Childhood & Early Life
Kiernan Brennan Shipka was born on November 10, 1999, in Chicago, Illinois, to John Young Shipka and Erin Ann. Her father is a real-estate developer. She has a sister. Her father is of Bohemian, Czech, German, and English descent. Her mother is of Italian and Irish descent.
Shipka started attending ballroom dance classes from the age of 5. She plays the piano and is an expert in martial arts, too. When Shipka was 6 years old, her parents moved to Los Angeles in order to support her acting career. As Shipka stepped into the field of acting at a young age, she was not able to attend regular schools. She joined the ‘Laurel Springs School’ for online studies. She completed her high school through online classes.
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Kiernan Shipka made her debut on screen when she was 5 months old. She appeared in the medical drama series ‘ER.’ As a baby, Shipka did commercial-print modeling. In 2006, Shipka made her acting debut with an episode of the detective series ‘Monk.’ The same year, she appeared in the TV movie ‘The Angriest Man in Suburbia.’
In 2007, Shipka appeared in a small role in the TV series ‘Cory in the House.’ She was seen in one-episode roles in series such as ‘MADtv’ and ‘Heroes.’ The same year, she performed as ‘Molly’ in the movie ‘Dimension.’ From 2007 to 2009, Shipka was seen in several episodes of the late-night talk show ‘Jimmy Kennel Live!’
In 2007, Kiernan Shipka bagged the role that turned out to be an important milestone in her acting career. She was chosen to portray ‘Sally Draper’ in the TV series ‘Mad Men.’ It was a period drama set in the 1960s. It was aired on the ‘AMC’ network. The series focused on a fictional advertising agency and the personal lives of its employees. ‘Sally Draper’ was the daughter of two major characters of the series. She had a recurring presence in the first three seasons of the show. She became a regular presence from the fourth season. ‘Sally’ had a troubled childhood, as she had to witness her parents’ divorce. She had strained relations with her mother. Shipka performed her part brilliantly. In 2008 and 2009, Shipka won the ‘Screen Actors Guild Award’ for ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.’
In 2009, Shipka performed as ‘Jodie’ in the horror movie ‘Carriers.’ The film was about a group of people trying to survive a viral pandemic. Her character, ‘Jodie,’ was a member of the group infected by the disease. In 2010, Shipka performed in short films such as ‘The Ryan and Randy Show’ and ‘Squeaky Clean.’
In 2012, Shipka performed as herself in the series ‘Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.’ In 2013, she performed as ‘Eleanor’ in the movie ‘Very Good Girls.’ Shipka has performed as a voice actor, too. From 2012 to 2014, she lent her voice to ‘Jinora’ in the animated series ‘The Legend of Korra.’ Her character was one of the lead characters of the series.
In 2013, Shipka lent her voice to ‘Oona’ in three episodes of the animated series ‘Sofia the First.’ In 2014, she performed as a voice actor in the English-dubbed version of the Japanese anime drama movie ‘When Marnie Was There.’ She lent her voice to the titular character, ‘Marnie.’
In 2014, Shipka played ‘Cathy Dollanganger,’ one of the lead roles, in the TV movie ‘Flowers in the Attic.’ In 2015, she played ‘Kat,’ a prominent character, in the supernatural horror ‘The Blackcoat’s Daughter.’
In 2017, Shipka appeared as ‘B.D. Merrill’ in the American anthology series ‘Feud.’ It was a recurring role, and she appeared in five episodes of the series. The same year, Shipka performed as a voice actor in animated series such as ‘American Dad!,’ ‘Family Guy,’ and ‘Neo Yokio.’
In 2018, Shipka earned another prominent role of her career. She was chosen to play ‘Sabrina Spellman,’ the protagonist, in the supernatural horror series ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.’ The series features her as a character who is half-human and half-witch. It is available on ‘Netflix.’ In 2019, Shipka played ‘Ally Andrews,’ the lead role in the horror movie ‘The Silence.’ As the character was deaf, Shipka learned sign language for the movie.