All About Minka Kelly, Trevor Noah’s Ex-Girlfriend

Update, 5/29/21: A source told E! that Trevor Noah and Minka Kelly, who recently broke up, went on vacation together in St. Barts last weekend.

The source said the two “are seeing where things go.”

Original post, 5/17/21: One of summer 2020’s surprise new celebrity couples has called it quits. People and Entertainment Tonight report that Minka Kelly, 40, and The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, 37, have ended their romance after a year of dating.

The pair was first linked back in August 2020, with a source telling People that they had been quietly seeing each other for “several months” and were quarantining at Noah’s New York City apartment. They never confirmed the rumors themselves, and at the 2021 Grammys, host Noah posed solo on the red carpet.

In January, People reported that Kelly and Noah could be living together.

But with the private romance over for now, here’s a few things to know about their relationship while it lasted, why it ended, who Kelly is, and her most famous roles.

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Kelly and Noah broke up because of their very different work commitments.

With Noah based in New York City where The Daily Show shoots and Kelly an actress whose set locations can vary, the couple reportedly broke up because of work separating theme. (During the pandemic, the two were able to spend time together in Los Angeles, with sets largely shut down and The Daily Show shooting remotely.)

“Minka and Trevor have broken up,” a source told Entertainment Tonight. “Their work commitments and careers are very different and they both felt like they should take time apart.”

Post-split, Kelly has been “leaning on friends, traveling and keeping busy since their split,” the source said, while Noah “has been doing his own thing too.”

She’s a successful actress who has played Jackie Kennedy and a Charlie’s Angel.

If Kelly looks familiar, that’s because she’s had a long-running film and TV career. On the television side, she’s appeared in episodes of Jane the Virgin, Parenthood, and was one of the three leads of ABC’s short-lived Charlie’s Angels reboot. Kelly’s most recent TV role came courtesy of the DC superhero series The Titans.

As for her film career, Kelly played Autumn at the end of the popular romantic comedy 500 Days of Summer and starred alongside Leighton Meester in the horror movie The Roommate. In 2013, she joined a long list of actresses, including Natalie Portman and Katie Holmes, who’ve played Jackie Kennedy when she appeared in Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

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She’s best known for her role on Friday Night Lights.

Above anything else Kelly has done in her career, she’s perhaps best known for starring as girl next door Lyla Garrity on Friday Night Lights. Her character was a cheerleader for the Dillon Panthers football team and involved in a passionate on-off relationship with Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch). Kelly left the series in 2009 after four seasons spent playing the role.

Last October, she reflected on the show’s 13th anniversary on Instagram. Kelly recalled moving to Austin for filming with no expectations that the project would be a hit. “There was no way a show about football—that was already a movie—about a player who breaks his neck in the pilot episode is going anywhere but a job is a job amirite!” she recalled, adding, “But it wasn’t about football. It was about relationships, family, humanity, love and loss. It was about longing to fit in and wanting to get out. It was about life in a small town and how a community comes together in good times and bad. Little did I know I hit the proverbial jackpot and the show would go on for 5 years. I’m forever grateful.”

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She comes from a famous musical family.

Kelly was born in Los Angeles to a pair of entertainment industry parents. Her father is Rick Dufay, a guitarist for Aerosmith in the ’80s. Her mother was Maureen Kelly, who was reportedly a Las Vegas showgirl prior to her daughter’s birth, according to Entertainment Weekly. Kelly even told the outlet that she had spent time playing at Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler’s house as a kid.

She didn’t always want to be an actress.

Although Kelly has made her mark in several TV shows and movies, acting wasn’t her first love. She told Men’s Health in 2008 that she originally envisioned herself in the medical profession. “I moved to California not to pursue acting but to get out of Albuquerque,” she said, referring to the New Mexico city she grew up in. “I started working right away. I had four jobs.” One of those jobs was as a surgical assistant, according to the outlet.

But when Kelly attended her first acting class, her plans changed, she recalled. “It was the most amazing thing I’d ever experienced. 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,” she explained.

Another passion of Kelly’s is cooking. In June 2015, she finished a six-month culinary course at the New School of Cooking in Culver City, California, ABC News reported. Kelly celebrated the accomplishment on Instagram.

She and Trevor Noah were reportedly in a “very serious” relationship.

While news of Noah and Kelly’s relationship broke in August 2020, sources indicated their romance was far from a fling. “They’re very happy. It’s a very serious relationship,” an insider told People of the surprise pair. An Us Weekly source reiterated that Kelly and Noah started dating “well before quarantine started.” And an E! News source said the couple was “getting serious” while living in Noah’s New York City apartment, where he’s been virtually hosting The Daily Show. The couple was captured heading into Noah’s apartment in mid-September, as reported by People.

As for social media, this sequence of events tracks. Both Kelly and Noah follow each other on Instagram and have “liked” some of each other’s posts, dating back to November 2019. Noah’s last serious relationship was with model and real estate agent Jordyn Taylor from 2015 to 2018, according to Us. Post-split, Kelly and Noah still follow each other on Instagram.

Sources said Kelly and Noah lived together while dating.

Speculation first began last November when sources told Entertainment Tonight that Kelly and Noah were looking at houses in Los Angeles together. That report turned out to be true, according to sources for People. The couple reportedly purchased a $27.5 million mansion in the A-list neighborhood of Bel-Air. A source told People that Noah and Kelly “are still really happy and in love” and planned on living in the six-bedroom, 12-bathroom Los Angeles home together.

“They’re making plans for a future together, and it’s a very stable relationship,” the insider added. “They’ve been spending time between coasts over the last year and had been looking for a place in L.A. as a couple.” Their once-shared 11,000-square-foot property features a gym, steam room, screening room, library, chef’s kitchen, pool, wine room, and other amenities, the outlet reports.

Noah and Kelly signaled their romance was still very on in February 2021.

While Noah and Kelly still hadn’t commented on their relationship as of February 2021, they gave rare public proof that their romance was going strong.

Noah and Kelly were photographed out in Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 20 celebrating Noah’s 37th birthday. The couple went to California fast food chain In-N-Out, where, according to E!, they picked up “a couple of cheeseburgers.”

Kelly was also photographed picking up a balloon bouquet from Party City earlier that day.

This isn’t the first time she’s dated a famous man.

Prior to her relationship with Noah, Kelly has been linked to several celebrities. In 2005, she dated Scrubs star Donald Faison, according to E!. She was in a relationship with Chris Evans first in 2007 before they reunited again in 2012, 2013, and 2015, according to Us Weekly. There were even reports of a brief fling between she and John Mayer before they split in 2008.

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Mayer and Kelly in 2007.

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Kelly was also spotted getting cozy with Wilmer Valderrama in 2012 and again in 2016 before calling it quits. Her most long-term public relationship was with former New York Yankees player Derek Jeter. They amicably parted ways in 2011 after three years together, People reported.

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Kelly and Jeter in 2010.

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Most recently, Kelly dated Little Fires Everywhere star Jesse Williams for about eight months before they split in early 2018. When asked what it was like to have constant attention placed on her personal life during a 2016 radio interview, Kelly said she took it in stride. “I think it comes with the territory. It’s a small price to pay for the extraordinary life that I live,” she explained, per E! News. “I think if they’re paying attention, that must mean there’s something [I’m doing right].”

She’s also a jewelry designer.

When she isn’t acting, Kelly has begun collaborating on a jewelry collection. In 2019, she partnered with ethical fashion label ABLE to create her own line of earrings, necklaces, and rings. “I first started collaborating with ABLE in 2009, after I lost my mom in 2008 [to colon cancer], because they create jobs for women who don’t have the opportunity [otherwise],” Kelly told People. The company trains and employs women subject to poverty or the commercial sex industry, according to its website. You can shop pieces from her collection here.

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She’s a passionate advocate for racial equality and reproductive rights.

One of the reasons Kelly and Noah’s relationship remained under-the-radar is they’ve made no appearances on each other’s Instagram pages. Recently, Kelly has been devoting her social media presence to amplifying Black voices. In the last few months, she’s participated in the #PassThePlatform movement and demanded justice for both Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor.

Kelly has spoken out about other societal issues in the past. Last April, she penned an Instagram post about Netflix’s Tiger King, where she discussed the dangers of keeping big exotic cats in captivity. Last May, Minka got candid about her experience having an abortion, after 25 white, male lawmakers signed a law significantly limiting access to the procedure in Alabama. Amidst the #MeToo movement in 2017, sparked by sexual assault allegations against disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, Kelly shared her own incident of harassment involving Weinstein.

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Editorial Fellow Savannah Walsh is an Editorial Fellow at

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