FROM high school teacher to waiter to award-winning actor, Jon Hamm has earned his way into the spotlight.
He helped to make Mad Men a must-watch series as the dapper mid-century modern Don Draper.
He’s also shown audiences he can do serious and silly with equal aplomb, having been featured on 30 Rock playing the boyfriend of Tina Fey’s character and hosting Saturday Night Live.
The 41-year-old is just getting started. He stars in the film Friends With Kids, written and directed by Jennifer Westfeldt, his girlfriend of 15 years.
But life wasn’t always so charmed. He was young when his parents divorced. He lived with his mother until she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She died when he was 10. He moved in with his father, who died 10 years later.
Hamm struggles for a response when asked how the loss of his parents tempered him.
‘‘ It’s hard to say because there is nothing in my world to compare it to,’’ he says.
‘‘ When people hear about it they think, ‘ Oh my God, that’s so sad’, and it is in many ways. I wish I could share this success with my mother and father. I’d be happy to have them around to see it and to be proud.