Hello, everyone and merry Christmas eve! Today, I’m thrilled to be sharing with you a guest post from a tireless Hallmarkie supporter. You likely all know her, or at least you do if you’re an avid Hallmark viewer, and that is, Ruth of My Devotional Thoughts. Ruth contacted me with an idea that we swap guest posts. Of course, anytime this happens with a subject I love on a website that promotes similar content and shares similar likes, I’m all in! So time passed, and today we’re finally making this happen. Please join me in welcoming Ruth as she shares her 10 favorite Hallmark actors and actresses!
10 of the Best Hallmark Leading Heroes and Heroines! A Guest Post by Ruth
I am honored to be guest-posting on Rissi’s most excellent blog today. For my topic, I chose to feature my top [10 favorite Hallmark actors and actresses]. I did not include any actors or actresses who are making their Hallmark debut this season, and all that are listed must have made at least one Hallmark Christmas movie in 2018 or earlier.
10 Favorite Hallmark Actors and Actresses! TOP 10 ACTRESSES
Let’s tackle the actress list first, beginning with an honorable mention. Jen Lilley only narrowly missed my Top Ten list. In 2018, she made her first Hallmark Christmas movie, Mingle All the Way. This year, she added to that list, Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday. Her repertoire with Hallmark continues to increase every year, and the fact that she is authentic, funny, and quirky in her movies while still being totally adorable is a huge plus for her.
#10 Danica McKellar (Crown For Christmas, My Christmas Dream, Coming Home For Christmas, Christmas At Grand Valley, Christmas At Dollywood)
Danica is a huge fan favorite who always brings her A-game to every Hallmark movie she tackles. Crown For Christmas is still a massive fan favorite for which the fans still regularly request a sequel. Whether Danica is playing a party planner, a career woman, or a governess, she consistently infuses her roles with grace, confidence, and appeal.
#9 Ashley Williams (Christmas In Evergreen, Christmas In Evergreen: Letters To Santa, Northern Lights Of Christmas, Holiday Hearts, Christmas In Evergreen: Tidings Of Joy)
I have been known to describe Ashley as a groundbreaking actress for Hallmark since I see her as one of the first whose appearance did not fit the typical Hallmark actress “look.” While Ashley is beautiful, she is not a blonde, and her autonomy is unquestioned. Any idiosyncrasies her characters may exhibit are humorous while still being enchanting. The thing I most appreciate about Ashley is her authenticity. She embraces her entire persona and she makes no apologies for who she is. She has flawless comedic timing, and viewers can count on her for original characters that are relatable and fun.
#8 Alicia Witt (A Very Merry Mix-Up, Christmas At Cartwright’s, I’m Not Ready For Christmas, Christmas List, The Mistletoe Inn, Christmas On Honeysuckle Lane, Our Christmas Love Song)
Alicia is another one who is not a “cookie-cutter” actress. She is an actress, a comedienne, a songwriter, a singer. There is practically nothing that Alicia cannot do, and if she can’t, she’ll happily “fake it” and laugh about it later. She has incredible dramatic skills, and she can sing a song the way no one else can. Her movies are always fan-favorites, and I am pleased to see that Hallmark is continuing to give her more freedom in her holiday films. Expect to be captivated and entertained by her holiday fare.
#7 Nikki DeLoach (Christmas Land, A Dream Of Christmas, Reunited At Christmas, Two Turtle Doves) Nikki is one of the sweetest, kindest, most generous of any actress I know. She always puts other’s needs before her own, and she prides herself on the caliber of movies she brings to Hallmark; she wants them impactful and touching while still being fun and romantic. [This is why] she can seriously play any character she so chooses, and her emotional scenes can make the most obdurate of hearts cry (at least, in secret). The fact that she has been rising in prominence within the network demonstrates that she is the consummate leading lady to join forces with this network.
#6 Rachel Boston (Ice Sculpture Christmas, A Rose For Christmas, Christmas In Angel Falls, Check Inn to Christmas) Rachel has one of the most infectious smiles in all of the Hallmark universe, at least in my opinion. Her smile illuminates a room and warms the heart of every person who sees her. And when she makes a Hallmark Christmas movie, you know that we are going to witness that signature smile, as well as undeniable effervescence dripping from every ounce of her being.
Her movies are perpetually memorable, and her connection with her fanbase is substantial. I think our only regret is that we don’t see Rachel enough on the Hallmark screen. However, she is also an executive producer, and I believe she may be doing more of that in the future. Regardless, she has earned her place amongst the other Hallmark actresses, and I look forward to witnessing more Hallmark Christmas movies in the years to come, which could easily propel her rating to an even higher place of recognition.
#5 Kimberley Sustad (The Nine Lives of Christmas, Hearts Of Christmas, A Godwink Christmas; Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen) Kimberley is one of the more underrated actresses with Hallmark who is beginning to attain a prominence that will hopefully lead to more leading roles with the network. She tends to play the supporting character all too often, but when placed in a dramatic or comedic role (or a dynamic combination of the two), you can rest assured that she more than holds her own. She is tall, but always relatable and even sometimes a bit awkward (I will cite The Nine Lives of Christmas as a perfect example). I am gratified to see that Hallmark is utilizing her extraordinary talents a bit more often.
#4 Erin Krakow (A Cookie Cutter Christmas, Finding Father Christmas, Engaging Father Christmas, Marrying Father Christmas; Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen, When Calls the Heart Christmas) Erin is actually a bit of a pleasant surprise to me. From the beginning of her association with Hallmark, I enjoyed her, but I wasn’t certain she was ever going to be a favorite of mine. But over time, she has grown and matured and become a force of nature with which to be reckoned.
She has proven her acting chops not only in When Calls the Heart, but she has demonstrated her prowess in a series of Christmas movies that have just made me fall in love with her as an actress and as a person. So maybe I’m late to the game. I remember that one of Erin’s cast mates called me out on Twitter–Pascale Hutton (don’t worry, we’re friends)–because I was only recently discovering Erin’s prowess and acumen.
#3 Jill Wagner (Christmas Cookies, Karen Kingsbury’s Maggie’s Christmas Miracle Christmas In Evergreen: Letters To Santa, Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses, Christmas In Evergreen: Tidings Of Joy) Jill was one I adored the moment she made her Hallmark movie debut, but I have only come to love and respect her as a person and as an actress, as I have watched her and interacted with her both on and off social media. I see Jill as “the girl next door” who can tackle comedy and drama with equal grace and artlessness.
She is quickly ascending in the Hallmark ranks, and the fact that she kicked off Christmas programming on the Hallmark Channel this holiday season is pretty significant. She can take any script she is given and elevate it through her massive giftedness in the dramatic arts. Moreover, she is a shining light who tirelessly works to help those less fortunate than herself and give of herself to everyone with whom she comes in contact.
#2 Candace Cameron Bure (Moonlight & Mistletoe, Let It Snow, Christmas Under Wraps, A Christmas Detour, Journey Back To Christmas, Switched For Christmas, A Shoe Addict’s Christmas, Christmas Town) Candace is one who is the face of Hallmark at Christmastime. Her movies are consistently number one for the network, and even if not every movie she makes is my absolute favorite in every detail, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve this spot. Probably no other actress works harder than Candace, and I greatly respect her.
I have followed her career, as most of the world has, from Full House and beyond. Her movies invariably have a bit of faith inserted in them, even if it somewhat implied more than anything else. She never plays the same role twice in a Hallmark Christmas movie, and she even played twins once! She is the epitome of sweetness and wholesomeness while being an absolutely electric actress on screen.
#1 Lacey Chabert
It is always challenging to determine who the true Hallmark Christmas queen is, but I chose Lacey for a variety of reasons. First of all, her laugh is contagious, and she can handle banter and comedic dialogue like no one else. She is this impeccably gentle woman who can be whatever is required on-screen. Again, she is a woman of faith, and she is the precious face of Hallmark at all times of the year, but best-loved at Christmas.
She actually shot a location movie for Christmas this year, and no matter her co-star, she always finds that adorable chemistry with them; she’s a very giving actor, and everyone who has ever worked with her would jump at the chance to do so again. She maintains more the sweet persona as opposed to the independent streak, but don’t ever back her character into a corner. If it’s important, she WILL stand up for herself. Her soft-spoken nature is the supreme face of Christmas.
(See Lacy in Matchmaker Santa, A Royal Christmas, Family For Christmas, A Christmas Melody, A Wish For Christmas, The Sweetest Christmas; Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe; Christmas In Rome)
10 Favorite Hallmark Actors and Actresses! TOP 10 ACTORS
First of all, our honorable mention in this category is Michael Rady. His Hallmark career is fairly extensive, and he has made a total of four Christmas movies (Christmas In Homestead, A Joyous Christmas, Christmas at Pemberley Manor, Two Turtle Doves). It took me a bit longer to realize what a gifted actor he is, but he has proceeded to portray such amazing characters in quite diverse movies for the network. And I do believe this year’s offering, Two Turtle Doves, has caused me to realize his star is decidedly ascending to one of the top leading men with the network.
#10 Colin Ferguson (Every Christmas Has A Story, Christmas In Honeysuckle Lane, Christmas in Montana) I admit that Colin was a bit of a hard sell for me. It didn’t help that my introduction to him was in the Hallmark series Cedar Cove and that his character was in direct competition for the leading actress with another character in the series. But as I have followed his career, and as I have told him, he won me over. So much so that I now anticipate his annual Christmas movie with the network. Sure, he’s the “Maytag Man,” but he is such a mild-mannered actor who can deliver any performance necessary. He is one of the most gracious family men you could ever imagine, and his Christmas movies have never disappointed.
#9 Tyler Hynes (It’s Christmas, Eve; The Mistletoe Secret) I know he’s relatively new to the network, but he is one whom I took under wing once I found out he was making his first Hallmark appearance. And since that time, he has followed every bit of advice I’ve given him and won over more fans than I can count. He is such an entertaining person to watch in these Christmas movies, and right now, he seems to be the chosen one to play opposite country singers who have decided to come to Hallmark and make a movie. Tyler may appear to be an absolute goofball (actually, he kinda is), but no one can underestimate his talent nor his on-screen gallantry in all of his roles. He is the perfect Hallmark leading man, and I daresay that star of his is going to continue its upward swing.
#8 Niall Matter (Finding Father Christmas, Engaging Father Christmas, Marrying Father Christmas, Christmas at Dollywood) It was actually Erin that introduced us to the wonder that is Niall, and she went on to make a series of three Christmas movies with Hallmark. It was those movies that caused me to fall in love with him as an actor. Suddenly, I couldn’t get enough of him on my screen, and that is my only complaint with his Christmas movies. I hope to see him cast in two Hallmark Christmas movies next year. I mean, why not? He is so handsome, but my admiration goes far beyond that. The man can act like nobody’s business, and while he has chosen to keep much of off-screen life private, it is fully evident that he is a family man whose values match those of the network.
#7 Eric Mabius (Signed, Sealed. Delivered For Christmas, Welcome To Christmas, It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas) Eric will forever be the actor known for being my “first celebrity tweet.” His series with Hallmark from which this Christmas movie hails was the series that started my live-tweeting obsession. Now that he does more than just this favorite series, I have begun to see so many more facets to his acting skill set. I have declared him a sincere favorite due to his character Oliver O’Toole, but Eric can do immeasurably more than that.
His command of the screen and his commitment to excellence is consistently apparent no matter his role. There is nothing in which I have seen him that I haven’t savored, and I’m so glad his partnership has continued with Hallmark for numerous years. In time, there’s a reliable chance that this charming actor may climb even higher on my list.
#6 Paul Campbell (Window Wonderland, Once Upon A Holiday, A Godwink Christmas, Holiday Hearts) In my experience, Paul has been a “sleeper” as far as his acting goes. What I mean by that is until recent times, it has been an easy thing to overlook his indisputable talent, his penchant for comedy, and his elusive dramatic skills. While he is likable from the moment he walks onto your screen, the past two years have clenched his place with the viewers and the network. He is a family man with mad remodeling/carpentry skills, but he also develops ideas/scripts and continually gives a stellar performance. He has also made a general nuisance of himself on Twitter (kidding!) because you honestly never know what he will say next. This only endears him to the fans all the more!
#5 Kristoffer Polaha (Hearts Of Christmas, Rocky Mountain Christmas, Small Town Christmas, Double Holiday) How can I even rank someone who created my own personal celebratory day for me? Is that even fair? Well, let’s just say that Kris is one extraordinary person whose talents are practically limitless. He has always treated me with courtesy, and while his family comes first, followed closely by his industry responsibilities, I cannot get enough of him on the screen (or off, I suppose, since we’ve had several interviews). His charity, charm, rugged good looks, extraordinary acting skills, wacky sense of humor…I could go on. But just know that whenever you make the choice to watch a Polaha Christmas movie, you are going to be entertained in the extreme. It seems that Hallmark has recognized the treasure they have in this humble man, and I anticipate future Christmas movies (and more) with him.
#4 Cameron Mathison (The Christmas Ornament, Winter Wonderland, Murder She Baked, A Plum Pudding Mystery, A Christmas To Remember, The Christmas Club) Where do I begin? I have seen each of his Christmas films [as well as] his other Hallmark films. I have interviewed him several times, [and have] met him in person [plus] seen him in action on Home & Family. And I tell you, he can do no wrong where Hallmark (and the acting industry as a whole) is concerned. A Cameron Mathison film is guaranteed to be something exceptional. He has repeatedly given me an inside look into his filming. Moreover, he has become an inspiration to numerous folk this year with his cancer journey and surgery. Honestly, if Cameron is in a movie, I’ll probably move heaven and earth (if necessary) to watch it.
#3 Andrew Walker (A Bride For Christmas, Debbie Macomber’s Dashing Through the Snow, A Dream of Christmas, Merry & Bright, Christmas On My Mind) Yet another man I’ve had the distinct honor of meeting in person. And if there was a trophy for Hallmark man of the year, it would probably go to Andrew. For a couple of years, he did not make a Hallmark Christmas movie, and the fans missed him so much that he made two this year! I cannot say enough about Andrew’s expert abilities, his undeniable charm, his characteristic demeanor, his remarkable kindness…this man is more than the whole package.
Dashing Through the Snow is probably still my favorite of his Hallmark Christmas movies, but Christmas On My Mind runs a close second and may eventually take over. Again, Andrew is one who just can’t do any wrong where Hallmark is concerned, at least, in my book. What you see is what you get. Give him comedy, drama, intrigue, and anything else, and he can tackle it with panache.
Now, my final two actors are in a veritable tie for first place. I attempted more than once to ascertain who should be number one, but I couldn’t! Perhaps if I hadn’t met both of them, it would have been easier.
#1 Paul Greene
Oh, this was one troublesome decision, but I just made things more manageable by declaring that my final two are in a tie for first place. Over the past few years, Paul has become a very dear friend of mine. I’ve met him in person numerous times. I have seen all of his Hallmark Christmas movies more than once. (I have probably seen A Christmas Detour more times than I can even count, followed closely by A Wish For Christmas.)
Paul is simply that actor who can do it all while being humble and charming. His range in acting is astronomical, but he recognizes exactly what is needed in these Hallmark Christmas movies. As Dr. Carson Shepherd in When Calls the Heart, he astounds me time and again (especially when I’ve been certain I wasn’t going to like the storyline, but his level of acting in the role completely transformed my opinion). He has the ability to communicate the entire gamut of emotions by just a look, a gesture, or a single word. His talent is intimately attached to who he is; but when you meet him, you realize that he is as wonderful as you thought he was, but even better!
(See Paul in A Christmas Detour, A Wish For Christmas, Christmas In Angel Falls, Christmas In Evergreen, When Calls the Heart Christmas)
#1 Brennan Elliott
I’m so happy I made this easy on myself by declaring the tie for first place! I have known Brennan for years, but we only recently met in person. Every one of his Hallmark Christmas movies has become a virtual hit in my book, and I know he was the first to film a 2020 Christmas movie that was shot in Vienna, Austria. Brennan is one of the more unique actors within the Hallmark universe. While there is no denying that he is handsome and charming, he has carefully curated his own style, which sets him apart from the “maddening crowd.”
While people sometimes joke that all the actors and actresses look alike in every Hallmark film, Brennan shatters that mold in the best way possible. He has an on-screen energy that absolutely captivates the viewers (and sometimes steals the scene–I’m probably biased). He takes the art of preparing for a role and being on set quite seriously, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a sense of humor (trust me, I can vouch for that one). Each character he has created in his Hallmark movies is distinctive and genuine, and it just seems like he becomes more exemplary every time I see him in a movie.
(See Brennan in A Christmas Melody, Love You Like Christmas, Christmas Encore, Christmas at Grand Valley)
While many may disagree with my choices of top favorite Hallmark actors and actresses, I could reasonably change the ranking for multitudinous reasons. I am grateful that Hallmark has continued to employ so many gifted, benevolent actors who entertain us year after year in Hallmark Christmas movies and throughout the year. I thank Rissi once again for this opportunity, and I look forward to hearing what some other fan favorites are within the community.
That’s a wrap on this fun little guest post list of ’10 Favorite Hallmark actors and actresses’! Thank you so much, Ruth for joining Finding Wonderland and keeping the Hallmark 10 year Countdown to Christmas celebration rolling. Now, it’s your turn reader friends. Drop some comments down below telling us – who are YOUR favorite Hallmark actors and actresses? We want to know!10 of the Best Hallmark Leading Heroes and Heroines! A Guest Post. Ruth (of My Devotional Thoughts) shares her 10 favorite Hallmark actors and actresses! #Hallmarkies #NiallMatter #ErinKrakow #Hallmark @HallmarkChannel Click To Tweet
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