Minka Kelly is a model and actress who’s known for her roles in popular TV shows such as Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, Jane the Virgin, and Titans. Since last summer, she’s also had a real-life role as Trevor Noah’s girlfriend, and it appears as though the couple are still going strong. Here’s a closer look at the talented actress and her relationship with The Daily Show star.
Who Is Minka Kelly?
Born on June 24th, 1980 and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Minka Kelly grew up in a household of performers. Her mom was a former Las Vegas showgirl and her father was a guitarist for Aerosmith in the 1980s.
After graduating high school, Kelly moved to Los Angeles, “not to pursue acting but to get out of Albuquerque,” she told Men’s Health in 2008. However, it was there that she took her first acting class and instantly fell in love with the craft. “It was the most amazing thing I’d ever experienced,” she explained. “I’d just been going so fast, I didn’t realize that I had put on this whole mask of a person to survive since I was 16. Class was the first time anyone had ever called me on it. And I loved it. I knew acting was what I had to do with my life.”
Unfortunately, it took Kelly some time to find success. She worked regular 9-to-5 jobs while going on auditions and pursuing her dream. “I had so many different jobs,” she told InStyle in 2018. “I worked at a check-cashing company, like Check ‘n Go, and at a doctor’s office in Beverly Hills. And then for four years, up until I started on Friday Night Lights, I was a scrub nurse at California Hospital. And honestly, that was the most exciting job I’ve ever had! I was good at it too.”
Minka Kelly’s Big Break
Kelly juggled her job as a nurse with small parts on shows like Entourage, Drake & Josh, and American Dreams. In 2005, she scored her first recurring role in the WB series What I Like About You, which lasted for three episodes. But it wasn’t until 2006, when she was cast as a series regular on the NBC drama Friday Night Lights, that she finally landed her big acting break.
At first, Kelly wasn’t sure the show was going to be a success. In a 2019 Instagram post, the actress admitted she didn’t have hope that a show about football was going to last long, but “a job is a job.” Luckily she picked the right one to transition to acting full time!
The most amazing thing is that today—10 years after Friday Night Lights went off the air—Kelly looks almost exactly the same! The 40-year-old actress credits her youthful look to her simple, but dedicated, skincare routine. “I have had the same nighttime regimen since I was 19,” she told People in 2019. “I wash, tone, use a serum and do face masks a couple times a week. For me, less is more.”
Who Did Minka Kelly Date Before Trevor Noah?
Before meeting The Daily Show funnyman Trevor Noah, Kelly dated a number of high-profile celebs. According to reports, she’s dated Scrubs star Donald Faison, Captain America actor Chris Evans, singer-songwriter John Mayer, and That 70s Show star Wilmer Valderrama. She also had a three-year relationship with former baseball pro Derek Jeter and dated Grey’s Anatomy hunk Jesse Williams for almost a year.
Trevor Noah And Minka Kelly’s Relationship Is Getting Pretty Serious
It appears as though Noah and Kelly’s romance is getting serious. According to the Los Angeles Times, the 36-year-old comedian recently bought a $27.5 million mansion in Bel-Air, where people close to the couple say they will be living together.
“They’re making plans for a future together, and it’s a very stable relationship,” a source told People. “They’ve been spending time between coasts over the last year and had been looking for a place in L.A. as a couple.”
The South African-born comedian and the Titans actress were first spotted together back in September of 2020, when paparazzi snapped pics of the couple carrying luggage into Noah’s New York City apartment. In February 2021—on Trevor Noah’s birthday—they were seen in a rare public outing together grabbing burgers from In-N-Out.
While the pair like to keep their relationship out of the public eye and off of social media, it’s clear these two love birds will be an item for the foreseeable future.