At the age of 36, Jon Hamm’s life changed drastically when he landed the role of ad exec Don Draper on Mad Men.
But what many fans don’t know about the now 43-year-old, is that he was an orphan at the age of 20.
“I’ve survived a lot in my life,” the handsome actor shares. “I’ve had a lot of close calls with a lot of stuff. I think someone’s watching out for me.”
Born in St. Louis to parents Deborah and Daniel, the star lost his mom to colon cancer when he was only 10-years-old. After her death, he and his father moved in with his grandmother, though he admits things were never the same.
Jon reveals some of the inspiration for his character Don comes from his father. “He wasn’t anywhere near as dramatically horrible as Don, but he was a successful businessman and a pretty sad guy,” the Golden Globe-winner remembers.
When he lost his father at age 20, Jon admits it was difficult, but reckons, “Everyone’s got a sad story. I’ve had two good decades and two bad ones. No one was raised in Happyland. It doesn’t exist.”
Of his time on Mad Men, Jon shares, “It’s a rarefied experience to have worked on a show that’s been this celebrated,” especially considering he used to be a self-proclaimed “nerdy kid” from the Midwest.
But Jon confirms to People magazine he’s “a pretty happy guy” now that he has career success and a long-time girlfriend, who he’s still hesitant to talk about.
“It’s weird. It’s like, ‘Don’t you have stuff to do?’” the Million Dollar Arm star asks about the fascination surrounding his love life. “A big part of our culture is worrying about other people.”
And while he doesn’t feel pressured to marry girlfriend of 16 years, Jennifer Westfeldt, he’s not ruling anything out. “I’m a big believer in letting things happen,” he says.
So what about fatherhood? “I like other people’s kids,” laughs the uncle of 5 nieces and nephews.