Christina Renée Hendricks (born May 3, 1975) is an American actress and former model. With an extensive career on screen and stage, she has received various accolades, including six Primetime Emmy Award nominations, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and two Critics' Choice Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She is probably best known for her role in the TV drama series Mad Men. In 2010, a poll of female readers taken by Esquire magazine named her "the sexiest woman in the world". She was also voted "Best Looking Woman in America".
|Born||May 3, 1975|
Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
(m. 2009; div. 2019)
Born to an American mother and English father in Knoxville, Tennessee, Hendricks was raised in Portland, Oregon, and Twin Falls, Idaho, where she became active in local theater. After completing high school in Virginia, she moved to New York City and pursued a career as a model following her entry into a Seventeen cover contest. She continued to work internationally as a model for over a decade before transitioning into acting.
Hendricks had recurring roles in several television series, including Beggars and Choosers (2001–2002) and Kevin Hill (2004–2005) before being cast as Joan Holloway on the AMC period drama series Mad Men in 2007, of which she remained a main cast member until the series' conclusion in 2015. She received critical acclaim for her role, including six Emmy Award nominations and multiple Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Ensemble. While on Mad Men, she also began appearing in films, receiving critical notice for her performance in Nicolas Winding Refn's thriller Drive (2011), Sally Potter's drama Ginger & Rosa (2012), and Ryan Gosling's neo-noir fantasy Lost River (2014).
Following the conclusion of Mad Men, Hendricks starred in the comedy series Another Period from 2015 to 2016, and in the SundanceTV drama series Hap and Leonard (2016). She reunited with Refn for a supporting role in his thriller film The Neon Demon (2016), followed by roles in the comedy Fist Fight (2017), the horror film The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018), and the animated comedy Toy Story 4 (2019). She returned to television with starring roles on the crime drama series Tin Star (2017–2020) and on the NBC comedy-crime series Good Girls (2018–2021).
Christina Renée Hendricks was born on May 3, 1975, in Knoxville, Tennessee, the second child of American mother Jackie Sue Hendricks (née Raymond), a psychologist, and English father Robert Hendricks, a Forest Service employee originally from Birmingham. Through her father, she has dual British and American citizenship. She has one older brother. Her family relocated frequently due to her father's Forest Service job—first to Georgia when she was two months old, then to Portland, Oregon, where she attended elementary school.
When Hendricks was nine years old, the family moved from Portland to Twin Falls, Idaho, where she completed elementary and middle school. She described her family as "outdoorsy", relating that they frequently went on camping trips in the Pacific Northwest. Her mother encouraged her and her brother to join a local theater group in Twin Falls to make friends, and Hendricks appeared in a production there of Grease. She recalled, "I had all these amazing friends through the theatre company. And it was a community that really respected theatre. The kids would put on a play and the entire town would show. And you were cool if you were an actor." A natural blonde, Hendricks began coloring her hair red at age 10, inspired by the book Anne of Green Gables.
When Hendricks was a teenager, her father's job required the family to move near Washington, D.C. They settled in Fairfax, Virginia. She described the move from Idaho to Virginia as "traumatic" for her, and she was frequently bullied while attending Fairfax High School. Hendricks described herself as an "outcast" and a "goth" and found companionship in the school's drama department, where she appeared in plays. In addition to theater, she studied ballet throughout her teen years. She left Fairfax High School in her senior year and completed her studies at a local community college.
1994–2006: Modeling career and early actingEdit
After high school, Hendricks worked as a receptionist and shampoo girl at a salon before entering a competition to appear on the cover of Seventeen magazine. This resulted in her signing with IMG Models, after which she moved to New York City at age 18, forgoing her pre-acceptance into Virginia Commonwealth University's drama school.
She began modeling in New York, London, and Japan between the ages of 18 and 27 before transitioning into commercials. She lived in London for around a year during this period, living with two friends who were teachers. In her early twenties, she moved with her mother and brother to Los Angeles, California. Initially, she pursued a career in the administrative sector of the music business, but was dissuaded by friends, and kept working as a model before auditioning for acting roles. She appeared in commercials for Carl's Jr. and Dr. Pepper, and starred in the music video for Everclear's "One Hit Wonder" (1997). She was the hand model in the poster for the film American Beauty.
She made her television debut in the MTV anthology series Undressed. Her first starring role was as an intern on Beggars and Choosers, a Showtime comedy series about a group of young professionals that was filmed in Vancouver and ran from 1999 to 2001. She also had a guest role on the series Angel in 2000. She subsequently appeared in the television film The Big Time (2002), and had recurring guest roles on ER (2002), The Court (2003), and Firefly (2002–2003).
2007–2015: Mad MenEdit
In perhaps her best-known role to date, Hendricks played office manager Joan Holloway on the AMC series Mad Men, set in the fictitious advertising agency of Sterling Cooper & Partners in 1960s New York City. Her character mentors the offices' women who must deal with callous and sexist treatment from male ad executives. Her performance received critical praise, and brought her six Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series over the show's seven seasons.
Also in 2007, Hendricks made her feature film debut in La Cucina, a drama film that premiered on Showtime in December 2009, starring Hendricks as a writer. That year, she also starred in the thriller film South of Pico, and appeared in four episodes of the NBC series Life (2007–2008) in the recurring role of Olivia, detective Charlie Crews' soon-to-be stepmother and Ted Earley's love interest.
She appeared in a supporting role in the action-thriller Drive (2011), directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. The following year, she was cast in a supporting role in Sally Potter's drama film Ginger & Rosa, playing the countercultural mother of a teenager growing up in the 1960s. In 2011, she appeared onstage in a production of Stephen Sondheim's Company at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She lent her voice and likeness in the 2011 racing video game Need for Speed: The Run, playing the role of Sam Harper.
In 2014, she played the lead character in Gosling's directorial debut Lost River, a fantasy film set in Detroit; it received mixed reviews. She starred in the novel adaptation Dark Places (2015). After the conclusion of Mad Men in 2015, she starred as a prostitute in two seasons of the Comedy Central series Another Period (2015–2016), set in the early 20th century.
2016–present: Good Girls and other rolesEdit
In 2016, she appeared as one of the leads in Refn's thriller film The Neon Demon, portraying a modeling agent. Critical response to the film was polarized, though the French film magazine Cahiers du cinéma named it the third-best film of 2016. The same year, she starred in six episodes of the series Hap and Leonard, playing the ex-wife of investigator Hap Collins.
In 2018, she appeared in home-invasion based horror film The Strangers: Prey at Night, playing the matriarch of a family under siege by killers. Upon release, the film received generally unfavorable reviews from critics, though The Guardian's Benjamin Lee praised Hendricks' performance. It was a commercial success, however, grossing $30 million.
In 2018, Hendricks returned to television in the Amazon Prime series The Romanoffs, reuniting with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. She was cast as one of the leads on the NBC comedy crime series Good Girls, playing a woman who attempts to gain financial control of her life by holding up a grocery store. The show was renewed for a fourth season in 2020. In late 2018, Hendricks starred opposite Sienna Miller in the drama American Woman, portraying a woman helping her sister raise her family in rural Pennsylvania. She also supplied the voice of Gabby Gabby, the main antivillain in the Disney/Pixar animated sequel Toy Story 4 (2019). In 2020, Hendricks voices Officer Jaffe in the Warner Bros. 2020' Scooby-Doo film Scoob!.
Hendricks has been credited as having an ideal shape for a woman by British Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone who praised Hendricks' hourglass figure, saying "Christina Hendricks is absolutely fabulous... We need more of these role models. There is such a sensation when there is a curvy role model. It shouldn't be so unusual." Los Angeles Times television critic Mary McNamara says her portrayal of Joan has revolutionized perceptions of beauty on television. She has been called the "new modern ideal of Hollywood glamour—full figured, voluptuous; a throwback to the days of Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell and Veronica Lake". British designer Vivienne Westwood selected Hendricks to represent her "Get A Life" Palladium jewelry collection in March 2011.
A study by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons attributed a 10% rise in 2010 of the number of British women receiving breast augmentation surgery in part to Hendricks' influence.
Hendricks has moved away from accepting the term "full-figured" and once lambasted a reporter who used the term while interviewing her. Hendricks commented in September 2010 that the media is 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."
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