A versatile character actor on series television and in feature films, Jon Hamm became a star following his critically hailed performance as the complex Madison Avenue advertising executive Don Draper on the 1960s-set "Mad Men" (AMC, 2007-15). Hamm had come a long way from his one-line feature debut in "Space Cowboys" (2000), which led to a recurring role as a wholesome firefighter on "Providence" (NBC, 1999-2002) and a meatier supporting role in the indie comedy, "Kissing Jessica Stein" (2002). Following a small part in "When We Were Soldiers" (2002), he appeared as Inspector Nate Basso on "The Division" (Lifetime, 2001-04), a procedural drama about a team of female police officers. Once that series was axed, Hamm had recurring roles on "What About Brian" (ABC, 2006-07) and "The Unit" (CBS, 2006-09) before landing his career-defining lead role on "Mad Men." As Draper, Hamm exuded both swagger and heartache as the complicated lead character, beneath whose seemingly stable family life lurks duplicity and betrayal. His award-winning role opened doors for higher profile projects like "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (2008), "The Town" (2010), and voicing Brogan in "Shrek Forever After" (2010), making the handsome actor one of the most sought-after in Hollywood. As the series wound down, Hamm went back to his early roots as a comic actor with appearances in the enormous comedy hit "Bridesmaids" (2011), action film "Keeping Up with the Joneses" (2016), Edgar Wright's car-chase thriller "Baby Driver" (2017), espionage thriller "Beirut" (2018), buddy comedy "Tag" (2018) and stylish noir "Bad Times at the El Royale" (2018), and various television comedies.
Born in St. Louis, MO in 1971, Hamm attended the John Burroughs School, a prestigious private prep academy. After graduating with an English degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Hamm returned to the Burroughs School to teach, having been inspired by the education he had received there. For the next year he worked at the school as a faculty drama teacher. Moving out to L.A. in the 1990s, Hamm suffered through a three-year lull before work started rolling in. After a couple of unsuccessful pilots, Hamm caught his big break in 2000, landing a semi-regular role as romantic firefighter Burt Ridley, on "Providence" (NBC, 1999-2002). That led to Hamm's next engagement, a two-season gig as Police Inspector Nate Basso on "The Division" (Lifetime, 2001-04). From there, it was a steady domino effect of employment. Over the next few years, Hamm popped up as a guest star on such hit series as "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 2002-12), "Related" (The WB, 2005-06), "Numb3rs" (CBS, 2005-2010) and "The Sarah Silverman Program" (Comedy Central, 2007-2010).
A successful six-episode recurring arc on the short-lived ABC dramedy "What About Brian" (2006-07) led Hamm to another comfortable semi-regular gig on the Emmy-nominated espionage drama, "The Unit" (CBS, 2006-09). In 2007, Hamm was tapped by Matthew Weiner, a former writer-producer for "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007), to star in his new cable series "Mad Men." In it, Hamm played Don Draper, the embattled creative director of the fictional Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency. So impressive was his work, he won a Best Actor Golden Globe in early 2008 and received his first Emmy nomination for his season one work later in the year.
Though he was a much lesser player on the big screen, Hamm nevertheless had a showy role as Captain Matt Dillon in the 2002 war epic, "We Were Soldiers." Hamm's best known feature work, however, was probably his supporting turn in the 2002 romantic comedy "Kissing Jessica Stein," in which he played Charles, a hapless would-be suitor for the title character - played by the actor's real-life longtime girlfriend, Jennifer Westfeldt. After a small supporting part in Westfeldt's low-budget indie, "Ira & Abby" (2007), Hamm landed a high-profile role as NASA official Dr. Michael Granier in the blockbuster remake of the 1951 sci-fi movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (2008).
On the comedy side of the ledger, he earned another Emmy nod that year in the Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series category for his performance as Liz Lemon's (Tina Fey) neighbor and love interest Dr. Drew Baird on "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006-2013). Back on the big screen, Hamm was part of the ensemble cast of director and star Ben Affleck's crime thriller, "The Town" (2010), in which he played an FBI agent on the trail of a team of career criminals headed by a conflicted thief (Affleck). Meanwhile, he reprised Dr. Drew Baird on "30 Rock" and returned to feature films, playing a client/doctor known as The High Roller in the action fantasy "Sucker Punch" (2011). Following an uncredited supporting role in the surprise hit comedy "Bridesmaids" (2011), Hamm joined Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Megan Fox and Edward Burns for the indie ensemble comedy "Friends with Kids" (2012), which was directed by Hamm's longtime love, Jennifer Westfeldt. He also co-starred with Daniel Radcliffe on the surreal and darkly humorous British-American TV series "A Young Doctor's Notebook" (Sky arts 2012-13). As "Mad Men" cruised into its final season, Hamm took a change of pace big screen role as a sports agent searching for potentional Major League Baseball players among the cricketers of India in the heartwarming fact-based sports drama "Million Dollar Arm" (2014). This was followed by a two-part character arc on longtime friend Amy Poehler's sitcom "Parks and Recreation" (NBC 2009-2015). Just prior to the premiere of the final season of "Mad Men," the normally private Hamm announced that he had completed a rehab stint due to an alcohol addiction. His work schedule did not slow after the end of his series, as Hamm voiced a supporting character, Herb Overkill, in the animated hit "Minions" (2015), appeared in a recurring role on Tina Fey's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (Netflix 2015- ), and played a confidential assassin, The Falcon, on the absurdist prequel series "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp" (Netflix 2015). After a cameo in "Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie" (2016), Hamm starred in the action comedy "Keeping Up with the Joneses" (2016) as half of a pair of trained assassins who move into a quiet suburban neighborhood, and in Michael Almereyda's science fiction indie "Marjorie Prime" (2016). Hamm next co-starred with Ansel Elgort and Lily James in Edgar Wright's car-chase thriller "Baby Driver" (2017). After appearing in low-profile indies "Aardvark" (2017) and "Nostalgia" (2018), Hamm starred in Brad Anderson's espionage thriller "Beirut" (2018) and co-starred in ensemble buddy comedy "Tag" (2018) before appearing in Drew Goddard's twisty noir "Bad Times at the El Royale" (2018).
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Cast in the off-Broadway play "Lipschtick" (would later become the film "Kissing Jessica Stein"), met future girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt while starring together
Made feature debut with a small one-line role in "Space Cowboys"
Had a recurring role as wholesome firefighter Burt Ridley on NBC's "Providence"
Appeared in the indie feature "Kissing Jessica Stein," written, produced and directed by girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt
Appeared in "We Were Soldiers" starring Mel Gibson
Played Inspector Nathan Basso on the Lifetime series "The Division"
Guest starred in a recurring role on the CBS drama "The Unit"
Landed a recurring role on the ABC drama "What About Brian"
Featured in "Ira and Abby," a star-studded romantic comedy written by and starring girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt
Cast in breakthrough role as Don Draper, the creative director of Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency, on the AMC series "Mad Men"; made directing debut with fifth season premiere
Cast as Dr. Michael Granier, a NASA official in the remake of the 1951 sci-fi movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still"
Appeared in a recurring role on NBC's "30 Rock" as Liz Lemon's (Tina Fey) love interest Dr. Drew Baird
Appeared in recurring role of Derrick Childrens on Adult Swim comedy "Childrens Hospital"
Cast in the ensemble crime drama "The Town," directed by Ben Affleck
Co-starred in "Sucker Punch," an action-fantasy film written and directed by Zack Snyder
Acted opposite Kristen Wiig in the hit comedy "Bridesmaids"
Cast in the ensemble comedy "Friends with Kids" alongside writer, director, and real-life companion Jennifer Westfeldt
Starred opposite Daniel Radcliffe in British-American comedy-drama "A Young Doctor's Notebook"
Made multiple appearances on the TV sitcom "Parks and Recreation"
Starred in sports drama "Million Dollar Arm"
Played a recurring role as cult leader Richard Wayne Gary Wayne on Tina Fey series "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Co-starred as Herb Overkill in animated hit "Minions"
Appeared as professional assassin The Falcon on prequel series "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp"
Appeared in intimate sci-fi film "Marjorie Prime"
Co-starred in Edgar Wright's heist film "Baby Driver"
Cast opposite Rosamund Pike in war thriller "Beirut"
Played the owner of a pawn shop in the weepy drama "Nostalgia"
Voiced the narrator on "Legion"
Played dual roles in Drew Goddard's '60s-set thriller "Bad Times at the El Royale"