January Jones (born January 5, 1978) is an American actress and model.
She is best known for her role as Betty Draper in Mad Men (2007–2015), for which she was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress – Television Series Drama and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She also portrayed Melissa Chartres in The Last Man on Earth (2015–2018) and has starred in films such as American Wedding (2003), We Are Marshall (2006), The Boat That Rocked (2009), Unknown (2011), Seeking Justice (2011), and X-Men: First Class (2011).
January Jones was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on January 5, 1978, the daughter of store manager Karen Cox and exercise physiologist Marvin Jones. She was named after January Wayne, a character in the Jacqueline Susann novel Once Is Not Enough. In 1979, her family moved to Hecla, South Dakota, but moved back to Sioux Falls in 1986. She graduated from Roosevelt High School there.
January Jones has had supporting roles in Anger Management (2003), Love Actually, and Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. In 2005, she appeared as a U.S. border guard’s wife in the film The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones. In We Are Marshall (2006), she played the role of Carol Dawson, wife of American football coach William “Red” Dawson. Jones also starred in Good Kill (2014), opposite Ethan Hawke.
She played the lead female role in the movie Love’s Enduring Promise as a pioneer family’s oldest child. Her character falls in love with a mysterious man who saves her father’s life. She also appeared in the AMC original television drama series Mad Men for seven seasons as young suburban housewife and mother Betty Draper Francis. She received two Golden Globe nominations and one Emmy nomination for her performances.
January Jones is also known for her role as Cadence Flaherty, the love interest of both Steve Stifler and Paul Finch in the 2003 comedy film American Wedding, the third instalment of the American Pie film series. She played a con artist in the Law & Order episode “Quit Claim” who, as a lone surviving suspect connected to a real estate scam involving organized crime, frustrates the efforts of Assistant District Attorney Michael Cutter. She also appeared in The Boat That Rocked, a British film about offshore pirate radio in the 1960s, renamed Pirate Radio for North American release in 2009.By that time she had been successful into her career.
January Jones was ranked No. 82 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2002. She appeared on the cover of “The Hot Issue” of British GQ magazine in May 2009. She appeared on the cover of the November 2009 issue of American GQ magazine, and has been a ‘topic’ in the magazine several times. On November 14, 2009, Jones hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, which featured the musical guest The Black Eyed Peas.
In 2011, January Jones starred in two thriller films, first in Unknown alongside Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, and later in Seeking Justice alongside Nicolas Cage and Guy Pearce. She portrayed Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class.
January Jones appeared as Melissa Chartres in the Fox television comedy series The Last Man on Earth (2015–18). She joined the cast of Netflix‘s 2019 comedy series The Politician, playing Dylan McDermott‘s wife.
January Jones had a leading role in the 2020 Netflix series Spinning Out, playing a troubled, bipolar single mother of two figure skaters.
January Jones began her modeling career in New York at the age of 18, after a modeling scout expressed interest while she was in high school. January Jones has modeled for Abercrombie & Fitch, Versace, Clearasil and Kérastase. She has graced the covers of numerous international fashion magazines, including Interview, Allure, Rolling Stone, Town & Country, The Hollywood Reporter and W in the United States; Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Tatler, Glamour and Red in the United Kingdom; Cosmopolitan in Germany; Grazia in Italy; and Tu Style and GQ in Italy.
In 2009, January Jones joined the marine conservation organization Oceana, as a celebrity spokesperson, working to save endangered sharks and to inform others about sharks’ vital importance in nature. She has gone swimming with sharks for a public service announcement for the group.