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When it comes to leading ladies, Hallmark has a long list of them. From popular romance films to gripping mystery series, the fierce women that bring these stories to life have been keeping us entertained for years — and we love them for it! As much as we love the Hallmark hunks who play a role in our favorite romantic stories, there's nothing like seeing yourself reflected in the women on your screen, telling the stories you love. Here, take a look at 15 of our favorite Hallmark actresses and the movies you can catch them in!
Jill Wagner wears many hats: from TV personality to actress, this North Carolina native has starred in some of our favorite Hallmark films over the years. You may have seen her in Pearl in Paradise, Hearts of Winter, Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses, or any number of Mystery 101 films.
"At first, the reason I started these movies is because my grandmother wanted me to do one. I called my manager, he sent me two scripts and I printed them out and sent them to her," she told Pop Culture Principle. "She read them, then calls me and tells me which one to do. That made her so happy and I was like this is why I do what I do and if I can make my grandmother happy, that is amazing. (Read about our favorite Jill Wagner movies and TV shows.)
Erin Krakow has made a name for herself on Hallmark for her role in the widely celebrated series, When Calls the Heart, making her one of our favorite actresses on the network. Aside from that, you can catch her in movies such as A Summer Romance alongside Ryan Paevey, It Was Always You next to Tyler Hynes, Marrying Father Christmas and The Wedding Cottage.
Bethany Joy Lenz has been in the leading lady position for many years, ever since her work on the popular teen drama, One Tree Hill. Her role of Haley James put her on the map and paved the way for her current career on The Hallmark Channel as one of our favorite actresses. You've seen her in fan favorites like An Unexpected Christmas, A Valentine's Match, Bottled With Love and Five Star Christmas.
See her in A Biltmore Christmas, out November 26, 8/7c, a part of the Hallmark Countdown to Christmas 2023.
(Read about our favorite Bethany Joy Lenz movies and TV shows.)
Pascale Hutton is another fixture on the Hallmark Channel, starring alongside Erin Krakow in When Calls the Heart. Outside of the series, she's acted in numerous Hallmark films including The Perfect Bride: Wedding Bells, You Had Me at Aloha, and most recently, Fourth Down and Love.
(Read about our favorite Pascale Hutton movies here.)
Lacey Chabert's Hallmark catalog is extensive, but you might recognize her from something else: Mean Girls. The 41-year-old actress played a role in the hit 2004 comedy before moving into the Hallmark world and has starred in over 20 works on the channel. Before that, Chabert played Claudia Salinger in the 90s hit TV show Party of Five.
"I always look for the sentimental or nostalgic part of things. That rings true in all of these movies, whether it be a mystery or a Christmas one or a romantic comedy or even more dramatic. I’m the kind of person who wants to sit down and watch something that makes me feel good," Chabert explained to Vulture.
"I used to watch those Friday-night 'ripped from the headlines'-type shows. I can’t watch that stuff now that I’m a parent. I want something that’s uplifting or funny or moving. When I have interactions with fans, they say the same thing. You can sit down and watch something that’s going to leave you feeling good."
See her in A Merry Scottish Christmas, out November 18 at 8/7c and Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up on November 25.
Nikki DeLoach is another face you can expect to see on the Hallmark Channel in films such as Five More Minutes, Love Takes Flight, Love to the Rescue and Sweet Autumn.
"I did my first Hallmark movie for my grandmother, because she was so in love with Hallmark Christmas movies. I was on a show called Awkward at the time. And all she wanted me to do was be in a Hallmark Christmas movie," she explained to Hallmark for All Seasons. "So I told my agent, I said, 'Hey, could you contact Hallmark? Can you just see, you know, if they’re looking for actresses for movies right now?' And sure enough, I got an offer for one of their movies and I’ve never made my grandmother happier."
Tamera Mowrey-Housely has been a household name for years for her role in the 1990s sitcom, Sister, Sister. Lately, Tamera has been making a new name for herself, independent of her famous twin. Her most recent Hallmark film was Dream Moms, and you can also catch her in A Christmas Miracle, Christmas Comes Twice and Girlfriendship, to name a few.
The 41-year-old Canadian actress got her start on the Hallmark Channel in 2012 and has been showing her skills as a leading lady ever since. Some of our favorite Brooke D'Orsay films include A Dickens of a Holiday!, Beverly Hills Wedding and Nostalgic Christmas to name a few.
When talking about feel-good movies, D'Orsay told The Harlton Empire, "It’s so exciting to watch this genre grow! It’s not so much a message that I hope people take away, but a feeling. My hope is that fans continue to tune into these movies to smile and to feel good. I think when it comes down to it, all we really want is to feel good. And these movies do just that."
See her in A Not So Royal Christmas, out December 2, 8/7c!
Danica McKellar was actually a child star before making her mark on the Hallmark Channel, acting in The Wonder Years in her youth. Today, you can catch her in films such as Campfire Kiss, Love and Sunshine, My Christmas Dream and Love in Design alongside Andrew Walker (Read about our favorite Andrew Walker movies.)
Arielle Kebbel was the it-girl of early 2000's movies and shows, and you might remember her from classics like Aquamarine, John Tucker Must Die, Gilmore Girls or The Vampire Diaries. Today, she's making a name for herself on Hallmark, with leading lady roles in films like Love in the Great Smoky Mountains: A National Park Romance, Bridal Wave and A Brush with Love.
You might recognize Autumn Reeser for roles in shows like The O.C. and Entourage, but we love her for her work in films like The 27 Hour Day, Season for Love and All Summer Long.
The fiery redhead has left her Hallmark mark with films like Our Christmas Love Song, Christmas Tree Lane and Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane.
"They are just awesome!,” Witt said of the Hallmark fans out there in an interview with Media Village. “They are so loyal. It's not just the Christmas movies that have the 'Hallmarkie' audience. I was actually shocked when I did The Walking Dead at how many Hallmark Christmas movie fans watched that show!"
Holly Robinson Peete has been in the film and TV world for a long time, known for her role in the police drama series 21 Jump Street. Today, however, her work on the Hallmark Channel has made her one of our favorite lead actresses on the network. Films like A Family Christmas Gift, The Journey Ahead and Holiday Heritage have cemented her spot as one of our favorite Hallmark actresses.
(Click through for Holly Robinson Peete On The Struggle Many Women Won’t Talk About: “You Don’t Have to Be Ashamed” and Holly Robinson Peete Swears This 20-Second Ritual Has Kept Her Marriage Strong After 26 Years.)
Cindy Busby has become another one of the Hallmark actresses we can't get enough of. With roles in movies such as Love in Zion National: A National Park Romance, Hearts Down Under, Follow Me to Daisy Hills, Love in the Forecast and Warming Up to You, we can't wait to see what she has in store next for us.
See her in Everything Christmas, out November 10 at 8/7c.
Emilie Ullerup most recently starred in Retreat to You alongside Peter Mooney, but she's been showing her stuff as a Hallmark leading lady for years. You can find her in movies like Winter Castle alongside Kevin McGarry, Nature of Love, Don't Forget I Love You and Christmas Bells are Ringing. (Check out our favorite Kevin McGarry movies.)
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