Date of Birth: June 24, 1980
Born in Los Angeles, Kelly was raised in New Mexico by her mother, Maureen, a former Las Vegas showgirl. Her father, Rick Dufay, is a former Aerosmith guitarist who is the son of screen actor Richard Ney.
At 18, Kelly moved to Los Angeles to reunite with her estranged father. While studying to become a surgical technician, she enrolled in an acting class and got hooked, deciding to pursue it full time. Beginning in 2004, she began making guest appearances on TV shows such as Drake & Josh and American Dreams. In 2005, she won a recurring role on the sitcom What I Like About You, starring Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth.
Kelly got her big break in 2006 when she was cast in the television series Friday Night Lights, playing a cheerleader and the fiancée of the school's star quarterback. After three seasons, her character graduated high school and went off to college, returning only for a few episodes in the fourth season.
Friday Night Lights creator Peter Berg cast Kelly in his major motion picture, The Kingdom (2007), featuring an all-star cast that included Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner and Minka's Friday Night Lights co-star, Kyle Chandler.
In 2009, Kelly had a small role in the romantic comedy 500 Days of Summer opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. She landed her first motion picture starring role when she was cast opposite Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester in the thriller The Roommate (2010). Kelly returned to weekly television in 2010 when she was cast as a regular in the series Parenthood.
Offscreen, Minka has been romantically linked to Donald Faison, Chris Evans, John Mayer and New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.