PA­TRI­CIA SHERI­DAN

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

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.

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