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Minnie Driver    

Cast as lead in CBS Comedy Pilot "Happy Life," British Actress and Singer-Songwriter; Nominated for an Academy Award for "Good Will Hunting"

At an early age, Minnie Driver's interest in acting was encouraged by her mother. She gained admittance to the Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, receiving a drama degree in 1991. After graduation, she pursued a career in television, appearing in several British dramas, including “God on the Rocks” (1991) and “The Politician's Wife” (1995). During the early '90s, the struggling actress often supplemented her income by performing as a jazz vocalist and guitarist.

Driver made her film debut in the screen adaptation of Maeve Binchy's autobiographical novel “Circle of Friends” (1995). She fought for and won the role of Benny Hogan, a frumpy Irish student who wins the heart of goldenboy Jack Foley, played by Chris O'Donnell. In 1995, she shattered her girl-next-door image with her portrayal of a sultry lounge singer in the James Bond film “Goldeneye” (1995).

“Sleepers” (1996), starring Hollywood veterans Robert DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman, took Driver's career to a new plateau. In her next project, Driver played John Cusack's quirky girlfriend in the dark comedy “Grosse Pointe Blank” (1997). However, it was in the highly acclaimed film “Good Will Hunting” (1997) where she truly made a name for herself in Hollywood. Starring opposite newcomers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Driver became an integral part of a cast that won the hearts of critics and audiences. She earned an Oscar nomination for her performance as Damon's English girlfriend.

Driver would go on to appear in a variety of films covering all geners including action-adventure (“Hard Rain”), period dramas (“The Governess”) and animation (“Tarzan” and “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut”).

In 2003, Driver began a hilarious recurring role on the hit NBC sitcom "Will & Grace" (NBC, 1998-2006), playing Karen Walker's haughty nemesis Lorraine Finster at a campy high pitch. She also turned in a strong performance as Philip Seymour Hoffman's devoted fiancée in "Owning Mahowny" (2003), a powerful tale of gambling addiction. Her big screen domination continued with the endearing fable update "Ella Enchanted" (2004) and the film adaptation of Broadway's "The Phantom of the Opera" (2004), where Driver gave a bravura supporting turn as the Italian opera diva Carlotta, stealing virtually every scene she appeared in.

The "Phantom" role required that a full-voiced opera singer dub her singing voice, however off screen, Driver was simultaneously resuming her own stalled music career, releasing her debut album Everything I've Got in My Pocket on Rounder Records' Zoe imprint in 2004. The album was an appealing blend of self-penned folk-pop, with a pair of singles denting the U.K. charts and earning nods from critics wary of actors-turned-musicians. This musician-turned-actress promoted the album by touring in support of acts including R.E.M., Chris Martin, and the Finn Brothers. Her follow-up album, Seastories was released to glowing reviews in the summer of 2007.

Driver is back on TV in a full time capacity with NBC’s TV adaption of “About a Boy” playing the role originated by Toni Collette in the 2002 film.

The actress is an active supporter of the Life Rolls On Foundation who advocates on behalf of young people affected by spinal cord injury.

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Minnie Driver Cast As Lead In CBS Comedy Pilot 'Happy Life ...

About A Boy star Minnie Driver is set as the female lead opposite Steven Weber in CBS comedy pilot Happy Life.

Minnie Driver Launches Home Collection Inspired by Her Mom

When Minnie Driver came home from school one day to find her mother, Gaynor Churchward, making cushions, “I thought she had gone a bit mad,” she tells PEOPLE...

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