It took eight tries, but Jon Hamm finally won an Emmy for lead actor in a drama series for his performance as the brilliant but troubled ad man Don Draper in the concluding stretch of Mad Men.
Accepting the award, the 44-year-old actor said, “There’s been a mistake, clearly. It’s impossible to be named with all of those extraordinary gentlemen. It’s impossible to have done this show with this incredible cast, these incredible people, our incredible writers, our incredible crew.
“And it’s incredible and impossible for me, personally, to be standing up here.”
Hamm, who was widely regarded as the frontrunner in the category for his nuanced work on the slow-burning AMC series, beat out Kyle Chandler as a stoic sheriff’s detective with dark family secrets in Bloodline, Jeff Daniels as a prickly cable-news anchor in The Newsroom, Bob Odenkirk as a fast-talking lawyer in Better Call Saul, Liev Schrieber as a brooding Hollywood fixer in Ray Donovan, and Kevin Spacey as a Machiavellian politician in House of Cards.
Hamm has been nominated for 16 Emmys in his career, and the Mad Men win is his first. As a producer on the show, he is also up for the evening’s award for best drama series.
Reflecting on the conclusion of Mad Men earlier this year, Hamm told EW, “It’s a long run and a long ride, and a lot of people worked really hard on it. So I feel like it’s deserved to take a moment and really feel like, ‘OK, this is what we did.’ And we should be proud of it.”