Biographic by Steve McGarry for May 25, 2014
Biographic Steve McGarry Jon Hamm Born Jonathan Daniel Hamm in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 10, 1971, Jon Hamm lost his mother to cancer when he was 10 and was subsequently raised by his father who died when Jon was 20. After graduating form the University of Missouri with a B.A. in English, Jon was a high school teacher before moving to Los Angeles, with just his car and $150, to try his luck at acting. He worked as a waiter while struggling to make any headway in acting until he finally got is first break, when he was cast as firefighter Burt Ridley on the NBC drama "Providence' in 2000. He made his feature debut with a small role in the Clint Eastwood movie "Space Cowboys" and followed up with roles on numerous TV shows, including "CSI: Miami," "Charmed" and "Numb3rs." His major breakthrough came in 2007 when he beat out 80 other actors to land the lead role of Don Draper on the cable series "Mad Men." The show became an instant hit, bringing Jon worldwide fame and a wave of awards recognition. In 2008, he starred in the hit movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still." The following year, he debuted as Dr. Drew Baird, Liz Lemon's love interest on Tina Fey's "30 Rock" sitcom, a role that earned him multiple Emmy nominations. His subsequent movie work has ranged from the animated "Shrek Forever After," to the hit comedy "Bridesmaids" and his latest outing, the sports drama "Million Dollar Arm." This summer, his voice talent will be featured in "Minion," the latest spinoff from the hugely successful "Despicable Me" movies.