Jon Hamm

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Not to be confused with John Ham or John Hamm.
Jon Hamm
Jon Hamm Vancouver Olympics 2010 crop.jpg
Hamm at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
Born Jonathan Daniel Hamm
(1971-03-10) March 10, 1971 (age 43)[1]
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Alma mater University of Missouri (B.A.)
Occupation Actor, voice actor, comedian, director, producer
Years active 1996–present
Partner(s) Jennifer Westfeldt
(1997–present)

Jonathan Daniel "Jon" Hamm (born March 10, 1971) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, television director, and producer. For much of the mid-1990s, Hamm lived as an actor in Los Angeles, making appearances in television series like Providence, The Division, What About Brian, and Related. In 2000, he made his feature film debut in the space adventure film Space Cowboys. The following year, he secured a minor role in the independent comedy, Kissing Jessica Stein (2001).

Hamm gained wide recognition for playing advertising executive Don Draper in the AMC drama series Mad Men, which premiered in July 2007. His performance earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series in 2008. He has also directed two episodes of the show. In 2008, Hamm appeared in a remake of the science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still. His first leading film role was in the 2010 independent thriller Stolen. He also had supporting roles in The Town (2010), Sucker Punch (2011), and Bridesmaids (2011). Hamm has received ten Emmy nominations for his performance in Mad Men and 30 Rock.

Early life[edit]

Hamm was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Deborah and Daniel Hamm. His father ran a family trucking company and his mother was a secretary.[2][3] He is of German, English, and Irish descent; his surname originates with German immigrants.[4] Hamm's parents divorced when he was two years old, and he lived in Creve Coeur with his mother[3] until her death from colon cancer when he was 10.[5] Hamm then moved in with his father,[6] who died when Hamm was 20. Hamm attended the private John Burroughs School in Ladue, where he was a member of the football, baseball, and swim teams.[6] During this time, he dated future actress Sarah Clarke.[7]

Hamm's first acting role was as Winnie the Pooh in first grade;[9] at 16, he was cast as Judas in Godspell,[10] and enjoyed the experience, though he did not take acting seriously. Following graduation in 1989, Hamm enrolled at the University of Texas,[11] where he was a member of the Upsilon Chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity.[12] Hamm returned home to attend the University of Missouri after his father's death.[11] At Missouri he answered an advertisement from a theater company looking for players in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, auditioned, and was cast in the production.[6] Other roles followed, such as Leon Czolgosz in Assassins.[13] After graduating in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in English,[14] Hamm returned to his high school to teach eighth-grade acting as a gesture of repayment for the school's support during his adolescent years.[3][6][15] One of his students was Ellie Kemper, who later became an actress;[16] another was Beau Willimon, who became a screenwriter.[17][18]

Career[edit]

Early work[edit]

Hamm had known actor Paul Rudd for many years,[7][19] and visited Hollywood to meet him in 1992. Not wishing to stay in a "normal career", Hamm moved to Los Angeles permanently in 1995[20] with an automobile and $150.[7] He moved into a house with four other aspiring actors and began working as a waiter while attending auditions.[6] He acted in theatre, including as Flavius in a production of Shakespeare's Timon of Athens with the Sacred Fools Theater Company.[21]

Finding employment as an actor was difficult despite representation by the William Morris Agency[23] because, unlike other actors his age, he could not be cast in youth-oriented productions like Dawson's Creek due to his older appearance.[7] In 1998, having failed to obtain any acting jobs after three years,[2] he was dropped by William Morris. Hamm continued working as a waiter,[6] and briefly as a set designer for a softcore pornography film.[22] After repeatedly failing to obtain promising roles, he set his 30th birthday as a deadline to succeed in Hollywood,[10] observing that:

You either suck that up and find another agent, or you go home and say you gave it a shot, but that's the end of that. The last thing I wanted to be out here was one of those actors who's 45 years old, with a tenuous grasp of their own reality, and not really working much. So I gave myself five years. I said, if I can't get it going by the time I'm 30, I'm in the wrong place. And as soon as I said that, it's like I started working right away.[6]

In 2000, Hamm obtained the role of romantic firefighter Burt Ridley on NBC's drama series Providence.[24][25] His one-episode contract grew to 19,[3][9] and led him to quit waiting tables.[7][23] Hamm made his feature film debut with one line in Clint Eastwood's space adventure Space Cowboys (2000);[24][26] more substantial roles followed in the independent comedy Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)[27] and the war film We Were Soldiers (2002),[24][28] during filming of which he turned 30.[10] His career was further bolstered when he played the recurring role of police inspector Nate Basso on Lifetime's television series The Division from 2002 to 2004.[24][25] Other minor roles followed on the television series What About Brian, CSI: Miami, Related, Numb3rs, The Unit, and The Sarah Silverman Program.[24][25] Hamm's Mad Men castmate Eric Ladin had said that one of the reasons he looks up to Jon is that while he "made it" later than most actors, Hamm never gave up on acting.[29]

Worldwide recognition[edit]

Hamm received his breakthrough role in 2007 when he was cast from more than 80 candidates[22] as the protagonist character Don Draper in AMC's drama series Mad Men. In the series, set in a fictional 1960s advertising agency, he plays a suave advertising executive with an obscure past.[30] Hamm recalled, "I read the script for Mad Men and I loved it. [...] I never thought they'd cast me—I mean, I thought they'd go with one of the five guys who look like me but are movie stars",[19] and that an actor with a "proven track record" would likely have been chosen if another network had aired the show.[20] He went through numerous auditions, and explained each time to the casting directors what he could bring to the character, if given the part.[6] Alan Taylor and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner thought that Hamm was too handsome for the role, but decided that "it was perfect to cast sort of the perfect male in this part"; Weiner also sensed that the actor had not been raised by his parents, similar to Draper's backstory.[2][31]

Hamm in November 2008

Hamm used memories of his father to portray Draper,[32] a well-dressed, influential figure in business and society[9] hiding great inner turmoil[2] and facing changes in the world beyond his control. Mad Men debuted on July 19, 2007, with almost 1.4 million viewers.[33] It quickly developed a loyal audience, with the show and Hamm receiving strong reviews. Robert Bianco of USA Today was complimentary of Hamm, noting that his interpretation of Draper was a "starmaking performance".[34] The Boston Globe's Matthew Gilbert called Hamm a "brilliant lead".[35] For his work, he won a Golden Globe Award in the category of Best Actor in a Television Series Drama in 2008.[36] Also in 2008 he was nominated for both a Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor and an Emmy[37] award for Outstanding Lead Actor.[38] In 2009, Hamm was again nominated for a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award in the same categories,[36][39] and received another Emmy nomination for Best Actor.[40] In 2010, Hamm received his third Golden Globe nomination.[41]

Hamm's next film role was in the 2008 science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still, a remake of the 1951 film of the same name.[42] Although the film received mixed reviews,[43] it was financially successful, earning $230 million worldwide at the box office.[44] Hamm hosted the sixth episode of the 34th season of Saturday Night Live on October 25, 2008.[45] He played various roles, including Don Draper in two sketches.[46] He returned to host again on January 30 and October 30, 2010.[47][48] In 2009, Hamm guest starred in three episodes of the NBC situation comedy show 30 Rock as Drew Baird, a doctor who is a neighbor and love interest of Liz Lemon's (Tina Fey).[49] For these performances, he received an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.[50]

Hamm's film projects post 2009 included the independent mystery thriller Stolen and his first leading role, in which he plays a man trying to demystify the circumstances surrounding his son's kidnapping.[51][52] The Hollywood Reporter's Frank Scheck stated that the feature never came together, and said that Hamm was unable to do much with his "underwritten role".[53] Hamm had a voice cameo in the animated feature Shrek Forever After, released in May 2010, as an ogre leader named Brogan.[54] He appeared as an FBI agent in The Town with Ben Affleck;[55] after receiving "about 40 scripts that were all set in the 60s, or had me playing advertising guys", Hamm was pleased that the film offered a role "the opposite to Don Draper".[56] The feature received generally favorable reviews,[57] and earned $144 million worldwide.[58] His next acting role was as defense attorney Jake Ehrlich in the independent drama Howl, based on Allen Ginsberg's 1956 poem of the same name.[59] On December 12, 2010, Hamm made a guest appearance as an FBI supervisor on Fox's animated series The Simpsons.[60] Returning to film, he appeared in Zack Snyder's 2011 action-fantasy movie Sucker Punch, as the character High Roller, and the doctor.[61] He also had a supporting role in the comedy Bridesmaids as Kristen Wiig's "rude and arrogant sex buddy".[62] Hamm was next seen in the independent feature Friends with Kids (2011) which he produced alongside partner Jennifer Westfeldt.[63] The story centers around a group of friends whose lives are changed as the couples in the group begin to have children.

He has a recurring role in the sitcom The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret as the servant of sociopathic billionaire Dave Mountford (Blake Harrison),[64] the role of which is later revealed to in fact be a fictionalized version of Hamm, complaining that being made into Dave's servant has made him need to be written out of four episodes of Mad Men. Hamm will play sports agent J.B. Bernstein in Disney's sports drama Million Dollar Arm.[65]

Hamm hosted the 21st ESPYS Awards on July 17, 2013.[66]

Hamm is set to star alongside Daniel Radcliffe in the Ovation television dark comedy A Young Doctor's Notebook playing an older version of Radcliffe's character.[67]

Personal life[edit]

Hamm with girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, 2008

Since 1997, Hamm has been in a long-term relationship with actress and screenwriter Jennifer Westfeldt.[5] They own homes in Los Angeles and the Upper West Side in New York.[5][27] In an interview discussion about his relationship with Westfeldt, Hamm said: "We may not have a piece of paper that says we're husband and wife, but after 10 years, Jennifer is more than just a girlfriend. What we have is much deeper and we both know that. To me, people [should] get married when they're ready to have kids, which I'm not ruling out."[68] Hamm, along with Westfeldt, has appeared in Gap related campaign advertisements.[69] In April 2009, Hamm and Westfeldt formed their own production company, Points West Pictures.[70][71] Hamm and Westfeldt are advocates of animal rescue and have adopted their own dog, a mixed breed named Cora, from the Much Love Animal Shelter in California.[72]

Although his role as Don Draper requires him to smoke, Hamm gave up smoking when he was 24.[73][74] He revealed in an interview that while on set he does not smoke actual cigarettes, but herbal cigarettes that do not contain any tobacco or nicotine.[74][75]

Hamm has vitiligo.[76]

Internationally viewed as a sex symbol, Hamm was named one of Salon.com '​s Sexiest Man Living in 2007,[77] and was named one of People magazine's Sexiest Men Alive in 2008.[78] Hamm also won GQ '​s 'International Man' award in September 2010.[79] In November 2008, Entertainment Weekly named him one of their Entertainers of the Year.[80] He again was named one of the magazine's Entertainers of the Year in 2010.[81]

Hamm is an avid golfer and tennis player.[82] He is a devoted fan of the National Hockey League (NHL) team the St. Louis Blues, even appearing in two television spots advertising for the team.[83] He is also a fan of the Major League Baseball (MLB) team the St. Louis Cardinals,[84] and narrated the official highlight film for the 2011 World Series which the Cardinals won. He is also a cricket fan, having been introduced to the sport by Daniel Radcliffe when filming A Young Doctor's Notebook.[85]

In March 2010, Hamm was hired by Mercedes-Benz as their new voiceover for their campaign with the S400 Hybrid vehicle. Hamm replaced actor Richard Thomas.[86] Also, in 2013 American Airlines debuted a commercial titled "Change is in the Air" featuring Hamm as the voice-over. Hamm is an American Airlines frequent flier and his Mad Men character Don Draper often speaks of aspiring to win such accounts as American Airlines.[87]

Hamm and Westfeldt both identify themselves as Democrats.[88]

Filmography[edit]

Hamm on the set of The Town in September 2009

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Space Cowboys Young Pilot No.2
2001 Kissing Jessica Stein Charles
2002 We Were Soldiers Capt. Matt Dillon
2006 Ira and Abby Ronnie
2007 The Ten Skydiving Guide Chris Knarl
2008 The Day the Earth Stood Still Dr. Michael Granier
2009 A Single Man Hank Ackerley Voice only
Uncredited[89]
2010 Stolen Tom Adkins Sr.
Shrek Forever After Brogan Voice only[54]
The A-Team Agent Lynch Uncredited[90]
The Town Adam Frawley
Howl Jake Ehrlich
2011 Sucker Punch High Roller/Doctor
Bridesmaids[91] Ted Uncredited
2012 Friends with Kids Ben Also Producer
2013 The Congress Dylan Truliner
Clear History Will Haney TV Film
2014 Million Dollar Arm J.B. Bernstein
2015 Minions Herb Overkill Voice only
Filming

Television[edit]

year title role notes
1996 The Big Date Himself Aired before his acting career started.[92]
1997 Ally McBeal That Guy Episode: "Compromising Positions"
2000–2001 Providence Burt Ridley 18 episodes
2000 The Trouble with Normal Jackson Episode: "Pilot"
The Hughleys Buzz Episode: "Lies My Valentine Told Me"
2001 Early Bird Special Red-Headed Cop Episode: "Pilot"
2002–2004 The Division Inspector Nate Basso 16 episodes
2002 Gilmore Girls Peyton Sanders Episode: "Eight O'Clock at the Oasis"
2005 CSI: Miami Dr. Brent Kessler 2 episodes
Point Pleasant Dr. George Forrester 2 episodes
Charmed Jack Brody Episode: "Ordinary Witches"
2006–2007 The Unit Wilson James 5 episodes
What About Brian Richard Povich 6 episodes
2006 Numb3rs Richard Clast Episode: "Hardball"
Related Danny Episode: "Related"
2007 The Sarah Silverman Program Cable Guy Episode: "Muffin' Man"
2007–2015 Mad Men Don Draper Main cast
Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series (2011)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series: Drama (2008)
Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series(2009, 2011)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2009–2010)
TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama (2011)
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series (2012)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series: Drama (2009–2011, 2013)
Nominated—Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2010)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2008–2013)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series: Drama (2008–2010)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2008, 2011, 2013)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series (2008–2011, 2013)
Nominated—TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama (2008–2009, 2012)
2008–2014 Saturday Night Live Host As Host:
Episode: "Jon Hamm/Coldplay"
Episode: "Jon Hamm/Michael Bublé"
Episode: "Jon Hamm/Rihanna"
Cameos:
Episode: "Ed Helms/Paul Simon"
Episode: "Lindsay Lohan/Jack White"
Episode: "Will Ferrell/Usher"
Episode: "Mick Jagger"
Episode: "Zach Galifianakis/Of Monsters and Men"
Episode: "Lena Dunham/The National"
2009–2012 30 Rock Dr. Drew Baird / Abner / David Brinkley 7 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (2009–2010, 2012)
2010 The Simpsons FBI Investigator Voice only
Episode: "Donnie Fatso"
2010–2012 Conan Don Draper 2 episodes
2010–2013 Childrens Hospital Derrick Childrens / Arthur Childrens 5 episodes
2011 Robot Chicken Various Voice only
2 episodes
2012 The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Dave's employee 4 episodes
Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself Episode: "Jon Hamm Wears A Light Blue Shirt & Silver Watch"
Martha Speaks Ham Johnson Voice only
Episode: "Cora! Cora! Cora!/Cora Encore!"
Metalocalypse Various Voice only
Episode: "Writersklok"
American Dad! Himself Voice only
Episode: "Can I Be Frank (With You)"
Family Guy Himself / Don Draper Voice only
Episode: "Ratings Guy"
2012–2013 The Greatest Event in Television History Rick Simon / Ghost of Jon Hamm 2 episodes
2012–present A Young Doctor's Notebook Dr. Vladimir Bomgard (Older) Lead role
2013 Bob's Burgers O.T. Voice only
Episode: "O.T.: The Outside Toilet" (Uncredited)
Archer Captain Murphy Voice only
2 episodes
2013 ESPY Awards Host TV Special
2014 Parks and Recreation Ed 2 episodes
Black Mirror[93] Feature-length special

Music videos[edit]

Year Artist Video Role Notes
2012 Aimee Mann "Labrador" "Tom Scharpling, Music Video Director" cameo, introduces the song.
2011 The Lonely Island "Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie & Clyde" (ft. Rihanna) Bank Hostage cameo, gets picked up by Rihanna.
Herman Düne "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" Non-specific lead

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result[94]
2008 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Mad Men Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Nominated
2009 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series 30 Rock Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Mad Men Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Won
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Nominated
2010 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series 30 Rock Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Mad Men Nominated
National Board of Review Best Cast The Town Won
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Mad Men Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Won
2011 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Cast The Town Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series Mad Men Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Won
2012 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best On-Screen Dirtbag Bridesmaids Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series Mad Men Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series 30 Rock Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Mad Men Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Nominated
2013 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2014 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actor: Drama Million Dollar Arm Nominated
2014 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Mad Men Nominated

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External links[edit]