Harvey Keitel and Sam Worthington.