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Minka Kelly is an American actress best known for her cheerleading role on the acclaimed TV series Friday Night Lights.
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Actress Minka Kelly was born on June 24, 1980, in Los Angeles, California. The daughter of former Aerosmith guitarist Rick Dufay, Kelly broke through with her performance as a cheerleader on the acclaimed TV series Friday Night Lights (2006-09), and went on to appear in films such as The Kingdom (2007) and The Roommate (2011). Maxim magazine has named her several times on its "Hot 100" list,
"It blows my mind that anyone could be unkind to anyone. The guy clearing our plates is a person. I don't care if you're sweeping the floor. I don't care if you're cleaning my toilet."
and Esquire featured her as its "Sexiest Woman Alive" in 2010.
Minka Dumont Kelly was born Minka Dumont Dufay on June 24, 1980, in Los Angeles, California, the only child of former Aerosmith guitarist Rick Dufay and former Las Vegas showgirl Maureen Kelly. Kelly boasts family roots in acting, including grandfather Richard Ney, who appeared in films such as The Fan (1949) and The Lovable Cheat (1949), and grandmother Greer Garson, who won an Academy Award for her performance in the 1942 film Mrs. Miniver (in which Ney, her husband, also appeared).
Kelly's mother made up her unique name, though kids used it as fodder for teasing, calling her "Minka Smelly." Her mother raised her alone after Kelly's father abandoned the family.
Kelly attended Valley High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and during this time, she reconciled with her estranged father. She followed him to Los Angeles a couple years later, at age 19. While there, she briefly attended school to become a surgical technician and took an acting class, subsequently finding her calling.
Minka Kelly began landing small roles on TV shows when she was in her early 20s, including Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh (2004), NBC's American Dreams (2005) and The WB's What I Like About You (2005).
Then, in 2006, Kelly landed her breakout role as a high school cheerleader on the acclaimed football drama Friday Night Lights (2006-09), which raised her visibility in the eye of the public as well as the acting community. Impressed with her performance, the creator of the series, Peter Berg, offered Kelly a role in his feature film, The Kingdom (2007), alongside Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper and Jennifer Garner. Two years later, in 2009, she played a small role in the romantic film 500 Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel.
In the meantime, Minka Kelly's model looks have not gone unnoticed by men's magazines. She was named on Maxim magazine's annual "Hot 100" list in both 2007 and 2008, and was Esquire magazine's "Sexiest Woman Alive" in 2010.
After her role on Friday Night Lights ended, Kelly appeared on the NBC series Parenthood (2010-11), on an adapted version of the ABC show Charlie's Angels (2011) and in the film thriller The Roommate (2011). The actress later earned a part in the 2013 film The Butler alongside Terrence Howard, James Marsden, Melissa Leo, Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker, among several other stars of the big screen. Kelly has clearly found her path to success.
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Get more on the high-profile cast of The Butler, the 2013 biopic based on the life of longtime White House butler Eugene Allen, who served under eight U.S. presidents, including Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Over his decades-long career, Allen, an African American, witnessed firsthand the nation's changing perspectives on race, as well as several major historical events. Directed by Lee Daniels, The Butler stars Forest Whitaker as the title character and Oprah Winfrey as his wife. The film's large supporting cast includes Mariah Carey, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Matthew McConaughey, Liev Schreiber, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, John Cusack, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo and Robin Williams.
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