Hallmark’s 20 Most Valuable Players, in Order, From Iconic Soap Stars to a Hunk Whose Name Is Less Familiar Than His Face
When we think of Hallmark, these are the names — and faces — who spring to mind.
It’s not surprising that soap lovers flock to the various movies and series produced by Hallmark. Not only do they star a slew of faces familiar to daytime fans but they almost always have at their heart big emotions, family ties and romance… in other words, all the things we tend to look for in our entertainment offerings!
When many think of Hallmark movies one of the first names to come to mind is Candace Cameron Bure. She’s been a familiar face in households for years, having started out as Full House’s studious D.J. Tanner, and has appeared in numerous Hallmark movies, plus is the face of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Aurora Teagarden Mysteries series. Even so, could you as a soap fan ever picture her on one of your favorite daytime dramas?
We spoke to the actress back in May and when asked if she’s ever considered doing daytime, Bure not only said, “hey, never say never,” she admitted to having been a Days of Our Lives fan for over 10 years and gave us a glimpse into her routine that once circled around the NBC soap. “When my kids were young, and I lived in Calgary – my husband was playing hockey for the Calgary Flames — I would watch Days of Our Lives every single day. I’d put them down for their naps and sit and watch my show.”
Other names familiar to daytime fans who regularly pop up on Hallmark productions include Lacey Chabert (Bianca, All My Children), Alison Sweeney (Sami, Days of Our Lives) Jen Lilley (ex-Theresa, Days of Our Lives) and General Hospital’s Ryan Paevey (ex-Nathan) to name but a few. Another former daytimer who’s gained a very big Hallmark following? Guiding Light alum Bethany Joy Lenz (Michelle), whose combination of girl-next-door looks and just-this-side-of-sassy persona make her a perfect fit for the genre. The actress shared a post on Instagram featuring a photo from the set of her recent Countdown to Christmas movie Five Star Christmas, opposite Days of Our Lives’ Victor Webster (ex-Nikolas), to which a fan, Linda K. Collier, replied, “Just watched your movie and I loved it! You are beautiful and awesome as always! And Victor is handsome and charming as ever! Great cast and story! Merry Christmas!”
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So, who are your favorites? Take a look at our list of 20 beloved Hallmark stars in the gallery below, then hit the comments with your thoughts on who we failed to mention. in
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<p>Brendan Penny wooed viewers when his character Kevin O’Brien returned from the military on Hallmark’s <em>Chesapeake Shores</em>. Though we eagerly await season five of the series, it’s always a treat when fans get to see him shine in new original movies, as well as the network’s <em>In the Vineyard</em> features.</p>
<p>What can we say about Niall Matter? He takes part in many of the Hallmark special movie events: Valentine’s Day, Fall Harvest, <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/soaps/news/572183/hallmarks-countdown-to-christmas-2020/" target="_blank">Countdown to Christmas</a> and even stars opposite Candace Cameron Bure in the <em>Aurora Teagarden Mysteries</em>.</p>
<p>Among Ashley Williams’ many talents is her ability to make viewers laugh with her quirky taglines while pulling on their heartstrings, like in the <em>Christmas in Evergreen</em> movies. No matter what movie she stars in, she incorporates her unique talent into each character yet is able to separate each story as its own. </p>
<p>Nikki DeLoach may be familiar to daytime viewers for her two year stint on <em>Days of Our Lives</em> as Brenda. When it comes to Hallmark, she has no problem taking on a strong female lead while allowing the emotions of her character’s dilemma to draw viewers into the main focus of the story. One of her best to date was <em>Love Takes Flight</em>, as a woman in charge of an entire hospital yet not fully in charge of her heart. </p>
<p>Jack Wagner may be best known to daytimers for his stints as <em>Bold & Beautiful</em>‘s Nick and <em>General Hospital’</em>s Frisco. But on Hallmark, he’s beloved for his role as Bill Avery in <em>When Calls the Heart</em>. And when the network cast him opposite Josie Bissett in its <em>Wedding March</em> movies, it was like we were right back at <em>Melrose Place</em>, where he played Peter opposite her Jane. </p>
<p>Taylor Cole is always a pleasure to watch and became such a hit with Hallmark fans that she was given her own mystery series, <em>Ruby Herring Mysteries</em>. And here’s a fun fact: She’s also the <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/days-of-our-lives/news/569530/days-of-our-lives-shawn-christian-daughter-taylor-cole-wedding/" target="_blank">stepdaughter of <em>Days of Our Lives’</em> Shawn Christian</a>. </p>
<p>Sam Page is another actor who can fit into many characters. He can play an ex-boyfriend, as in <em><a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/days-of-our-lives/news/578916/hallmark-movies-mysteries-miracles-of-christmas-schedule-2020/" target="_blank">A Godwink Christmas: Second Chance, First Love</a></em>, or a prince — and we can always count on his cute dimples. And before he was a Hallmark hottie, he played Trey Shepard on <em>All My Children</em>.</p>
<p>This hunk’s dark hair and blue eyes first garnered the attention of daytime viewers when he played Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald on <em>Passions</em>. Not only do we get to see him in various Hallmark movies, he’s a main player in <em>Chesapeake Shores</em> as well as the series <em>A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery</em>.</p>
<p>Jill Wagner started out as a co-host for the game show series <em>Wipe-Out</em> and was part of the crew of MTV’s <em>Punk’d</em>. Her aptitude for comedy spills into each character she plays, so it’s no surprise that she’s on Hallmark’s go-to list of stars. Not only has she appeared in some of their most popular movies, but she headlines the series, <em>Mystery 101</em>. </p>
<p>Trevor Donovan played <em>Days of Our Lives’</em> Jeremy Horton before making his way to Hallmark. One of our favorite roles was seeing him play a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in the flick <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/days-of-our-lives/news/574825/days-of-our-lives-jen-lilley-hallmark-christmas-movie-2020/" target="_blank"><em>USS Christmas</em></a>, opposite fellow former Salemite Jen Lilley (ex-Theresa). Sure, his character started off more Grinch than gregarious, but we all knew his heart would grow at least three sizes before the final reel unspooled.<br /> </p>
<p>If Hynes’ characters have one thing in common, it’s probably that they tend to be more on the soft-spoken side. However, by the end of each story, such as <em>Winter in Vail</em> or <em>On the 12th Date of Christmas</em>, he leaves us shouting for more. </p>
<p><em>General Hospital</em>‘s loss was definitely Hallmark’s gain. Fans were still mourning the death of his daytime alter ego — good-guy Nathan — when along came <em>Unleashing Mr. Darcy.</em> Such a hit was that Hallmark feature that it garnered a sequel and Paevey — thanks in part to offerings like <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/news/583737/general-hospital-ryan-paevey-hallmark-home-family-timeless-christmas/" target="_blank"><em>A Timeless Christmas</em></a> — became one of their go-to good guys.</p>
<p>Sweeney’s Sami may be one of <em>Days of Our Lives</em>‘ most notorious bad girls, but she’s proven just how versatile she really is since joining the Hallmark family. Between troublemaking stints in Salem, the actress is kept busy by her numrous Hallmark projects, including two movie series, <em>Murder She Baked</em> and <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/days-of-our-lives/news/581967/days-of-our-lives-kristian-alfonso-chronicle-mysteries-cast/" target="_blank"><em>Chronicle Mysteries</em></a>.</p>
<p>Look up the words “tall, dark and handsome” in the dictionary and you’re going to find Webster’s picture. Having gotten his start playing Roger on <em>Sunset Beach</em> and Nicholas on <em>Days of Our Lives</em>, the guy knows his way around a soapy story. His Hallmark characters tend to have a take-charge attitude, as evidenced in the series <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/soaps/news/561970/soap-alums-hallmark-movies-mysteries-signature-series-premieres/" target="_blank"><em>Matchmaker Mysteries</em></a>. </p>
<p>On <em>Guiding Light, </em>Lenz won hearts as young heroine Michelle. And after appearing in several Hallmark projects, it was <em>Bottled With Love</em>, in which she appeared opposite Andrew Walker, that really made her a staple on the netowrk. She’s usually cast as the girl next door who is everything we want to be… especially when she gets the guy by story’s end! </p>
<p>Danica McKellar first stole hearts playing Winnie on <em>The Wonder Years</em>. And though she’s now a wife and mother, we can still see a glimpse of that sweet teenage persona incorporated in some of her Hallmark roles, including the part of super sleuth Angie Dove in the <em>Matchmaker Mysteries </em>movies.</p>
<p>Fans loved to watch <em>Days of Our Lives’</em> Lilley tear up Salem as bad girl Theresa. However, when it comes to Hallmark movies like <em>Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday</em>, we come to see her play the good girl with a heart of gold. It’s a role she plays well, making her one of the most popular Hallmark heroines out there. </p>
<p>Mention Hallmark movies to a fan of the genre, and it’s likely they’ll immediately summon up an image of Bure. One of the most popular actresses on the network, she keeps us entertained no matter what the season, plus has her own mystery series, <em>Aurora Teagarden Mysteries</em>. </p>
<p>She was just a little girl when first she played <em>All My Children</em>‘s Bianca — daughter of the iconic Erica Kane — but she’s sense grown into a lovely leading lady. From wholesome holiday movies like <em>Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas</em> to the addictive <em>Crossword Mysteries </em>series, she’s one of Hallmark’s most recognizable faces. </p>
<p>Canadian actor Andrew Walker is, for our money, the No. 1 Hallmark channel star. Whether he’s playing a mystery man in <em>My Secret Valentine</em> or an architect who ends up saving the day for the folks on <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/news/days-of-our-lives-drake-hogestyn-announcement-hallmark-movie/" target="_blank"><em>Christmas Tree Lane</em></a>, he manages to melt our hearts like snow on a summer day.</p>
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