Kiernan Brennan Shipka was born in Chicago, Illinois, to John Young Shipka, a real estate developer, and his wife, Erin Ann, a one-time queen of Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. Interested in acting from a very early age, Kiernan began her career in advertising with over 200 print jobs and two dozen commercials. She made her onscreen debut on the long time running NBC drama ER at only five months old!
At six years old Kiernan’s parents relocated to Los Angeles to help their daughter pursue her dreams.
Landing many small roles on numerous shows like Monk, Heroes, Madtv and the Jimmy Kimmel Show (as well as a lead role in a small independent film called Dimensions) Kiernan finally got her big break when she was casted as the daughter of Don and Betty Draper in Matthew Weiner’s new AMC show Mad Men. Originally a ‘small, possible reoccurring role’, Matt saw Shipka’s potential and deep understanding Sally Draper’s character. By season four Kiernan was a series regular.
Despite working nearly half her life on the Mad Men set, Kiernan wasn’t able to watch the series in its entirety until she was fourteen years old when she was sick and decided to binge watch it on Netflix. When she was not playing Sally Draper, Shipka donned many roles such as Cathy Dollanganger in ‘Flowers In The Attic’, Jinora in the Legend of Korra, Talulah in Fan Girl, Eva in One & Two, and most recently Kat in The Blackcoat’s Daughter to name a few.
Mad Men has since ended its seven season run on May 17th 2015, but Kiernan is still hard at work. This past winter Kiernan appeared as Bette Davis’ daughter BD Hyman in Fx’s Feud: Bette and Joan. She is signed on to play Ally in John Leonetti’s film ‘The Silence’ based on the hit horror novel by Tim Lebbon. The film is currently in pre production and will begin principal photography this September along with Lapham Rising, another film Kiernan is slated to play in.
Shipka currently resides in Los Angeles with her parents and two German Shepherds. She is a gifted ballet dancer and is passionate about fashion, which she sees as a “really cool”” method of self-expression. Inspired by the classic styles of Grace Kelly, she often offers input into Sally Draper’s wardrobe and has served as a guest fashion blogger for Lucky magazine.
She has been front row to many famous fashion designers during both France and New York’s Fashion Weeks – Dior, Miu Miu, Coach, Tory Burch, Rag & Bone, and 3.1 Philip Lim have been a few that she has attended and graces the red carpet in.
She is currently the poster girl for Carolina Herrera’s 2017 Resort Collection, and has modeled for many magazines recently such as Dazed, Teen Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Marie Claire and Porter (and as of recent InStyle and Wonderland Magazines).
A lover of food, Kiernan’s Instagram is full of amazing dishes as well as the fashion that she loves.
She plays the piano and guitar and writes her own music, and enjoys watching television comedies and the Food Network. She is currently taking college courses on fashion design and learning French on her time off.