Acknowledging the Nameless Secretaries of "Mad Men"
We are deep into the 5th Season of “Mad Men” now, one of the most talked about shows on television. The Internet devotes countless posts to the themes, the storylines, the characters, the actors who play those characters, and the hundreds of memes that have arisen out of “Mad Men.” But what we rarely acknowledge — on this, or any other show, really — is the rich collection of extras, the background players. “Mad Men” takes place in an office, and to fill that office — to make it look busy and productive — they need employees, specifically secretaries. There are scads of secretaries at Sterling, Cooper, Draper Price, and though some of them have actual character names and occasionally a line or two, there are many others who show up to the set, sit at their desks, smoke cigarettes, and go home at the end of the day with scale wages and no acknowledgement. It’s not a bad gig, mind you: You get paid decently to hang around Jon Hamm and John Slattery and be a part of one of the most discussed and important television series of the generation, but a little acknowledgement couldn’t hurt, right?
If you scan the cast list of “Mad Men,” one of the things that stands out is the many, many actresses — even those with as many as 15, 20, or 25 episodes to their credits — who are credited only as “Secretary.” I thought we’d take a minute to acknowledge those secretaries, to put a name to the background faces we barely notice. They are people, too, damnit.
Thanks, “Mad Men” secretaries. May all of you stay on the show long enough to one day earn the title Administrative Professional.
Dawn Marie Anderson (3 episodes)
Leigh Myles (4 episodes)
Liz Pellini (3 Episodes)
Megan Albertus (3 Episodes)
Monica Ford (5 Episodes)
Jessica Doehle (7 Episodes)
Evelyn Edwards (10 Episodes)
Jennifer McGraw (14 episodes)
Claire Bocking (14 Episodes)
Candace Cunningham (15 Episodes)
Eve Curtis (19 Episodes)
Emelle (25 Episodes)