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Christina Rene Hendricks (born May 3, 1975) is an American actress who plays Joan Harris on the AMC cable television series Mad Men and played Saffron on the FOX series Firefly. She has been nominated for four Emmy Awards for her work on Mad Men. A poll of female readers taken by Esquire magazine named Hendricks "the sexiest woman in the world". In 2010, she was voted Best Looking American Woman by Esquire magazine.

Early life[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Hendricks was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her mother, Jackie Sue (née Raymond), was a psychologist. Her father, Robert Hendricks, who worked for the United States Forest Service, was from Birmingham, England. Through her father, she has dual U.S./U.K. nationality. Her family moved because of her father's profession, living in Fairfax, VirginiaPortland, Oregon; and Twin Falls, Idaho.

Career[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Hendricks began acting in children's musical theater productions in Twin Falls. She was a model from the ages of 18 to 27. She made a number of guest television appearances, starting as a regular in the series Beggars and Choosers. Since then, she has starred in the series The Big Time and The Court, opposite Sally Field and Craig Bierko, as well as the legal drama Kevin Hill, which was filmed in Fort Cobb, Oklahoma. She has also had recurring roles in ER and Firefly and guest-starred in episodes of AngelMiss MatchTru CallingPresidio MedWithout a Trace, and Las Vegas. Hendricks starred opposite Kip Pardue in South of PicoLa Cucina, an award-winning indie film, premiered on Showtime in December 2009 and stars Hendricks as a writer opposite Joaquim de Almeida. She has appeared in four episodes of the NBC TV show Life in the recurring role of Olivia, detective Charlie Crews' soon-to-be stepmother and Ted Earley's love interest. She also starred in music videos for "The Ghost Inside" by Broken Bells, and Everclear's "One Hit Wonder".

She plays Joan Harris on the AMC series Mad Men where Hendricks' character is the office manager of advertising agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (SCDP), providing mentoring to a group of women who must deal with the come-ons and callousness of professional advertising executives. Her performance has received critically praised, resulting in three Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Drama Series, with a fourth nomination currently pending.

She appeared in the action-thriller Drive, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, alongside Carey Mulligan and Ryan Gosling.

Cultural influence[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Hendricks has been credited as having an ideal shape for a woman. British Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone praised Hendricks' hourglass figure as an ideal shape for women, 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 MonroeJane Russell and Veronica Lake." British designer Vivienne Westwood selected her to represent its "Get A Life" Palladium jewelry collection in March 2011. Westwood described Hendricks as "the embodiment of beauty." A study by the British Association of AestheticPlastic Surgeons attributed a 10% rise in 2010 of the number of British women receiving breast augmentation surgery in part to Hendricks' influence.

In recent times, Hendricks has moved away from accepting the term "full-figured" and once lambasted a reporter who angered her by using 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 the show [Mad Men] and then all anyone was talking about was my body."

Personal life[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Hendricks is a natural blonde and began coloring her hair red at the age of 10 after reading Anne of Green Gables. She plays the accordion, and used her talent on an episode of Mad Men.

On October 11, 2009, Hendricks married actor Geoffrey Arend.

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