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Gail Holloway

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Gail Holloway
Portrayed by Christine Estabrook
First appearance A Little Kiss, Part 1
Gender Female
Child(ren) Joan Holloway
Other Relations Greg Harris - Son-in-law
Kevin Harris - Grandson


Gail Holloway is Joan Holloway's mother.

Married Life and Motherhood

Little is know about Gail's married life, but it's clear Gail was married to Joan's father. During the episode Mystery Date, as Joan is anxiously awaiting the return of husband Greg Harris from Vietnam, Gail hints that perhaps her husband was not faithful while he was away at war.

Joan also implies that Gail was the main force (if not the only one) in her upbringing. During a one-on-one conversation with Don Draper about Joan's suitors over the years, Joan declared that her "mother raised her to be admired".


While we don't know Gail's exact age, we know that Gail's views, especially on gender roles, is dated (even for the 1960s). She doesn't understand Joan's need to be informed and consulted about her husband's decisions, and doesn't understand why Joan has to work at SCDP.

In the episode A Little Kiss, Gail offers to buy Kevin Harris's formula and insists on taking 10 dollar, to which Joan asks whether she's planning to buy Kevin's formula or hers, implying Gail may be an alcoholic, or have issues with alcohol.

While on the surface, Gail appears to be a supportive mother, helping with Kevin even after Joan pushes Greg out of the family nest, she has the ability to push Joan's buttons, often causing their relationship to be somewhat tempestuous.

Gail also has the ability to make Joan feel insecure, not only about her personal physique but also about her status at work; which is a quality rarely seen in Joan.


Gail was married at least once, to Joan's father. During Season 5, Gail flirts with Apollo, Joan's married plumber. She offers him treats, and allows him to hold Kevin, much to Joan's dismay. Gail insists that she and Apollo are just friends.


  • "Everything'ss going to be unfamilar for both of you. Who knows what he's seen, who knows what he's done." - "Hes a surgeon, he wasn't in combat, he saw the same things there he saw the same things here." - "Well there are other things that happen, especially at war" - "Stop it, stop talking about men in general when I know its all about Daddy." --A conversation between Joan and Gail about men and war.
  • "Even if there haven't been other women, he's not used to listening to one. Its just the idea of him coming home and finding a little hole in his life and sticking his elbow through until he can walk all the way in."
  • "Don't get involved mother!" - "You're a military wife, you make sacrifices. Someones Kevin's out there and he won't be there." - "But our Kevin's right in there and he doesn't care." - "Its only a year, you can do it. I'll help." - "No." - "Go lie down, you dont even know how tired you are." --A heated conversation concerning Greg going back to war voluntarily, between Joan and Gail.



Gail in "A Little Kiss".

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