What Happened to Jon Hamm’s Voice?

Actors often face a lot of obstacles when following their dreams. From breaking into the scene to landing highly-coveted roles, and having to deal with being in the public eye, there is a lot that comes with the gig. So many well-known celebrities have won over fans and viewers with their talents, triumphant stories, dedication, and, of course, performances. Many people know and love Jon Hamm for his memorable role in AMC’s Mad Men, but his journey began long before that. Take a look back at where it all began for Hamm and why so many people are wondering about his voice. 

Jon Hamm smiling in a tuxedo
Jon Hamm | Jerod Harris/Getty Images

Jon Hamm’s childhood and upbringing

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As Biography has shared, in March 1971 Hamm officially entered the world. Though the actor traditionally goes by his nickname, some people might be surprised to learn that Jonathan Hamm is the actor’s full name. Hamm’s parents divorced when he was just a toddler, and as a result, he spent the majority of his time with his mother. This seemed to be a very positive influence on Hamm, and in interviews, he often recounts his mother’s enthusiasm for learning. Consequently, Hamm found himself enrolled in violin classes, exploring creative writing, and picking up new sports. Unfortunately, Hamm’s mom was diagnosed with colon cancer and died when Hamm was just 10 years old. 

Following his mother’s death, Hamm had to move in with his father and grandmother. As many can imagine, Hamm has shared that it wasn’t always easy. However, fortunately, he was able to find outlets in school and through football. When the time came for college, Hamm decided to attend the University of Texas. Sadly, Hamm was forced to face more tragedy when his grandmother and father both died by the end of his sophomore year. What was clearly a hard time for Hamm led him to take some time off. 

Jon Hamm was once a high school drama teacher

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After grieving the loss of his family members, Hamm eventually decided to return to his studies at the University of Missouri. Around this time Hamm began working at a local daycare as means of supporting himself. After successfully earning an English degree in 1993, Hamm returned to his high school as the new drama teacher. During this time he actually taught Ellie Kemper. His passion for the arts and acting was clearly a present force in Hamm’s life. However, his teaching stint came to an end in 1995 when Hamm decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams of acting. 

Jon Hamm’s journey to fame 

Hamm has always been very open and honest about his struggles to find work when he first arrived in LA. His first on-screen appearance came in 1997 on the popular television series Ally McBeal. Hamm spent the early 2000s getting cast on a variety of productions. Gilmore Girls, Charmed, and CSI: Miami are just a few of the well-known series the actor was featured in. 

Hamm had also managed to land recurring roles on shows such as On Providence and The Division, and just a few years later he would land the role that would arguably define his career. In 2007 Hamm began captivating viewers with his work as Don Draper on Mad Men. Though the series has since come to an end, Hamm’s drive and ambition have not. However, once upon a time, many people were extremely concerned for Hamm’s health and, oddly, his voice. 

What happened to Jon Hamm’s voice? 

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In 2013 Hamm appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to clear up a bit of a pressing press issue. As Today has shared, when Hamm discovered he had a polyp on his vocal cord he began making arrangements to have surgery. This led to misleading and dramatic headlines indicating that Hamm was coughing up blood and even at the risk of dying. The actor explained to Hamm that the surgery was very routine, and he was in fact not dying. 

Even though it happened many years ago, apparently, many people are still concerned about the state of Hamm’s vocal cords and voice. This came to light when Hamm and David Tennant completed the Wired Autocomplete Interview. Hamm, once and for all set the record straight on the status of his vocal cords. In short, the surgery has had no effect on his voice, and as Hamm explained, it is “perfect.”