Jonathan Daniel Hamm is an American actor, best known for playing advertising executive Don Draper in the AMC television drama series Mad Men. For much of the mid-1990s, he lived in Los Angeles, making appearances in television series Providence, The Division, What About Brian and Related. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about Jon Hamm.
1. Hamm was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Deborah and Daniel Hamm.
2. His father managed a family trucking company, and his mother was a secretary.
3. He is of German, English, and Irish descent; his surname came from German immigrants.
4. Hamm’s parents divorced when he was two years old, and he lived in St. Louis County in Creve Coeur with his mother until her death from colon cancer, when he was 10 years old.
5. Hamm then lived with his father in Clayton, Missouri, the county seat.
6. His first acting role was as Winnie-the-Pooh in first grade.
7. At 16, he was cast as Judas in the play Godspell, and enjoyed the experience, though he did not take acting seriously.
8. He attended John Burroughs School, a private school in Ladue, where he was a member of the football, baseball, and swim teams.
9. During this time, he dated Sarah Clarke, who became an actress.
10. When Hamm was 20, his father died.
11. After graduation in 1989 Hamm enrolled in the University of Texas, where he was a member of the Upsilon chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity.
12. There, Hamm was arrested for participating in a violent hazing incident in November 1990.
13. Mark Sanders was beaten with a paddle and a broom by other fraternity members, while Hamm led Sanders around the fraternity house with a hammer claw around Sanders’ testicles; Sanders’ clothes were also set afire. The incident resulted in the fraternity being shut down on campus. Hamm made a plea deal and completed probation under the terms of a deferred adjudication; the charges were dismissed during August 1995.
14. Hamm enrolled at the University of Missouri.
15. At Missouri he answered an advertisement from a theater company seeking players for a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, auditioned, and was cast in the production.
16. After graduating in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Hamm returned to his high school to teach eighth-grade acting.
17. One of his students was Ellie Kemper, who later became an actress and stars with him in the Netflix original television series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
18. Not wishing to stay in a “normal career”, Hamm relocated to Los Angeles permanently during 1995 with an automobile and $150.
19. He relocated to a house with four other aspiring actors and began working as a waiter while attending auditions.
20. He acted in theater, including as Flavius in a production of Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens with the Sacred Fools Theater Company.
21. Looking older than his age, finding work as an actor was difficult, despite representation by the William Morris Agency.
22. During 1998, having failed to obtain any acting jobs after three years, he was terminated as a client by William Morris.
23. Hamm continued working as a waiter and, briefly, as a set designer for a softcore pornography movie. After repeatedly failing to get promising roles, Hamm set his 30th birthday as a deadline to succeed in Hollywood.
24. During 2000, Hamm obtained the role of romantic firefighter Burt Ridley on NBC’s drama series Providence. His one-episode contract grew to 19, and enabled him to quit waiting tables.
25. Hamm was in a relationship with actress and screenwriter Jennifer Westfeldt from 1997 to 2015.
26. During April 2009, Hamm and Westfeldt formed their own production company, Points West Pictures.
27. Hamm and Westfeldt are advocates of animal rescue and have adopted a mixed breed dog named Cora from the Much Love Animal Shelter in California.
28. Although his role as Don Draper required Hamm to smoke, he stopped smoking when he was 24 years old. On set he did not smoke actual cigarettes, but rather herbal cigarettes that do not contain tobacco or nicotine.
29. During March 2015, Hamm’s representative confirmed that Hamm had recently completed inpatient treatment for alcoholism. Additionally, Hamm reported developing vitiligo during the filming of Mad Men.
30. During March 2010, Mercedes-Benz hired Hamm (replacing actor Richard Thomas) as their new voice actor for the S400 Hybrid campaign.