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‘Mad Men’ Cast Then and Now: Where Are They Today?

Seamlessly mixing the professional and personal lives of those who work in advertising on Madison Avenue, the “Mad men” of the 1960s are revealed in this award-winning series with its celebrated Mad Men cast.

The term “Mad men” was coined in the 1950s by advertisers working on Madison Avenue, “Mad” being short for “Madison,” and the series centers around a boutique avenue firm, Sterling Cooper, and its various incarnations over the decade. While the drama ran from July 2007 to May 2015, the series itself is set during the period of March 1960 to November 1970.

Mad Men Cast: Vincent Kartheiser, Elisabeth Moss, Jon Hamm and January Jones, 2007
Vincent Kartheiser, Elisabeth Moss, Jon Hamm and January Jones, 2007Getty

All 92 episodes were helmed by executive producer and creator Matthew Weiner, who was lucky enough to receive a fan letter from none other than Barack Obama telling him how much he enjoyed the show. Weiner kept the letter in a frame on the wall outside of his office.

At the center of the series is Donald Draper, the creative genius of the company, portrayed by Jon Hamm, lead of the Mad Men cast.

His professional, creative brilliance combined with his troubled childhood and vices of his life make Don Draper who he is as an adult, and contribute to his ability to sell products — and himself — to people in the outside world.

Mad Men cast: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones and John Slattery, 2007
Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones and John Slattery, 2007Getty

The series follows the people in Draper’s orbit, most notably Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), who began working at Sterling Cooper & Partners, as the firm is later called, as Don’s secretary. The series garnered widespread critical acclaim and won many awards, including 16 Emmys and 5 Golden Globes.

According to Jon Hamm, the production’s pursuit of accuracy was such that series researchers would insist on knowing weather conditions, news items and popular culture for a particular period related to the script’s time frame.

Take a look at the Mad Men cast — the people who brought this iconic series to life.

Mad Men cast then and now

Jon Hamm as Don Draper

Mad Men Cast: Jon Hamm in 2007 and 2023
2007 / 2023Getty

Born Jonathan Daniel Hamm on March 10, 1971 in St. Louis, Missouri, Hamm made his acting debut in first grade as Winnie-the-Pooh. And it was at age 16 that he was cast as Judas in Godspell and while he loved the experience, he didn’t yet take acting seriously.

Athletics took center stage — football, baseball and swim teams — but while attending the University of Missouri, Hamm answered an ad from a local theater company seeking players for a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for which he was immediately cast.

Jon Hamm, 2003
Jon Hamm, 2003Getty

Other roles followed, but it was Don Draper’s Mad Men that put Hamm into the acting stratosphere. He won numerous accolades, including an Emmy and two Golden Globes. He was the only actor to appear in every episode.

On the big screen, Hamm had leading roles in Stolen, Million Dollar Arm and Confess, Fletch, as well as supporting roles in Baby Driver, Richard Jewell and Top Gun: Maverick to name a few.

He also voiced roles in Shrek Forever After and Minions, along with voiceovers in commercials such as Mercedes Benz and American Airlines.

Mad Men Cast: Jon Hamm, 2024
Jon Hamm, 2024Getty

Appearances in various TV shows such as Good Omens, Legion and Fargo, along with Emmy nominations for his roles in 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, followed his Mad Men run. He also acted in Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Morning Show, along with hosting SNL three times.

Due to Draper’s image, he was deemed an international sex symbol and was one of People magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive in 2008 and 2010.

Hamm was asked on NPR what he thought happened to Draper after the end of the final episode. His response: “I think he got up after he meditated, and he got in a car and on a plane the next day to New York City and came back and pitched an idea. I think Don’s revelatory moment was that he’s an ad man. I always rooted for Don. He was a very damaged soul, and I just think he needed a lot more help with accessing that part of him.”

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson

Mad Men Cast: Elisabeth Moss in 2007 and 2022
2007 / 2022Getty

Despite being so well known for portraying secretary-turned-copywriter Peggy Olson on Mad Men, The Handmaid’s Tale and films such as The Invisible Man, acting, ironically, was not on Moss’ horizon initially.

Born July 24, 1982 in Los Angeles, she had aspirations of becoming a professional dancer early on and traveled from Los Angeles to New York City to study ballet at the School of American Ballet. She continued to study dance all through her teen years, but started to audition at the same time and was cast in acting roles as well.

Elisabeth Moss, 2001
Elisabeth Moss, 2001Getty

Her first screen appearance was in the 90s miniseries Lucky Chances, yet she remained an unknown until 1999 when she first gained public recognition for playing the youngest daughter of President Josiah Bartlet in The West Wing.

In 2007, Moss began her Mad Men stint and during a Mad Men hiatus she filmed a BBC miniseries, Top of the Lake, portraying Detective Robin Griffin, and subsequently won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries.

Elisabeth Moss, 2019
Elisabeth Moss, 2019Getty

For producing and starring as June Osborne in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, she won the Emmy among other awards. Besides big screen ventures in films such as Girl, Interrupted and The Square, Moss also took to the stage and performed on Broadway in Speed the Plow and The Heidi Chronicles.

In 2019, she co-starred with Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish in The Kitchen, and last year appeared in Next Goal Wins. Yet perhaps the best award of all is when Moss confirmed in January 2024 that she was pregnant with her first child. Congrats!

Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell

Mad Men Cast: Vincent Kartheiser in 2009 and 2019
2009 / 2019 Getty

Kartheiser received six Screen Actors Guild nominations for his portrayal of Pete Campbell in Mad Men. Born May 5, 1979 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Vincent Kartheiser, named after Vincent van Gogh, became an international sensation as the spitfire advertising exec on Mad Men, but he got his start as the romantic Mr. Darcy in his hometown production of Pride and Prejudice.

He continued acting throughout his teen years, beginning with Untamed Heart (1993) alongside Marisa Tomei. He continuously added to his resume with Little Big League, Iron Will, Alaska, Another Day in Paradise and Alpha Dog among others. During his Mad Men hiatus, Kartheiser filmed the indie Beach Pillows (2014).

Vincent Kartheiser, 2008
Vincent Kartheiser, 2008Getty

Prior to his breakout Mad Men role, Kartheiser starred on TV’s Angel and guest starred in numerous other series including ER, The Cleveland Show and HBO’s Titans.

January Jones as Betty Draper

Mad Men Cast: January Jones in 2008 and 2021
2008 / 2021Getty

Betty is a sweet yet sullen woman, but it’s the role that made January Jones an icon of glamour. Born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on January 5, 1978, January Kristen Jones began her career in front of an audience as a model at the age of 18.

Several fashion magazine covers came in quick succession, but Jones often said that modeling was not her passion and she never took it seriously. It was acting that became her desire with supporting roles in Anger Management and Love Actually.

January Jones, 2000
January Jones, 2000Getty

In 2005, she appeared in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones, saying it was one of the most creative experiences of her career. Meatier roles in feature films came her way, along with the notoriety of Betty Draper.

She is really searching for something, but doesn’t know herself well enough to know what might make her happy,” Jones explained of her suburban housewife and mother character in a 2013 interview with The New York Times. “She is a little girl; an orphan and has a childlike emotional response to things.”

Pirate Radio, American Wedding and other feature films came her way. In 2011, Jones starred in two thrillers — Unknown and later that year, Seeking Justice.

January Jones, 2019
January Jones, 2019Getty

Back on TV in Fox’s The Last Man on Earth, Jones has garnered a new fan base. She even hosted SNL back in 2009.

While some consider Jones a polarizing figure on screen, she remains a sex symbol to many, being ranked No. 82 on Maxim‘s Hot 100 Women and appearing on the cover of The Hot Issue of British GQ magazine. Her frosty image that belies a personal shyness has done January Jones very well.

Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris in the Mad Men cast

Christina Hendricks in 2007 and 2019
2007 / 2019 Getty

Hendricks might be best known as Joan Harris on Mad Men, but the former model has an extensive career on screen and stage, receiving many accolades, including 2 SAG awards, 2 Critics’ Choice Awards and 6 Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

Born Christina Rene Hendricks on May 3, 1975 in Knoxville, Tennessee, Christina was raised in Portland, Oregon and Twin Falls, Idaho, where she became active in local theater. After high school graduation, Hendricks left home at age 17 and moved to New York City to follow her dreams after winning a modeling competition with Seventeen magazine.

Christina Hendricks, 2001
Christina Hendricks, 2001Getty

For over a decade, Hendricks continued to work as an international model, but carved out a successful career as an actress by appearing on TV with her first starring role in Showtime’s Beggars and Choosers in 2000 and, after a guest appearance on Tru Calling, she was cast in the legal drama Kevin Hill in 2004 before rising to international fame on Mad Men.

Hendricks took her role seriously, but commented that the media was too focused on women’s bodies and not their actual talents. “I was working my butt off on Mad Men and then all anyone was talking about was my body,” she said in a 2010 interview with New York Magazine. But playing Joan opened up new doors for Hendricks, who was cast aside for many roles previously due to having a woman’s full figure.

When Mad Men closed their Madison Avenue doors, Hendricks had roles in various feature films, including Fist Fight; and voiced Gabby Gabby in Toy Story 4 before returning to TV in the comedy-crime series Good Girls.

John Slattery as Roger Sterling in the Mad Men cast

John Slattery in 2008 and 2019
2008 / 2019Getty

With his shock of silver hair, the Boston native — born on August 13, 1962 — Slattery was an established actor way before his role in the advertising firm on Mad Men, but he found greater fame once he became Roger Sterling, for which he was nominated 4 times for an Emmy and won 2 Critics’ Choice TV Awards as well as 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Slattery landed his first TV gig on the 1988 series The Dirty Dozen and has worked non-stop since. Short-lived series included Homefront and Feds, while there were mini-series such as From the Earth to the Moon, where he played Senator Walter Mondale; and A Woman of Independent Means.

John Slattery, 2002
John Slattery, 2002Getty

With recurring roles on Will & Grace, Judging Amy and Sex and the City, Slattery has become one of the most in-demand character actors over the past several decades. In 2007, he began a series of appearances on Desperate Housewives until his character’s death.

Making his feature film debut with a small role in 1996’s City Hall, he then appeared in movies such as Eraser, Traffic and Bad Company. Aside from his work on the big and small screens, Slattery has had a long, successful career in theater, making his stage debut in 1989’s The Lisbon Traviata, and appearing in The Extra Man and Three Days of Rain, for which he earned critical praise for his dual roles of father and son.

John Slattery, 2020
John Slattery, 2020Getty

His Broadway debut was in Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor. It was 2013 when Slattery made the shift to behind the camera and directed his first feature film, God’s Pocket, which he also co-wrote. And for all of his non-stop acting, writing and directing, Slattery has still made time for his love of surfing.


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