AMC’s Mad Men is one of the most beloved shows of the 21st century and many of the cast have gone on to big things since the show ended. Running for seven seasons from 2007 through 2015, the stylized drama has won 16 Primetime Emmys, over 100 other awards, and earned over 400 award nominations. Mad Men was an incredible hit and made many of its stars, like Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, and Alison Brie, household names.
Beginning in 1960, Man Men focuses on advertising executive Don Draper’s personal and professional life. Mad Men season 1 sees a successful Draper married to Betty and living a picturesque life in the suburbs under a false identity. Over the course of the show’s seven seasons, Don and Betty’s relationship ends, and both move on to other partners (in Don’s case, many partners). Don’s professional life also fractures after he and several of his associates break away from Sterling Cooper to create a new firm. Though Don seems to find happiness after marrying his secretary, Megan, Mad Men season 7 finds him alone again and he suffers a mental breakdown. In the ambiguous Mad Men series finale, Don Draper winds up at a California retreat with viewers left to wonder if he’s had an emotional breakthrough, or just thought up a legendary ad campaign.
Mad Men is not only the story of Don Draper, however. While Don’s efforts to create an ever-bigger mess of his life take center stage, Mad Men is the story of a successful ad agency full of incredibly nuanced and diverse characters and their lives as well. Here is a breakdown of the characters and what the cast has done since their success on Mad Men.
Jon Hamm as Don Draper
Jon Hamm was nominated for Outstanding Best Actor in a Drama Series for every season of Mad Men and won the Emmy in 2015. While his portrayal of Don Draper is still what he is best known for, he has since starred in The Town with Ben Affleck and Hawkeye’s Jeremy Renner, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Baby Driver. He will also be in the upcoming (and long-awaited) Top Gun sequel, Maverick.
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson
Elisabeth Moss has seen huge success since her role as Peggy Olson on Mad Men. Her character is one of the show’s leading feminists, beginning in a secretarial role and moving up the ladder to ad executive. Moss has also played Robin Griffin in Top of the Lake and her film credits include The Invisible Man and Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch. Moss is perhaps best known, however, for her thought-provoking and award-winning role as June Osborne in The Handmaid’s Tale.
January Jones as Betty Draper (Francis)
January Jones plays the unhappy wife of Don Draper, Betty. Ex-model turned housewife, Betty is cheated on and set aside by Don, before meeting and falling in love with Henry Francis. After her start on Mad Men, Jones went on to play Emma Frost from X-Men First Class.
Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell
Vincent Kartheiser’s Pete Campbell begins on Mad Men as a smarmy character, sucking up to Don and hitting on Peggy in the grossest ways. By the end of the series, however, Campbell winds up making some good choices and turning it around. Kartheiser currently plays Scarecrow on HBO’s Titans and previously appeared in The OA.
Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway (Harris)
A Mad Men cast favorite, Christina Hendricks plays Mad Men’s voluptuous head secretary, Joan Harris, who craftily wields great power in the agency’s male-centric atmosphere. To fans’ great delight, Joan ends the series on top, finally acting as her own boss. Hendricks has seen success since Mad Men, starring in 2016’s Neon Demon, 2018’s American Woman, and 2021’s Good Girls TV show.
Aaron Staton as Ken Cosgrove
Aaron Staton acted in 7th Heaven, The Nanny Diaries, and August Rush before his role in the Mad Men cast as young executive Ken Cosgrove. Cosgrove inspires jealousy in the office for his successful writing career and is eventually fired from the firm, leading him to take over the family business, Dow Chemicals. Following Mad Men, Staton went on to have memorable roles on Ray Donovan (as Mr. Donellen), Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce (as JD), Narcos (as Butch Sears), and Stephen King’s Castle Rock (Reverend Appleton).
Rich Sommer as Harry Crane
Mad Men cast member Harry Crane is one of the young ad executives in the beginning and becomes head of the television department at Sterling Cooper & Partners. Following his portrayal of Harry Crane, Sommer went on to roles in Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Grey’s Anatomy, Masters of Sex, Elementary, and GLOW (with another Mad Men cast alumni, Alison Brie). Sommer will also be starring with fellow Mad Men alum Kiernan Shipka in the upcoming The White House Plumbers.
John Slattery as Roger Sterling
John Slattery is a well-known actor and portrays agency head Roger Sterling in Mad Men. Before Mad Men, Slattery was best known for his roles in Jack & Bobby (with Mad Men cast co-star Jessica Paré), Flags of Our Fathers, Reservation Road, and Desperate Housewives. Slattery’s most famous role is likely his portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man’s father, Howard Stark, in Iron Man 2, a role he reprised for other MCU blockbusters including Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Endgame.
Kiernan Shipka as Sally Draper
Playing Sally Draper, the eldest child and daughter of Don and Betty, Kiernan Shipka’s role sees Sally grow and change despite her parent’s lack of parenting. Shipka most recently played Sabrina Spellman in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and will be seen in the upcoming The White House Plumbers with Mad Men cast member Rich Sommer and Swimming with Sharks with veteran actor Donald Sutherland.
Robert Morse as Bertram Cooper
The bowtie-wearing, shoe-shunning co-founder of Sterling Cooper, Bertram Cooper, is played by Robert Morse. Cooper is the resident eccentric and one of the few to know Don Draper’s real identity (made known by Pete Campbell) from early on in the show. Morse has recently been seen as Dominick Dunne in American Crime Story.
Michael Gladis as Paul Kinsey
One of the young executives at Sterling Cooper, Paul Kinsey sets himself apart by dating Sheila White despite it being socially taboo at the time and is eventually passed over as a new member of Sterling Cooper Draper and Pryce. Kinsey is played by Michael Gladis, who played Charlton Townsend on Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. He has also played smaller roles in Elementary, Lucifer, Criminal Minds, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Bryan Batt as Salvatore “Sal” Romano
Bryan Batt plays Mad Men’s closeted gay character, Salvatore “Sal” Romano. Unhappy and unfulfilled in his heterosexual marriage to Kitty, Sal harbors a crush on Ken Cosgrove and is eventually fired from Sterling Cooper when he refuses a big client’s advances. Batt has since played Judge Turner in 12 Years a Slave, Mayor Quinn Maddox in Scream: The TV Series, and had roles in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Blacklist.
Alison Brie as Trudy Campell
Playing Trudy, the wife of Pete Campbell, Alison Brie also played Annie Edison on Community while filming Mad Men. In 2017, Brie starred in the Emmy-award-winning Netflix series GLOW. She then went on to play Madison in Promising Young Woman with Carey Mulligan.
Jared Harris as Lane Pryce
Jared Harris plays Mad Men’s Lane Pryce, financial officer at Sterling Cooper and eventual partner in the later-established Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Harris is a well-known actor with a slew of well-known roles like Professor James Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (a role he will reprise in the upcoming Sherlock Holmes 3), Ulysses S. Grant in Lincoln, and Hodge in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. He has been seen most recently as King George VI in The Crown, Valery Legasov in Chernobyl, and will be in the upcoming Morbius with Jared Leto.
Mad Men Supporting Cast
Henry Francis, Betty’s second husband, is played by Christopher Stanely who went on to roles in Waco, Narcos: Mexico, and American Horror Story. The Conners’ Jay R. Ferguson plays Stan Rizzo, the Art Director at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Don’s secretary turned second wife, Megan was played by Brooklyn’s Jessica Paré. Joan’s ex-husband, Greg Harris, is played by Sam Page from Netflix’s Brazen.
Mad Men’s Guest Stars
The Mad Men cast also hosted several big-name guest stars including legendary actress Julia Ormond, Grey’s Anatomy’s Sarah Drew, and Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel. Anna Camp from True Blood and Pitch Perfect plays one of Don’s love interests, as does Linda Cardellini (most recently seen in Hawkeye but known for her roles on Freaks and Geeks and Bloodline). Fargo actor Colin Hanks and HBO’s Girls actress Zosia Mamet also make appearances on Mad Men along with Scream queen Neve Campbell.
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