Shipka was born in Chicago, Illinois, to John Young Shipka, a real estate developer, and his wife, Erin Ann (née Brennan). Her father is of one half Bohemian/Czech, and one quarter German, with his other ancestry being English, some Scottish, and distant French. Her mother is of three quarters Irish and one quarter Italian ancestry. Her surname is from her Bohemian roots. She has been taking ballroom dancing classes since the age of five. Her family relocated to Los Angeles, California when she was six to support her acting career.
Shipka made her official onscreen debut at just five months old in an episode of NBC’s long-running medical drama ER. She then began doing commercial print modeling when she was a small child. She completed over two hundred print jobs and two dozen commercials before making the jump to television with a series regular role in the CBS pilot The Angriest Man in Suburbia.
After numerous guest stints on series including NBC’s Heroes, USA’s Monk, and the FOX sketch comedy MADtv, and a leading role in the independent feature film Dimension, the then six year old quickly landed a small role on AMC's Mad Men. Showrunner Matthew Weiner was so impressed by Shipka’s great emotional depth and her understanding of the character that he began expanding her role, and she became a full-fledged series regular when the show entered its fourth season. As part of Mad Men's ensemble cast, she won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2008 and 2009.
When not working on Mad Men, Shipka continues to work in both film and television and has amassed an impressive list of credits, including Flowers In The Attic, opposite Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn, Carriers with Chris Pine, Lower Learning with Eva Longoria and Jason Biggs, House Broken with Danny DeVito, and the Hallmark Channel original movie Smooch. In 2012, she completed a comedic turn as herself in an episode of the ABC series Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, and can be heard in the regular role of Jinora on the Nickelodeon animated series The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra. Kiernan also filmed an independent film in New York, entitled Very Good Girls, starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen. She is currently guest-starring in Feud as Bette Davis' daughter, B. D. Hyman.
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 method of self-expression. Inspired by the classic styles of Grace Kelly, she sometimes designs her own clothing and has served as a guest fashion blogger for Lucky magazine. She plays the piano and guitar and writes her own music, and enjoys watching television comedies and the Food Network.
|2009||A Rag Doll Story||Girl||Short film|
|2009||Land of the Lost||Tar Pits Kid||Uncredited|
|2009||House Broken||Tammy Tawber|
|2010||Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore||Little Girl|
|2010||The Ryan and Randi Show||Lala La Lala||Short film|
|2010||Squeaky Clean||Emily||Short film|
|2012||The Empty Room||Juliet||Short film|
|2013||Very Good Girls||Eleanor|
|2013||We Rise Like Smoke||Young Kyler||Short film|
|2014||The Edge of the Woods||Alice||Short film|
|2015||One & Two||Eva|
|2015||When Marnie Was There||Marnie||English dub|
|2015||Fan Girl||Telulah "Lu" Farrow|
|2015||The Blackcoat's Daughter||Kat|
|2006||Monk||Little Girl||2 episodes|
|2006||Angriest Man in Suburbia||Lola||Television film|
|2007||Cory in the House||Sophie's Classmate||Episode: "Mall of Confusion"|
|2007||MADtv||Upset Child||Episode: "Madtv Ruined My Life"|
|2007||Heroes||Little Girl in Fire||Episode: "Four Months Ago..."|
|2007–2009||Jimmy Kimmel Live!||Various||6 episodes|
|2007–2015||Mad Men||Sally Draper||64 episodes|
|2011||Smooch||Zoe Cole||Television film|
|2012||Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23||Kiernan Shipka||Episode: "Parent Trap..."|
|2012–2014||Legend of Korra||Jinora (voice)||25 episodes|
|2013, 2015||Sofia the First||Oona (voice)||2 episodes|
|2014||Flowers in the Attic||Cathy Dollanganger||Television film|
|2015||Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt||Kymmi||Episode: "Kimmy Has A Birthday!"|
|2017||FEUD: Bette and Joan||B. D. Hyman|
|2014||The Legend of Korra||Jinora|
|2016||Marvel Avengers Academy||Jessica Drew / Spider-Woman|
- In 2014, Shipka was named one of "The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014" by Time magazine.
- She is one of the youngest people to be interviewed on Inside the Actors Studio (1994-present).
- Shipka has taken Muay Thai boxing classes and has a black belt in taekwondo, which she received in June 2012.
- Offical Website
- at the
|Bette and Joan|