Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm
Jon Hamm
Real name:
Jonathan Daniel Hamm
Who is:
Birth date:
(53 y.o.)
Place of birth:
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
6'1 ft ()
203 lb (92 kg)
Birth Sign:
Chinese zodiac:

Jon Hamm's Biography

Jon Hamm's success story proves that nothing is impossible for determined people. Having lost all his relatives by the age of 20 and becoming a regular client of psychoanalysts, he decided to change everything and moved from the quiet St. Louis to bustling Los Angeles. Hollywood was not ready to succumb to the ambitious guy with a rugged appearance: Hamm seemed older than his years, looked somewhat old-fashioned, and could not land that breakthrough role.

For many years, he worked as a waiter and endured a series of unsuccessful auditions. Everything changed in 2007 with the release of the series "Mad Men." His old Hollywood star-like appearance was very fitting. The audacious and at the same time incredibly charming Don Draper transformed Hamm from an emerging actor into a star. Glossy magazines acknowledged him as a sex symbol, critics handed out awards, including two Golden Globes and an Emmy, and directors lined up with offers for new roles.
Actor Jon Hamm
Actor Jon Hamm
By 2024, Jon had become a Hollywood celebrity, aiming only for lead roles in projects. His participation in series like "The Morning Show" and "Fargo" proved this. Not only his professional life changed but also his personal life: the convinced bachelor, who was against the institution of marriage, married his colleague Anna Osceola and even considered having children.

Childhood and Family

Jonathan Daniel Hamm was born on March 10, 1971, in St. Louis, Missouri. Hamm's ancestors included Germans, English, and Irish. His father, Daniel, owned a trucking company where his mother, Deborah, worked as a secretary.

In 1973, Jon's parents divorced. He stayed with his mother in a St. Louis suburb.
I had a very typical Midwestern, suburban childhood. I rode my bike to friends' houses and knew all the neighbors and everything that was happening in their homes.
Eventually, his father went bankrupt and lost the business, leading to a divorce. Jon's mother raised him alone. Nevertheless, they had enough money for the future actor to attend the private John Burroughs School.

Jon's mother supported him in everything. He first took the stage in the first grade, playing Winnie the Pooh in a school play. His mother lovingly sewed the costume.

In 1981, his mother was diagnosed with advanced abdominal cancer and soon passed away. Jon had to move in with his father, who had become an alcoholic and soon dependent, and his grandmother, who was not at all pleased with the new mouth to feed.

To avoid being home as much as possible, Jon spent all his time at school, attended football and baseball practices, and joined the school swim team. His classmates' mothers took him under their wing: they fed him, helped him financially, and provided a roof over his head.

Jon continued to be interested in the stage: in 1977, he played the role of Judas in the school play "The Gospel." However, he did not consider acting as a future profession. "Acting is fun, but my grandfather always said it's never too late to become an engineer," Hamm often repeated.

In 1989, he graduated from high school. His baseball achievements allowed him to easily get into the University of Texas and qualify for a substantial scholarship. But the string of losses continued: in 1990, Jon's grandmother died, and a year later, his father passed away due to diabetes complications. The young man became an orphan.

He dropped out of college and spent some time in Missouri, trying to get into a local university. It was there that he auditioned for the adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and landed a small role in the musical "Assassins."

Early Roles

In 1992, Hamm headed to Los Angeles, where his long-time friend Paul Rudd had previously moved; he is now known as Ant-Man from the Marvel movies. Hollywood enchanted Jon, but he was not sure of himself. It took another three years for him to make the final move, taking with him $150 – all his savings.

Life in Los Angeles was tough at first. Hamm went to every audition he could find and worked as a waiter in the evenings. This continued for seven years: auditions did not bring much success, but Jon became a celebrity in the service industry – he even had regular customers who left good tips.

He had very minor roles in the series "The Trouble with Normal" and "The Hughleys." Desperate to find work for his client, his agent abandoned him. By 2001, Hamm had promised himself that if he didn't receive a significant job offer by his 30th birthday, he would leave Los Angeles and go home. "The last thing I wanted was to be one of those 45-year-old actors who barely understand their own reality and actually work very little," he said.

A few months before his birthday, Jon successfully auditioned for "Providence." He was to play a small role as a bartender dressed as Zorro. In the story, the main character fell in love with him, which allowed the actor to stay on the project for 18 episodes. For Hamm, this was a breakthrough, but real success was still far off.
Jon Hamm discusses Providence
He appeared in episodes of "Gilmore Girls" and "Kissing Jessica Stein," landed a role in "Kissing Jessica Stein" in 2001, and "We Were Soldiers" with Mel Gibson in 2002. The actor agreed to work in voice-over and took on any offers.

The Rise of His Career

Jon Hamm's real break came in the mid-2000s after meeting showrunner Matthew Weiner. The screenwriter was searching for a candidate to play the lead protagonist, Don Draper, in the series "Mad Men," set in the 1960s, and had reviewed 80 actors. As soon as Weiner saw Hamm, he knew the perfect hero was found – Jon resembled the stars of old Hollywood, and he was also an orphan, just like his character.
Jon Hamm Auditioned 7 Times for Mad Men
The first season of the series premiered in 2007 and was a sensation. Don Draper, as portrayed by Hamm, became a cultural icon to emulate, from his style of dress to his way with women. The actor's name was constantly featured in glossy magazines, and AMC studio quickly signed a 7-year contract with him.
Best Scenes of Don Draper
"This job is a dream – that's how I can describe it. It's rare for actors to do what they truly like, but it always gives a huge boost to their career," Hamm said about his character.

"Mad Men" aired until 2015. Draper earned the actor two Golden Globes in 2008 and 2016 and an Emmy in 2014. He received over a dozen nominations for various film awards during those years.

Hamm's filming schedule during this period was intense. Alongside "Mad Men," he accepted roles in other projects. In 2008, he appeared in the action movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still" with Keanu Reeves, and in the series "Childrens Hospital." A year later, he landed his debut leading role in the feature film "Stolen."

In 2010, Hamm played an FBI agent in Ben Affleck's crime drama "The Town." He was glad to step out of Don Draper's image, finally taking on the role of a positive character. Additionally, Jon voiced the leader of the cannibals named Brogan in the animated film "Shrek Forever After."

In 2011, the actor starred in Zack Snyder's action film "Sucker Punch," and a year later, he appeared in the romantic comedy "Friends with Kids," which was written by his partner Jennifer Westfeldt.

In 2012, Jon played in the mini-series "A Young Doctor's Notebook," alongside Daniel Radcliffe. At the end of 2014, the actor appeared in the special episode "White Christmas" of the anthology series "Black Mirror."

By this time, Hamm was joyfully experimenting with different genres. In 2016, Jon starred in the comedy "Keeping Up with the Joneses" with Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, and Gal Gadot, and the following year in the science fiction "Marjorie Prime" and the political thriller "Beirut."

In 2018, Hamm was cast in the dramatic thriller "Bad Times at the El Royale," where he starred alongside Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, and Chris Hemsworth. The following year, he appeared in the series "Good Omens," playing the archangel Gabriel.

Jon also continued voice acting. He lent his voice to characters in animated films such as "Big City Greens" (2018), "Bless the Harts" (2020), "Invincible" (2021), and "M.O.D.O.K." (2021).

In 2021, Hamm played in Steven Soderbergh's crime drama "No Sudden Move," which also featured Benicio Del Toro, David Harbour, and Brendan Fraser. The following year, he acted in the comedy "Confess, Fletch." When it became clear that the project's budget was insufficient, the actor voluntarily gave up 60% of his fee. He also appeared in the action film "Top Gun: Maverick," starring Tom Cruise.

The Personal Life of Jon Hamm

The charismatic Hamm has been surrounded by women's attention since his youth. In high school, he started a relationship with Sarah Clarke. She later became an actress, for instance, she played Bella Swan's mother in the "Twilight" saga.

In 1997, after moving to Los Angeles, Jon met his colleague Jennifer Westfeldt at a party hosted by Paul Rudd. Hamm instantly appreciated the resourceful beauty who easily defeated everyone in board games. However, initially, the actress thought the young man was just a typical arrogant athlete.

Eventually, she needed a partner to practice lines with before auditions, and their mutual friend Rudd recommended Jon. Working together quickly turned into a romance.

In the early years, Westfeldt took on the main responsibilities of supporting the union: she acted, wrote scripts, and believed in her beloved, supporting him in everything. When the actress created a new script, she always wrote a role for Hamm. Moreover, she helped him get occasional work in theater.

After the success of "Mad Men" in 2007, the couple's dynamics changed: Jon was now the star. Disagreements started to accumulate in the relationship: despite the actors' prior agreement that they didn't plan to formalize their relationship or have children, Westfeldt increasingly began to think about expanding their family. However, Hamm did not share her feelings.
I love kids. I like other people's kids because at the end of the evening, you can give them back to their parents.
In 2015, after 18 years together, Westfeldt and Hamm separated. Soon after, there were rumors of a possible romance between Hamm and his colleague Dakota Johnson, but they were not confirmed. And in 2020, Hamm's relationship with actress Anna Osceola became obvious. The couple met five years earlier, during the filming of the "Mad Men" finale.

With his new love interest, Hamm forgot all his previous principles regarding marriage. In February 2023, the couple celebrated their engagement, and in the summer, they had their wedding. Moreover, the actor even started considering having children.

Jon Hamm Now

In 2023, Jon landed the lead role in the third season of "The Morning Show," starring alongside Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. His character had several intimate scenes with the "Friends" star. He also reprised his role as Archangel Gabriel in the second season of "Good Omens."

The premiere of "Fargo"'s fifth season took place in November 2023. This time, the leading roles went to Juno Temple, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jon Hamm. The actor portrayed a patriarchal, sadistic sheriff hunting down a girl who dared to defy him in the distant past.

"The creators wanted to explore what hides behind the façade of strength and control in such men. They peeled back the beautiful exterior, letting us into a gripping and intriguing place," Hamm said about his character.

A new version of the iconic 2000s film "Mean Girls," this time presented as a musical, was released in February 2024. Jon played the role of a high school coach.

Additionally, the actor participated in the voice cast of the animated series "Grimsburg" and lent his voice to a character in the sci-fi animation "Transformers: One," set for release in September 2024. Hamm also scored the central role in the drama "Wilder and Me," where he played actor William Holden.

Jon joined the cast of the sci-fi comedy "Alpha Gang" about a group of aliens hoping to conquer Earth. Other roles went to Steven Yeun, Nicholas Hoult, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The premiere is scheduled for 2024.

Interesting Facts

  • In 1990, while attending the University of Texas, Hamm was arrested on suspicion of participating in hazing at the Sigma Nu fraternity. He was accused of setting a pledge's jeans on fire and pushing the young man's face into the dirt. The incident led to the fraternity's closure. Jon pleaded guilty and made a deal with the prosecution, which allowed him to get off with probation. All charges against him were dropped in 1995.

  • When Jon was 24, he quit smoking. However, his character in "Mad Men" is addicted to the harmful habit. During filming, Hamm had to smoke special herbal cigarettes that contained no tobacco or nicotine.

  • During the first season of "Mad Men," the actor developed vitiligo.

  • In 2007 and 2008, People magazine named Hamm "The Sexiest Man Alive."

  • In 2015, the actor's representative confirmed rumors that Jon had undergone treatment for alcoholism in rehab.

  • In 2018, there were discussions about potentially casting Hamm as Batman in the upcoming comic book adaptation.

  • Jon spent two years teaching acting at John Burroughs School, where he once studied. He also established a memorial scholarship for talented students at the school, named after his mother.

  • Hamm is a devoted fan of the St. Louis Blues hockey team. He appeared in two television commercials for the team.