5 January 1978, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA
January Kristen Jones
5' 6" (1.68 m)
January Jones was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but was raised in a small town of some 400 souls in the Mount Rushmore State for the first decade of her life. January is her real name, as she was named after "January Wayne", a character in Jacqueline Susann's potboiler Once Is Not Enough (1975). She worked at the All-American job of counter girl at Dairy Queen after school.
Her father was a teacher, and the family eventually moved back to Sioux Falls, the largest city in South Dakota. After graduating from Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls, she moved to New York City to become a model. Despite her lack of height (5'6", which is short for a fashion model), she got modeling gigs, including Abercrombie & Fitch ads, because of her striking good looks. However, modeling was just a means to an end, to get out of South Dakota and avoid going to college.
She got her first taste of acting from TV commercials and found that she had flair for it, even though she did not act in high school and had no training. January appeared in a couple of TV pilots and a cable TV show before making her big screen debut in All the Rage (1999), an indie that never got a real release. She followed it up with a small role in the teen thriller The Glass House (2001).
Her actual debut in the sense of attracting attention was in the near silent role of the beauty who entices Jane Fonda's son, Troy Garity, in the Bruce Willis-Cate Blanchett-Billy Bob Thornton comedy Bandits (2001). It was not a career-making part. At the time the movie was released, she was ending a three-year relationship with Ashton Kutcher.
Small roles followed, including a "don't blink or you won't see me" part in the Adam Sandler-Jack Nicholson comedy Anger Management (2003). She gained some career traction with a good role in another comedy, American Wedding (2003), a sequel to American Pie (1999). Until she landed the part on "Mad Men" (2007), which made its debut on AMC in 2007, her career was steady but undistinguished.
"I choose roles that are not me", January has said. The role of Betty Draper has garnered her two Golden Globe nominations and an Emmy nomination as Best Actress. Her cool, Grace Kelly-ish blonde ice queen looks -- counterpointed by her soul burning in her bright blue eyes -- have established her as a retro icon of the 21st Century.
Long Blonde Hair
Makes her own Jewelry.
Became a model at the age of 18, leaving her South Dakota home for a life in New York City.
Honorary Official at the Oct. 4, 2009 Sprint Cup Price Chopper 400 at the Kansas Speedway.
Sister of Jina Jones and Jacey Jones.
Was in a relationship with Jason Sudeikis (July 2010-January 2011).
Originally auditioned for Peggy Olson in "Mad Men" (2007), a role that eventually went to Elisabeth Moss.
Voted #12 on the 2011 Maxim list "Hot 100" women.
Voted #29 "most desirable" woman in the 2011 Ask Men "top 99 most desirable women" list. In the previous year she ranked #18.
Ranked #16 Sexiest Woman in the world by the Spanish version of DT magazine.
Ranked as having one of the most "beautiful famous faces" by "The Annual Independent Critics List of the 100 Most Beautiful Famous Faces From Around the World." She was ranked #17 in 2010 and #42 in 2009.
Practiced yoga during her pregnancy.
Gave birth to her first child at age 33, a son Xander Dane Jones on September 13, 2011 at St. John's Medical Center in Santa Monica, California. Child's father is unknown.
Was 8 months pregnant with her son Xander when she took maternity leave from filming the fifth series of "Mad Men" (2007).
Returned to work 1 month after giving birth to her son Xander to resume filming the fifth series of "Mad Men" (2007).
Why not show off if you've got something to show?
I was in lingerie on a trampoline and I had to jump into the air for eight hours. My legs were starting to buckle.
I feel as though my career really hit its high point when I was cast as a supporting actress in American Wedding (2003). I thought the script had a lot of depth and intelligence, and it really just jumped off the page.
[on her "Mad Men" (2007) character]: I don't judge Betty or necessarily understand her. The audience is passionate about her. After season one they wanted her to speak out against Don and his infidelities. Then in season two, when she did, there was a huge reaction against Betty. They want her to talk - just not too much.
[on moving to New York] I was excited to be independent, but I was also naive--I just wanted to be rich and famous. I lived in an apartment near the Empire State Building. There were a billion girls in New York City who wanted to be models. After a while I was immune to rejection, which helped when I went out to L.A. to become an actress. In modeling, the criteria is purely aesthetic. So when I got to L.A., I didn't care if they said I was too small, too blonde, too pretty, or not pretty enough.