15 Famous Actors You Might Not Have Known Appeared in Hallmark Movies

Any real Hallmark movie fan knows the rotation of featured actors currently doing the rounds on the channel. All-new exclusive contracts with any channels aside, you can almost always count on seeing Lacey Chabert’s smile, Candace Cameron Burre tucked up tightly in a snuggly, warm winter coat, and Andrew Walker’s lopsided grin gracing our screens.


But did you know that many famous faces have appeared in Hallmark movies over the years? I sure didn’t, and I’m a pretty hardcore, year-round sappy movie fan.


Let’s take a look at fifteen celebrities who have made appearances in Hallmark movies:


1. Billy Ray Cyrus in Christmas in Canaan

Let’s start with one I just never saw coming. Miley’s dad, Billy Ray, starred in a Hallmark movie way back in 2009. He plays the father of a young boy who befriends a black classmate during a time when civil rights and racial tensions were pretty intense. This is pretty deep, serious stuff for a holiday movie. And Billy Ray brought his star power to it, which is a pretty cool thing to do.

Billy Ray Cyrus in Christmas in Canaan

2. Mariah Carey in A Christmas Melody

Even though this movie stars Lacey Chabert, she’s not the only shining star. In 2015, Mariah played Lacey’s lifelong rival. The simple plot uses music and the holiday spirit to guide the two onto the road of forgiveness—and romance, of course.

Mariah Carey in A Christmas Melody

3. Sarah Paulson in November Christmas

Now, Sarah Paulson is pretty much known around the world for her part in American Horror Story. But back in 2010, she played a part in a story where she helped a father and his friends celebrate all of the year’s holidays for his daughter, who has cancer. A tear-jerker for sure, but well done with all of the right intentions.

Sarah Paulson in November Christmas

4. Carrie Fisher in It’s Christmas, Carol!

While the talented Carrie Fisher is no longer with us, you can take in the joy she brought to audiences in this 2012 take on A Christmas Carol. She’s not the lead in the story, but she plays an essential role in this fantastic tale.

Carrie Fisher in It’s Christmas, Carol!

5. Dermot Mulroney in Northpole: Open For Christmas, and The Christmas Train

Here you get one hunky star in two different Hallmark movies—well done, Hallmark! In The Christmas Train, Dermot Mulroney plays a journalist who takes a train trip to honor his late father. In case you haven’t already guessed it, he ultimately finds love along the way as well. In Northpole: Open for Christmas, the story revolves around restoring a hotel and everyone involved in it. And, of course, there’s romance playing a key role in the happy ending.

Dermot Mulroney in Northpole Open For Christmas and The Christmas Train

6. Adrian Grenier in Love at First Glance

You may recognize this guy from The Devil Wears Prada and Entourage, but Adrian Grenier embraced Valentine’s Day for Hallmark in 2017. In Love at First Glance, Grenier accidentally leaves his phone on a train and the woman who finds it will stop at nothing to get it back to him. If you’re not sure about the ending (or even if you are), it’s worth checking out.

Adrian Grenier in Love at First Glance

7. Meghan Markle in When Sparks Fly, and Dater’s Handbook

The Duchess of Sussex really doesn’t need any introduction here. If you didn’t know about her acting career before venturing into the royal arena, be prepared to be impressed. Meghan Markle was in two Hallmark movies, one in 2014, and another in 2016.

When Sparks Fly is one of the few Fourth of July features on Hallmark where she plays a journalist who heads back to her small town to write about the holiday. In Dater’s Handbook, she plays a businesswoman who tries a strict, systematic approach to dating. Her happy endings are just about as amazing as the one she found in real life!

Meghan Markle in When Sparks Fly and Dater’s Handbook

8. James Van Der Beek in Mrs. Miracle

Whether you grew up watching Mr. Van Der Beek or not, he brings his charm to his role in 2009’s Mrs. Miracle. He plays a widowed father who hires a housekeeper to help out with his kids. While Mrs. Miracle isn’t a love interest, she might have a little something to do with making sure the movie has one!

James Van Der Beek in Mrs Miracle

9. Tiffany Theissen in Northpole

Saved by the Bell star Tiffany Theissen does Hallmark in all the right ways. 2014’s Northpole is about a town that really needs some holiday spirit, and a young boy (Theissen plays his mother) will do whatever it takes to get it.

Tiffany Theissen in Northpole

10. Luke Perry in Love in Paradise, A Gunfighter’s Pledge, Goodnight for Justice, Goodnight for Justice: The Measure of a Man, Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts, and Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise

Alas, another one of our Hallmark stars has gone too soon. Luke Perry was widely known for his work everywhere but on Hallmark. Yet I was pleasantly surprised to see that he was featured in six Hallmark movies throughout his career. The theme is decidedly western, and that seems perfect for the late Luke Perry.
Luke Perry in Love in Paradise

11. Tom Selleck in the Jesse Stone Series

It feels good to know that Tom Selleck is on the Hallmark channel, doesn’t it? He’s always played solid, upstanding characters. Even though most of the Jesse Stone franchise didn’t originate on Hallmark, all of it including the newest Hallmark installment are over on the channel now. Welcome home, Tom!

Tom Selleck in the Jesse Stone Series

12. Kristin Davis in A Heavenly Christmas

Kristin Davis proves she’s got what it takes to star in a Hallmark movie with 2016’s A Heavenly Christmas. She plays a business executive who suddenly dies and is selected to be an angel. This movie also features Eric McCormack and Shirley MacLaine, turning the star-power up immensely.

Kristin Davis in A Heavenly Christmas

13. Henry Winkler in The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The Fonz. If you don’t get that reference, it’s okay, I’m dating myself. Henry Winkler brought his trademark charm over to Hallmark for this holiday movie. In 2008’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Winkler plays the uncle of a single mother who tries his hand at matchmaking. Sorry, no spoilers for how this one ends!

Henry Winkler in The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

14. William Shatner in A Carol Christmas

Captain Kirk settles into a familiar tale as Hallmark again tackles the classic, A Christmas Carol. In 2003’s A Carol Christmas, Shatner has two roles; he plays both The Ghost of Christmas Present and Dr. Bob. But he’s not the only celebrity in this movie. Tori Spelling and Gary Coleman also bring the retelling to life.

William Shatner in A Carol Christmas

15. Sam Heughan in A Princess for Christmas

Heartthrob alert! This Outlander star has some history as a Hallmark movie star! In 2011’s A Princess for Christmas, the actor plays a prince who becomes involved with a woman who has just taken in her deceased sister’s children. While Sam Heighan is easy on the eyes, he’s also pretty fantastic in his role in this
Sam Heughan in A Princess for Christmas

It’s a Win-Win Situation

I don’t know about you, but I was pretty surprised by many of the big names who’ve played a role in Hallmark movies! The way I see it, it’s a win-win situation. Whether it’s a big-name celebrity, or one of the fantastic actors currently on the channel’s roster, in a Hallmark movie we—as the viewers—win no matter what!


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