Mad Men Wiki
Joan P. Holloway
Portrayed by Christina Hendricks
First appearance Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Final appearance Person to Person
Gender Female
DOB February 24, 1931 (Flight 1)
Employer Sterling Cooper & Partners (current)
Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (former)
Bonwit Teller (former)
Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency (former)
Occupation Founding and Junior Partner and Accounts Executive at Sterling Cooper & Partners (current)
Director of Agency Operations and Founding and Junior Partner and Accounts Executive at Sterling Cooper & Partners (former)
Director of Agency Operations and Founding and Junior Partner at Sterling Cooper & Partners (former)
Director of Agency Operations and Junior Partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (former)
Director of Agency Operations at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (former)
Sales Assistant at Bonwit Teller (former)
Housewife (former)
Office Manager at Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency (former)
Ex-Husband Greg Harris
Romantic Partners Roger Sterling
Paul Kinsey
Parent(s) Gail Holloway - Mother
Child(ren) Kevin Harris

Joan P. Holloway was the office manager at Sterling Cooper advertising agency. She is a junior partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

Early Life

Little of Joan's early life is mentioned within the series. It is not until Season 5 when we learn that Joan was raised by her mother, Gail Holloway, a woman who is supportive of her but their relationship at times appears to be somewhat tempestuous. In the episode "A Little Kiss, Part 2" it is suggested that Gail has a drinking problem, though it is not explored any further. Little is known about her father or his whereabouts during her childhood. We do know at some point Joan did go to college, by reason of Carol, her roommate in Season 1, who confesses her secret love for Joan. In "The Forecast", Joan confesses to Richard that she has had 2 divorces, meaning that she had a brief marriage sometime before 1960, in addition to her later marriage to Greg.

In terms of Joan's personal history, we do know that she has had two abortions in the past before her pregnancy with Kevin; one was practiced by a licensed physician and the other was performed by a woman who "said she was a mid-wife." She later was one of the early users of the birth control pill, introduced in 1960, and connects Peggy with a doctor who will prescribe the pill for her, which is difficult because it was initially only offered to married women with their husband's permission ("The Good News")

Sterling Cooper

Joan is introduced as Sterling Cooper's Office Manager, who also oversees the secretarial and steno pool. Her daily responsibilities include tending to the needs of the executives and managing and assisting her fellow secretaries. She is also seen in important meetings with the Head of Staff and reminding the male executives of their duties to their clients. Joan exudes an air of extreme competence, able to cope with any situation professionally and discreetly. ("5G")

Season One

In Season One, Joan is first seen ushering an innocent and naive Peggy Olson into her new job as secretary to Don Draper. As the season progresses, we see Joan act as the number one source for advice, especially for the young women at the office. The subject of the pill is introduced when Joan sends Peggy over to her OB/GYN, Walter Emerson. It is hinted that she may or may not have had a sexual relationship with him. ("Smoke Gets in Your Eyes") In "Babylon", we learn that Joan has been having a lengthy affair with Roger Sterling, which we later learn has been going on since the mid-1950s. The seriousness of that relationship, however, is not realized until "Long Weekend", when Roger suffers two heart attacks in the office, and Joan is called in to aid him. Upon Roger's temporary departure, we see a slightly lighter side to Joan in "Nixon vs. Kennedy," in which the office decides to have a party while watching the Nixon vs. Kennedy presidential election. In this episode, we learn that Joan and copywriter Paul Kinsey had a romantic relationship. It isn't known how long this relationship lasted, however, we do know that it didn't end well. When Paul asks Joan, "What did I do wrong?" she is quick to reply, "You have a big mouth." ("Nixon vs. Kennedy") Toward the end of the season, when Peggy Olson gets promoted to Junior Copywriter, Joan temporarily fills in as Don Draper's secretary.

Season Two

In Season Two, things seemed to have cooled between Joan and Roger. And we are introduced to Joan's boyfriend, later to become fiance, Dr. Greg Harris. Greg is first seen in the episode "For Those Who Think Young." Roger calls Joan into his office to quiz her on when Greg will ask her to marry her, and that there should be an expiration date on how long she's willing to wait, in a rather suggestive manner. Later the same episode, Joan is watching Jackie Kennedy's Tour of the White House while simultaneously engaging in a make-out session with Greg. ("For Those Who Think Young")

In the fifth episode of the season Joan is seen proudly showing her new engagement ring to the secretaries. In that same episode, Joan and Roger share a moment. Joan tells him that she has genuinely fallen in love with Greg and Roger looks hurt that she has found someone else. ("The New Girl")

We see more into Joan and Paul's fiery relationship when they clash over Paul's new girlfriend, an African American woman named Sheila White, to which she comments, "The last thing I would've taken Paul for is open-minded." To retaliate, Paul posts a Xerox of Joan's driver's license to the staff notice board revealing Joan is thirty, to which she retaliates by letting Paul know he will not be joining Pete Campbell on a trip to California (a trip Paul was very much looking forward to) and instead, lets him know Don will be going in his place. ("Flight 1") ("The Inheritance") Much to Joan's dismay, Roger takes up with Don's new secretary, Jane Siegel, after Roger gave Jane her job back after Joan fired her for breaking into Bertram Cooper's office. ("The Gold Violin")

In the middle of the season, Joan is torn between wanting to be a well-off housewife with a family, and retaining a job where she can put her talents to work. Her interest in work is strengthened when Harry Crane gives her the responsibility of reading television scripts in order to determine appropriate ad placement. She performs the job so well that she is replaced by a young, ignorant man, making her question her decision to quit when she gets married, and awakening in her a resentment that her contributions are so easily dismissed. ("A Night to Remember")

In "Six Month Leave" we see the effect Marilyn Monroe's death has on Joan, where she cannot help but see the similarities between herself and Monroe, to which Roger comforts her and tells her she will not end up in despair and alone as Monroe did. Near the end of the season, Joan brings Greg to the office to introduce him to her fellow employees at Sterling Cooper. Upon Joan introducing Greg to Roger, Greg realizes that Roger knows a lot or perhaps too much about Joan. Asking her about it, she replies that it is because she's worked for him for nine years, revealing that Greg doesn't know about the relationship between Joan and Roger. This scene builds upon an earlier scene in which Joan acts aggressive in bed with Greg, which upsets Greg as he wonders about Joan's past experiences with men. Greg then asks Joan to fix him a drink in Don's unoccupied office, follows her in, locks the door, forces her onto the floor and rapes her. Joan, however, remains his fiance, as the early 1960s lacked the recognition that a woman could be raped by a man she was seeing. ("The Mountain King")

Season Three

During the gap between Seasons Two and Three, Joan and Greg have married. In the third episode, Joan and Greg host a dinner party for Greg's boss and colleague. It is revealed that during surgery Greg had done something wrong. Joan, oblivious to the news until the dinner party, is forced by Greg to sing an Americanized French version of the song "C'est Magnifique" on the accordion. Managing to stay cool and collected during her rendition, Joan stares disappointingly furious at Greg. Joan was under the impression that Greg was about to complete his residency, after which they would be in a much more financially secure position and could start trying to have a child, and Joan could quit her job. The wife of Greg's colleague hints at Greg's troubles at work making this not possible ("My Old Kentucky Home")

During the middle of Season Three, it is revealed that Joan was to leave Sterling Cooper in order to start a family with Greg. However, Greg has not only failed to become Chief Resident at work, but he will not gain a certification in surgery due to his poor performance at work, meaning that he will need to find a new field of medicine to complete training in. Without that salary increase, the couple will continue to struggle financially and will need Joan's Sterling Cooper salary. However, she already announced her departure and does not feel that she can ask for her job back, so her departure is privately distressing to her.

During Joan's farewell party, secretary Lois Sadler runs over Lane Pryce's replacement's foot with a John Deere lawnmower that Ken Cosgrove brought into the office that morning. Joan springs to action with her extreme competence, applying a tourniquet to the British executive's leg and taking charge of the situation, saving his life. ("Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency")

After leaving Sterling Cooper, Joan is seen by Pete Campbell working at the Bonwit Teller department store as a Sales Associate due to Greg's professional failings. ("Souvenir") Here she mentions to Pete that Greg is now going into psychiatry. The encounter prompts Joan to make a call to Roger Sterling to ask him to help her find an office job.

In spite of Joan helping Greg prep for his interview for a psychiatry residency, he fails yet again. During a heated argument between Greg and Joan, he accuses her of not knowing what it feels like to want something your whole life and not get it, to which she retaliates by smashing a vase on his head based on his obliviousness that she, now in her mid-30s, is desperate to have a baby and his mistakes have led to the delay yet again of her dreams. Without informing Joan on his decision, Greg then reveals he has enlisted in the army to become an army surgeon, and that she won't ever have to return to work again. ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")

Despite this, when Joan receives a phone call from Roger to be part of Don, Roger, Lane and Bert's plan to leave Sterling Cooper, she eagerly accepts a new position with them. She is revealed to be essential to the operation due to the fact that she is the only employee who knows how the office functions. After helping them move accounting and client records, Joan, Don, Roger, Burt, Harry, Pete, and Peggy start to work out of the Pierre Hotel as the newly formed Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. ("Shut the Door. Have a Seat")

Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce

At the beginning of Season Four, we jump ahead a year after the new Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce was formed. We see Joan resuming in her Office Manager post.

Season Four

It is revealed that Joan and Greg are trying for a baby although their relationship is strained due to Greg going away for basic training. Lane denies Joan's request to get some time off after the New Year to spend with her husband before his departure. Lane further belittles Joan by saying that men are "dizzy and powerless" to resist her and calling himself the "incorruptible exception". Upon telling Greg, knowing his schedule isn't flexible, the pair get into an argument over the fact their future as a couple is unknown due to the uncertainty as to whether Greg will get called up to Vietnam after basic training.

The next day, Joan receives flowers, initially thinking they are from Greg. However, the card reads: "Darling, I've been an ass. Kisses, Lane." This sends Joan into a fury. She storms into Lane's office and throws the bouquet at him claiming she has never met a man who repeatedly makes her feel like a "helpless, stupid, little girl." Lane reveals, however, that Joan received the flowers meant for his wife, meaning his wife got her flowers, including the note, which read: "Joan, forgive me? Lane." Joan fires the secretary who made the screwup, but she bonds a bit with Lane over the misunderstanding that clearly distressed Lane.

After missing New Year's Eve with her husband, Joan decides they should celebrate the morning after his night shift by having a pretend night in Hawaii in their apartment. She slices her finger very badly in the kitchen and asks Greg to take her to the hospital, but he impresses her by stitching up her finger himself. After calming her down, Joan bursts into tears after the emotional roller coaster she has been on the past few days. ("The Good News")

It is also clear that Joan and Roger are closer than they have ever been since the ending of their affair at the end of Season One. This is evident by Roger consulting and investing in Joan, not only for what is best for the company and the company's needs but also to share his own needs with her.

In the episode, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, when Roger is faced with doing business with the Japanese company Honda, he furiously expresses anti-Japanese sentiment based on his experiences in World War II, to which Joan advises him to bite the bullet because it still gives them a chance to improve and expand their business. ("The Chrysanthemum and the Sword")

In the episode, Waldorf Stories, we see a flashback of Joan and Roger in the mid-1950s during the start of their affair. This is of Roger reminiscing on the time he first met Don Draper working at Heller's fur coats, where he went to purchase a coat for Joan. In the same episode, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is nominated for a Clio Award. During the announcements of the nominees, Joan and Roger hold hands under the table. ("Waldorf Stories")

During the episode The Summer Man, Joan's authority is put to the test when freelance artist Joey Baird continuously undermines her to her face as well as behind her back, making remarks such as, "What do you do besides walking around wanting to get raped?" Joey then posts a picture on her window of Joan giving Lane oral sex, to which she retaliates by saying she hopes he is drafted and sent to Vietnam. Peggy Olson is furious at Joan's treatment and fires Joey, with whom she had previously been very friendly. This angers Joan because she perceives this as making her look powerless to the staff and like a "humorless bitch." ("The Summer Man")

During the episode, The Beautiful Girls, it is revealed that Greg has been called up to Vietnam and is due to be shipped off straight after basic training. Greg had previously told Joan he would not be sent to Vietnam, and it is unclear if he knew all along he would be sent there and lied to Joan, or if he is equally surprised. Ida Blankenship suddenly dies at her desk in the same episode prompting Pete and Joan to hide the body before the coroners arrive at the office. A distraught Roger asks Joan to accompany him to dinner, to which Joan agrees and they meet in the office lobby. While at dinner, they sit and talk about their spouses. Later, while walking through a rough New York neighborhood, the two are mugged at gunpoint. Roger springs into action, handing over all their belongings, including Joan's wedding ring. As the mugger flees the scene, Roger takes Joan into an alleyway to calm down and in the heat of the moment, the two have sex. Back at the office when Roger confronts Joan to apologize and to explain that it was in the "heat of the moment," she replies, "I'm not sorry but I'm married and so are you." ("The Beautiful Girls")

The next episode opens weeks later when Joan tells Roger that she's "very late"—implying that she's pregnant and it can't be Greg's due to the fact he's been gone for seven weeks. Together they ultimately decide that they are going to have it "taken care of." However, while at the abortion clinic, Joan witnesses a mother upset about her 17-year-old daughter getting an abortion, who automatically assumes Joan must also be there with her own daughter. Joan looks pensive after this encounter and the scene ends before further action occurs. ("Hands and Knees")

Near the end of the season, Lucky Strike, SCDP's most important client, abruptly tells Roger they are leaving the company for BBDO, a rival advertising firm, which is giving them a discount for handling all tobacco brands under that company's umbrella. Roger then refuses to do anything about it to get the business back, nor does he tell anyone. When the company finds it out anyway, Roger pretends he, too, is just learning of it. The company springs into action to save the business, and Roger seems to go along, but really just goes to a hotel and does nothing. He reveals the truth only to Joan, and then tries to renew their physical relationship, announcing that he "feels like shit and she cares about him." Joan rebuffs him in disgust and says "I'm not a solution to your problems, I'm another problem." ("Chinese Wall") During the season finale, Joan is promoted to Director of Agency Operations, "a title with no money of course." She is also shown talking on the phone to Greg about her pregnancy--she has decided to pass off the baby as Greg's child. ("Tomorrowland")

Season Five

It opens with Joan finishing the last couple of weeks of her maternity leave before she returns to SCDP. She has given birth to a healthy baby boy named Kevin Harris. Also in Greg's absence, we are introduced to Joan's mother, Gail Holloway, who has moved in with Joan to help with the baby. Gail and Joan's views on motherhood and being a wife differ. Gail cannot see why Joan has to go back to the office when she can stay home and allow Greg to bring home the income, to a point where Gail makes Joan feel insecure about being away—letting her think that SCDP is going to replace her. This prompts Joan to visit SCDP before pretending to go to the Copacabana; everyone is happy to see that Joan and Kevin are doing well, including Roger, who meets his son for the first time. Here Joan talks to Lane Pryce in confidence, eventually breaking down, explaining how much she misses being there, and even though she has Kevin, she feels alone. Lane assures her that the office misses her and awaits her return. ("A Little Kiss, Part 2")

In the episode "Mystery Date," Joan is anxiously awaiting the return of Greg from Vietnam after a year of service. Upon his arrival, he meets his new son and asks Gail to go out to get more film for the camera with Kevin so he and Joan can spend all afternoon in bed. After allowing Joan to sleep through the afternoon, Greg excuses Gail and Kevin again so he can sit Joan down and reveal that he is being forced to go back for another year, leaving them only ten days together. Joan then expresses fury and devastation, calling the government "a bunch of liars." Later that evening during dinner with Greg's folks, Greg's mother mentions that Greg volunteered for another tour of duty, he was not forced by the government, and that he had lied to Joan. Upon coming home, Joan bursts into a rage, furious that Greg would not even discuss this with Joan before unilaterally deciding it and then lying to Joan about his decision. She is also angry that he decided to prioritize duty in the Army over his duty as a father. Greg expresses how much he loves being in the army and being in charge of a team and being looked up to. Greg eventually storms out to "have a drink with the boys." The next morning, Joan sits Greg down to tell him to "go and never come back" to which he replies that the Army needs him and "makes him feel like a good man" to which she replies she's "sick of trying to make him feel like a man" and that he "is not a good man, he never was" alluding to the time he raped her before they were married. He then tells her once he walks out the door, "that's it" to which she replies, "that's it" and shrugs noncomittally. ("Mystery Date")

The episode "Signal 30" shows the return of Joan finally back at SCDP resuming her post as Director of Agency Operations. She is also in charge of going over company expenses and looking over the books with Lane Pryce. During this episode, after Lane gets into a fistfight with Pete, Joan goes to aid Lane. He mistakes her generosity and concern for affection, then without warning, kisses her. Caught off guard, she gets up but does not leave. He apologizes to her. In return, she tells him he has nothing to apologize for and that at some point, everyone has wanted to hit Pete Campbell. ("Signal 30")

In the episode, Christmas Waltz, Roger tells Joan that he wants to financially support her and Kevin. She refuses, making it clear that she is afraid of the repercussions her son would face knowing he was the product of an illicit affair. Late that day, Joan is served in the office with divorce papers from Greg. She bursts into anger, eventually taking it out on the receptionist by throwing a model of a Mohawk Airlines plane at her. Don then takes her to a Jaguar car dealership where they pose as husband and wife to test-drive an XK-E alone. Don then takes her to a bar, where they flirtatiously talk about starting over and flatter each other. Joan reminisces about the days when suitors would send her flowers at the office. Don admits upon seeing this he thought she was dating Aly Khan. When Joan asks why Don never sent her flowers, he admitted it was because he was afraid of her. Don spots a man for Joan; Joan figures he probably has a wife. On that cue, Don slips her some 'mad money' in case it doesn't work out. The next day at the office Joan receives flowers with the note "Your mother did a good job. Ali Khan". ("Christmas Waltz")

In the episode, The Other Woman, Herb Rennet, Head of Jaguar Car Dealer Association, proposes to Pete Campbell that SCDP would more or less win the account if he could arrange one night with Joan. Asking Joan how she would feel about that, she asked Pete how Trudy Vogel would feel if she got asked the same question. Ignoring her, he asks again to which she replies, "you couldn't afford it." Telling the fellow partners that he had made the proposal to Joan, the partners, after initial shock and outrage, agree on giving Joan a $50,000 dollar cash lump sum if she were to go through with the proposal, with the exception of Don, who left the meeting in disgust before that point. Roger refused to pay anything towards the sum of money. Joan proposes a counter offer which includes, instead of a lump sum payment, a 5% non-silent partnership stake in the company, per Lane's suggestion. A 5% stake in SCDP's business would be enough to sustain a single mother and son for a lifetime. Lane's true motivations in advising Joan in this way are unknown--it might be concern for Joan and resentment of his own ill-treatment by Puttnam, Powell, and Lowe, as well as his frustration at his feelings of powerlessness, but it might also be due to Lane simply not having the money to pay her off. Or some combination of those things.

The night before the creative team makes the pitch to Jaguar, Don drops by to tell Joan that it is not worth giving up her dignity to do business with people like that (though a substantial part of his concern is his pride in his creative abilities to win the account, rather than through prostituting Joan). She replies that he is a good man and wishes him good luck. While Don is making the pitch to Jaguar, the scene cuts back and forth to Joan and Herb spending the night together simultaneously, revealing that Don's visit to Joan occurred after Joan's rendez-vous with Herb, so he was too late. The next day all the partners are called in for a meeting to reveal landing the Jaguar account, and it turns out Herb's vote was unnecessary to the winning of the account. Upon seeing Joan at the meeting, Don looks distressed, but Joan gives Don a reassuring look that she is ok. ("The Other Woman")

In the episode, "Commissions and Fees," Lane, after realizing his fate at SCDP, openly offends Joan after Joan asks whether he can imagine her locked in a hotel room while on vacation with a baby and her mother. Lane replies, "I suppose you'd rather I imagine you, bouncing in the sand in an obscene bikini." Insulted, Joan directs him to "take his party elsewhere." Joan is initially the first person to discover Lane Pryce's lifeless body. After failing to get into his office, she consults Pete, Harry, and Ken. Soon after, Bert tells everyone to go home. Joan is there when Roger finds Lane's resignation letter, as Don looks on guiltily. ("Commissions and Fees")

In the season finale, Joan reveals to Don that there is a lot of money coming in from insurance companies from Lane's death. Knowing full well that Lane had feelings for her, she sullenly asks Don, "Why didn't I just give him what he wanted?" Don replies back to her that there is nothing anyone could have done, but he does not reveal the secret catalyst for Lane's suicide, which was Don's discovery of Lane's embezzlement and firing by Don.

Joan is one of the partners staring outside the new second floor of SCDP. ("The Phantom")


Joan has been involved in a few relationships throughout the show.

Roger Sterling

For more information see the page - Joan and Roger.

One of her most prominent relationships is with Roger Sterling. They were involved in an extra-martial affair from the mid-1950's until the early 1960s. She appears to have been in love with Roger at some point, but later becomes disillusioned with him as she matures and sees his flaws. ("Indian Summer) Eventually the connection between the two of them resulted in Joan becoming pregnant with Kevin, which she passes of to the world as her husband (Greg Harris's) child. Roger still remains part of her life regardless, and he ultimately decides to leave his considerable fortune to Kevin.

Greg Harris

For more information see the page - Joan and Greg

Joan marries Greg Harris. The quality of this relationship is tested at times, although Joan appears to go to great lengths to make it work. Whether Greg really knows who Joan really is, is sometimes questioned. For instance in the episode "The Mountain King" Joan initiates sex with Greg, but her initiative upsets him as it brings to his mind her sex life prior to their relationship, which leads to him rejecting her that night and then raping her the next day in her office, the place where she feels most confident and in command. When he questions her about her sexual experiences, Joan replies, "I told you Greg there is no before". ("The Mountain King") Before he begins his basic training in "The Summer Man," Greg tells Joan that she'll have her friends at work to talk to while he is not around, causing her to burst into tears. This is because there is a lot of tension with other employees at work, where she is being sexually harassed by some of the young men in the office, particularly Joey. ("The Summer Man") Throughout their entire relationship Greg always puts his needs before Joan's until the two split in the episode "Mystery Date."

Paul Kinsey

Another one of her past relationships is with Paul Kinsey a copywriter at Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency little is known about their relationship although we know it didn't end well. When Paul asks what he did wrong Joan replies "you have big mouth" rather insistently, which allows us to assume he revealed some information about their personal life, which at the time would have served as a huge embarrassment especially to a woman. Long after they broke up, they still have a very tempestuous relationship.


One of her longest relationships is with her college roommate Carol, who she continued to room with throughout her 20s. This friendship took a turn after Carol confessed to Joan that she was in love with her and that Joan should "think of her as a boy", a come-on Joan chooses to ignore. Whether they remain friends after that incident is unknown, as the next time Joan is seen at home it is in a new apartment with her fiance Greg. ("Long Weekend")

Don Draper

Joan's relationship with Don Draper was never a romantic one, but rather a relationship based on trust, respect and mutual admiration for each other. ("Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency") ("Christmas Waltz"). Don was at first very intimidated by Joan when he started working at Sterling Cooper.Their relationship was impacted by Herb Rennet, head of the dealer's association for Jaguar. When Herb demands a night with Joan or risk his vote in SCDP's acquisition of the Jaguar account, Don tries to talk Joan out of it, assuring her that the account is not worth her dignity. Joan is touched by Don's gallantry, but, unknown to Don, she had already carried out the deed. In the season six episode For Immediate Release, Don's disgust with Herb and his controlling nature reaches a boiling point, and he personally severs ties between SCDP and Jaguar. Joan becomes furious at Don, saying if she could stand working with Herb, so could Don. His actions cost her nearly one million dollars because the company was about to go public just before Don fired Jaguar, and the public offering plans had to be ended when they lost Jaguar. His unilateral decision to fire Jaguar, so reminiscent of Greg's unilateral decision to sign up for another tour in Vietnam, discounted Joan's sacrifice for the company by not considering how the termination would impact others. This fury at Don then reaches its pinnacle when she joins the other partners in essentially firing Don due to his erratic, alcoholic behavior, both with Jaguar and in their meeting with Hershey's when he inappropriately tells them about being raised in dire poverty as an orphan in a brothel in Pennsylvania and envying the school for orphans run in Hershey, PA by the company.

Peggy Olson

At the beginning, Joan metaphorically took Peggy under her wing when she first started working at Sterling Cooper, but didn't understand Peggy's ambition to become a copywriter and be promoted, rather than be the "shadow leader" of a rich husband as the end goal. Nevertheless it wasn't until Season 4 it is evident that the two women have gained a mutual respect and understanding of each other, as seen in "Tomorrowland" when the have a joke at the expense of the men of the office. If anything, the two repeatedly serve as allies trying to look out for each other's best interest, both personal and professional aspects, in a male-dominated environment. Nevertheless, Joan still acts as an adviser when it comes to Peggy's personal life. ("At the Codfish Ball") Their relationship culminates in Joan offering to become a business partner with Peggy on a new venture, but Peggy reluctantly turns Joan down on friendly terms.

Lane Pryce

At first the relationship between Lane and Joan seemed somewhat dicey in Season Four when Lane proclaimed himself the "incorruptible exception" when it comes to Joan using her charm to get her own way with men. ("The Good News") It is not until Season Five where Joan and Lane grow closer together. Joan confides in Lane that although she has Kevin, she feels alone and shut out because of her not being at the office. Since Lane was the outsider throughout Season Three he could understand her pain and relate to it. He even went as far as kissing her, to which she responded by not leaving, but opening the door and telling him not to apologize. ("Signal 30") It is not until Lane's death where Joan is clearly effected by his passing, also feeling guilty that she didn't give him "what he wanted". She is one of the many people who refused to take his office after he passed. ("Commissions and Fees") ("The Phantom")

Dawn Chambers

Joan and Dawn enjoy a cordial professional relationship. The first time Joan has an issue with Dawn is when she punches Scarlett's time card out after the latter had been out of the office for five hours. Instead of firing Dawn, Joan puts her in charge of the supply closet and time cards. Dawn informs her that, out of everyone in the office, she only cares about Joan's opinion of her. ("The Collaborators") After Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated Joan awkwardly tries to comfort Dawn and agrees with Don Draper that she should take the day off. ("The Flood") After Lou Avery has an awkward encounter with Sally Draper, he blames Dawn and orders Joan to take her off his desk. Joan gently advises against it, but Dawn defends her actions. After efforts to reassign her prove unsuccessful and frustrating, Joan instead promotes Dawn to take over her role as Head of Personnel so she can devote her full attention to handling accounts like Avon. ("A Day's Work")


Joan is a confident, extremely capable woman, She is a striking beauty and is willing to use her sexuality as an advantage but at the same time performs every task she does extremely well and succeeds in business only because of her intelligence and competence. In Peggy Olson's words "[Joan] and Lane basically run the place". Her organizational skills have been demonstrated throughout the office, from keeping the secretarial pool in order, to keeping track of the company's expenses. The office is essentially unable to operate without her and as a result she has the upper management's utmost respect. In the Season 2 episode Maidenform, each secretary is categorized as either 'a Marilyn [Monroe]' or 'a Jackie [Kennedy]' as a campaign for Playtex. When asked which Joan is, Paul Kinsey replies, "Well Marilyn's really a Joan, not the other way around". ("Maidenform")


Joan Holloway: "Were you celebrating with Don?"
Lane Pryce: "Celebrating?"
Joan: "Scarlett told me about your four A's chairmanship. Congratulations."
Lane: "Are you busy?"
Joan: "I'm thinking about taking a vacation this Easter."
Lane: "Oh. Where are we going?"
Joan: "Do you think there's a difference between Bermuda and Hawaii?"
Lane: "Well, neither are suitable for commemorating the death and resurrection of Our Lord."
Joan: "Can you imagine me, locked in a hotel room with a baby and my mother?"
Lane: "I suppose you'd rather I imagined you bouncing in the sand in some obscene bikini."
Joan: "I think you should take your party elsewhere."
--An inappropriate comment lands Lane Pryce in hot water with Joan Holloway in "Commissions and Fees".

Roger Sterling: "Hello?"
Joan Holloway: "Roger, it's Joan; Joan Harris."
Roger: "Jesus, you're lucky I answered. Ginger's not in."
Joan: "I know, she has a hair appointment the last Tuesday of every month."
Roger: "She does?"
Joan: "And I know that your lunch cancelled."
Roger: "What am I wearing?"
Joan: "So, how are things?"
Roger: "Mr Hooker has re-arranged the secretaries in the pool, alphabetically."
Joan: "By cup size?"
Roger: "Well, I'd know where you'd be sitting."
Joan: "You're making me sorry I called you. I need a favor, I need work."
Roger: "Something happen with Mr Cut-up?"
Joan: "He's pursuing his dream in becoming a psychiatrist but that requires more training and I just don't want him moonlighting all the time. Why does it matter?"
Roger: "It doesn't, none of my business. Why don't you come back here?"
Joan: "Roger, I've been replaced. And a secretary make less money, than if I were working in a department store."
Roger: "I'm so glad you called me."
Joan: "I'm sorry it had to be for a favor."
Roger: "No, I like that you thought of me. You know to ask, you wanna be on some people's minds, some people's you don't."
Joan: "That's nice."
Roger: "So, do you miss it here?"
Joan: "Are you asking if I miss you?"
Roger: "Well I guess I am because everything else is different."
Joan: "Well, I should go."
Roger: "So, how should I work this? You know? If I think of somebody? Do I just give them your number?"
Joan: "Look at you, figuring things out for yourself."
Roger: "Bye, bye Joanie."
-- Joan Holloway calls Roger Sterling for a favor in "The Gypsy and the Hobo".

Joan: "Yes honey, they're bigger."
Greg: "Ugh, why are you torturing me? I just woke up and its already 90 degrees here. Listen I gotta go."
Joan: "Not yet..."
Greg: "...What?"
Joan: "Not yet!"
Greg: "You listen to the doctor, you gotta eat. Don't worry about your figure, I'll whip you and the baby into shape when I get back."
Joan: "Ok."
Greg: "I'll call you Thursday night, your time."
Joan: "Ok, I love you."
Greg: "I love you too."
-- Joan updates Greg Harris on her pregnancy in "Tomorrowland".

Joan Holloway: "Breast or thigh?"
-- Joan, attempting to butter up Lane in "The Good News".

Roger: "I'd like to get you a little fourth-floor-walk-up somewhere, with no windows, no doors and lock you up for a week."
Joan: "That's tempting, but I like hotels. You leave with what you came in with and little soaps, I love those."
Roger: "I wish I knew what you wanted Joanie."
Joan: "I love this Roger, but a week is a considerable length of time and I have my own world. I go out, I have parties and I have friends over."
Roger: "Male friends."
Joan: "Yes."
Roger: "I don't want to hear this."
Joan: "Carol and I have this nice, little rotation."
Roger: "Carol the disaster."
Joan: "I've known Carol since college and she's been a good friend, And she's bright and she's neat."
Roger: "So you'll think you'll be lonely?"
Joan: "I think it would be half as much fun, alone."
Roger: "You could get a bird, they're fairly neat for animals."
Joan: "Roger, if you had it your way. I'd be stranded in some paper-weight with my legs stuck in the air."
Roger: "Wait, you think you're just going to paint that picture and go?"
-- A conversation between Joan and Roger during a rendez-vous in Babylon.

Joan: "I heard you were being considered for an account because a clients wife saw you and thought it would be ok if he worked with you."
Peggy: "You know you're not a stick."
Joan: "And yet I never wonder what men think of me, you are hiding a very attractive, young girl with too much lunch."
Peggy: "I know what men think of you. That you're looking for a husband and that you're fun. And not in that order."
Joan: "Peggy, this isn't China. Theres no money in virginity."
Peggy: "I'm not a virgin."
Joan: "No, of course not."
Peggy: "I just realized something. You think you're being helpful."
Joan: "Well I am trying, dear."
Peggy: "I'm going home."
-- Joan advising Peggy in Shoot.

Roger: "I hear congratulations are in order."
Joan: "Yes"
Roger: "Marriage, don't know why you'd wanna join that club baby."
Joan: "Hasn't stopped you from having a good time."
Roger: "How old is this guy?"
Joan: "He's 34."
Roger: "What's wrong with him?"
Joan: "Nothing."
Roger: "Well I think its nice, to hear the story of relatively young love."
Joan: "Are you being a concerned daddy?"
Roger: "I'll tell you the same thing I told my daughter, if you put a penny in a jar every time you make love in the first year of marriage, and then you take a penny out the jar every time you make love in the second year, you know what you'll have? A jar full of pennies."
Joan: "I envy that girl having you to give her away. I've always been faithful to whomever I was with. And despite your jokes, I always assumed you were unhappy with Mona, not the whole idea."
Roger: "You aren't just another woman Joan."
Joan: "Well it doesn't matter now does it? I fell in love."
-- Joan and Roger discussing Joan's engagement to Greg in The New Girl.

"Roger, I know it was awful. And I know it'll never seem like it was that long ago, but you fought to make the world a safer place, and you won, and now it is."
"You think so, really?"
"I have to."
--Joan Harris and Roger Sterling discussing WWII. ("The Chrysanthemum and the Sword")

Clothing/Fashion Style

Joan's sultry curves are to die for, and Mad Men's costume designer, Janie Bryant, definitely knows how to accentuate actress Christina Hendricks' voluptuous figure. Joan has made 14 a size that every woman covets; rather than hiding her curves, she accentuates them with sexy sheath dresses and curve hugging sweaters. In Season 4, one of Joan's most beloved outfits was the royal blue boatneck dress with giant buttons on the breast line, and her glamorous crimson party dress with two silk bows on the back. Joan knows how to dress, and is not afraid to show off. We can't take our eyes off of her!


Mad Men Characters
Draper's Past Don DraperAbigail WhitmanArchie WhitmanAdam WhitmanMack JohnsonLieutenant Don DraperAnna DraperPattyStephanie Horton
Draper and Hofstadt Family Betty HofstadtSally DraperBobby DraperGene DraperGloria MasseyEugene Hofstadt
New York Suburb CarlaGlen BishopHelen BishopFrancine HansonArnold WayneSuzanne FarrellEdna Keener
Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency Roger SterlingBertram CooperJoan HollowayHarry CraneFreddy RumsenSalvatore RomanoKen CosgrovePaul KinseyHerman PhillipsBurt PetersonGreta GuttmanHollisJimmy BarrettWarren McKennaDaleBobbie BarrettRoger Sterling, Sr.
Secretary Peggy OlsonJane SiegelAllisonHildyLois SadlerMarge
Client Rachel MenkenLee Garner, Jr.Elliot LawrenceConrad HiltonAnnabelle MathisCrab Colson
Campbell Family Pete CampbellTrudy VogelBud CampbellTom VogelJeannie VogelJudy CampbellAndrew Campbell
Olson Relation Anita Olson RespolaKatherine OlsonJohn GillGerry RespolaMark KearneyJoyce RamsayAbe Drexler
London Lane PryceAlec MartinSaint John PowellGuy MacKendrickHarold FordJohn HookerRebecca PryceRobert Pryce
Francis Family Henry FrancisEleanor FrancisPauline Francis
New York City Beth DawesHoward DawesMidge DanielsJennifer CraneJim HobartMargaret SterlingMona SterlingKitty RomanoWalter EmersonBethany Van NuysCynthia CosgroveGail HollowayGreg HarrisRuth HarrisKevin HarrisMorris Ginsberg
Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Faye MillerStan RizzoMichael GinsbergJoey BairdDanny SiegelMargie KochBill Mitford
Secretary Ida BlankenshipDawn ChambersScarlettCarolineSandy Schmidt
Client Herb RennetBob FinleyThomas FillmoreAkira TakahashiHachi Saito
Calvet Family Megan CalvetEmile CalvetMarie Calvet
New York Sylvia RosenJuliaPhoebe
Cutler, Gleason, and Chaough Jim CutlerFrank GleasonTed ChaoughSmitty SmithKurt SmithNan Chaough
Affair CandaceJanineToni CharlesJoy
Character Lyle EvansDavey KelloggJim HobartPerry DemuthJack HammondRalph Stuben