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Christina Rene Hendricks was born on May 3, 1975, in Knoxville, Tennessee to her mother Jackie, a psychologist, and her father Robert, a forester. She first discovered acting as a child when she joined the Junior Musical Playhouse while living in Twin Falls, Idaho. After moving to Fairfax, Virginia, at the age of 14 and enrolling in Fairfax High School, however, Hendricks soon realized that being a performance arts enthusiast was not a popular choice. She wore Goth-like attire and hung out with other outcasts, but her natural beauty was inevitable and it wasn't long before she entered her first modeling contest towards the end of high school. Although she failed to win, Hendricks moved to New York at the age of 19, where she officially began her modeling career and learning how to survive in the merciless world of entertainment.
In 1997, Hendricks and her mother moved to Los Angeles in hopes of evolving into an actress and landed her first small role in the TV movie Sorority (1999), followed by another minor role in MTV's anthology series Undressed (1999). Hendricks finally popped onto Hollywood's radar when she became a regular on Showtime's comedy-drama series Beggars and Choosers (2000-2001), NBC's medical drama series ER (2002) with George Clooney, the legal drama Kevin Hill (2004-2005) alongside Taye Diggs and the crime-drama series Life (2007-2008) with Damian Lewis.
In 2009, Hendricks obtained her big break-through role when she joined the cast of the AMC series Mad Men as Joan Holloway, a feisty secretary working in a male dominate advertising agency. Although the role was initially minor, audiences around the country fell in love with the strong-headed character, unafraid of standing up to the male characters. The show has since attained multiple Golden Globe Awards and Emmys with each new season and Hendricks' work was soon recognized in 2010, when she earned an Emmy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.