Childhood & Early Life
Jonathan Daniel Hamm was born on 10 March 1971. in St. Louis, Missouri. His father, Daniel Hamm, had a family trucking company, and his mother, Deborah, was a secretary. Hamm has two siblings. An older sister named Jennifer Hinze and a younger sister, Julie Schulte.
When Hamm was just two, his parents got divorced. He lived with his mother in St. Louis County in Creve Coeur, Missouri until she died of colon cancer when Hamm was 10. Subsequently, Hamm went to live with his father in Clayton, Missouri. His father passed away when he was 20.
Hamm’s first acting role was Winnie the Pooh when he was in the first grade. Later on at the age of 16, he was selected to play Judas in the play ‘Godspell’.
Hamm attended John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri. During his time here, he was a member of the football, swim as well as baseball teams.
He enrolled himself into the University of Texas in 1989. He was a member of the Upsilon Chapter of the Sigma Nu fraternity. Subsequently, he left the University of Texas for the University of Missouri. During his time at the University of Missouri, he successfully auditioned for a part in a production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, after responding to an advertisement.
Hamm taught eighth-grade acting at his high school after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1993.
In a desperate attempt to stay away from a conventional career, he moved to Los Angeles with just his automobile and $150, in 1995.
Hamm’s representatives and agents at the William Morris Agency terminated him as a client because he had failed to obtain any acting jobs for three years and he looked older than his age.
To support himself during this period, he waited on tables and served as a set designer for an adult movie. Eventually getting frustrated with the lack of work, he set his 30th birthday as the deadline for him to make it in the industry.
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Jon Hamm was picked to play the part of a romantic firefighter named Burt Ridley on the NBC produced series ‘Providence’ in 2000. His initial contract for one episode was extended to 19. This enabled him to quit his job of waiting tables.
He made his film debut in Clint Eastwood’s space adventure film ‘Space Cowboys’ in 2000. Hamm’s character had only one line of dialogue in the whole film.
He subsequently obtained roles in the 2001 film, ‘Kissing Jessica Stein’ and the 2002 war drama movie titled ‘We Were Soldiers’.
From 2002 to 2004, he played the recurring role of inspector Nate Basso on the Lifetime network’s crime drama television series titled ‘The Division’. Thereafter, he acted in several minor television series roles. Some of these are ‘What About Brian’, ‘CSI: Miami’, ‘The Unit’, ‘Numb3rs’, ‘The Sarah Silverman Program’ and ‘Related’
His next movie role was in the sci-fi film ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ in 2008. The film was a remake of the original which was released in 1951.
On 25 October 2008, he hosted the episode 6 of season 34 of ‘Saturday Night Live’. He returned to host SNL twice again, once on 30 January 2010 and the next on 30 October 2010.
In 2009, Hamm obtained his first leading role in the indie mystery thriller movie ‘Stolen’. He played a policeman with a missing son in the movie.
He voiced the character of Brogan, an ogre leader in ‘Shrek Forever After’. The film was released in May 2010. Hamm also appeared alongside Ben Affleck, as an FBI agent in the film ‘The Town’ during the same year.
He then portrayed Jake Ehrlich the defense attorney of Allen Ginsberg in the independent film ‘Howl’, which was based on Allen Ginsberg’s 1956 poem of the same name.
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He featured in the action fantasy movie ‘Sucker Punch’, directed by Zach Snyder in 2011. He played the character of ‘High Roller’ in the film. Hamm then featured in another independent feature film called ‘Friends with Kites’ in 2011. The movie was produced by Hamm and his partner at-the-time, Jennifer Westfeldt.
In 2012, he played the recurring role of Blake Harrison, a servant of the sociopathic billionaire, Dave Mountford, in the sitcom ‘The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret’.
On 17 July 2013, Jon Hamm hosted the 21st ESPYS Awards. He also featured in ‘A Young Doctor’s Notebook’ as an older version of Daniel Radcliffe’s character in the play, from December 2012 to December 2013.
In the spring of 2015, he acted alongside Zach Galifianakis, Gal Gadot, and Isla Fischer in the comedy film ‘Keeping Up with the Joneses’. After being delayed for seven months, the film was finally released in October 2016.
Subsequently, Hamm has appeared in the sci-fi film ‘Marjorie Prime’. The film made its premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. He also acted in the comedy crime movie ‘Baby Driver; which premiered at the 2017 South by Southwest Film Festival.
He played Craig Norman, Zachary Quinto’s character’s brother in the American drama film titled ‘Aardvark’. The film was premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
He was picked to be a part of the television adaptation of ‘Good Omens’ by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The series is jointly produced by the BBC and Amazon.
In 2007, Hamm nabbed his breakthrough role as Don Draper, the suave, advertising executive in the AMC produced drama series ‘Mad Men’. He was selected from more than 80 candidates. The show debuted on 19 July 2007, garnering close to 1.4 million viewers. The show as well as Hamm developed a cult following in very short time. .
Hamm made several guest appearances as Drew Baird on the NBC produced sitcom ‘30 Rock’. His character is a doctor and the neighbor as well as love interest of Tina Fey’s character, Liz Lemon. For these performances, Hamm received three Primetime Emmy Award Nominations for ‘Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series’.
Hamm voiced the character of Herb Overkill in the 2015 animated comedy movie ‘Minions’. The film was a major box office success, grossing over $1 billion worldwide.
Personal Life & Legacy
Jon Hamm was in a relationship with Jennifer Westfeldt from 1997 to 2015. Jennifer is an actress and screenwriter.
He is a huge sports enthusiast. He plays golf and tennis, and is a devoted fan of the MLB team, the St. Louis Cardinals as well as the NHL team the St. Louis Blues, for whom he has even appeared in advertisements.