Let’s hear it for the girls! The Hallmark Channel has become the one-stop-shop of holiday movies and light-hearted rom-coms over the years — with many fans tuning in to see their favorite leading ladies.
“I make them because I love them. And I know that the viewers that watch them really love them, and they mean something to them,” the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries star said at the time. “I always try to make it the best that I can, but I let the pressure [of being the queen of Christmas] go last year.”
Chabert, for her part, has stepped up as one of the network’s biggest stars, appearing in three Wedding Veil films in 2022, in addition to Groundswell and Haul Out the Holly.
The Mississippi native previously, for her part, described the whirlwind shooting schedules the Hallmark Channel actors usually undergo with each film, telling Us in October 2021 that they usually last 15 days.
“We did this one very quickly. We had a couple of six-day weeks, and then we did a shorter week,” the Mean Girls actress exclusively explained, referencing the work on her 2021 holiday movie, Christmas at Castle Hart. “It’s a lot to pack into 15 days and it amazes me. It’s a true collaboration when everyone comes together and brings their talents to make that happen. I’m always in awe.”
While the movie only premiered during the 2021 holiday season, Chabert is ready to go back to work and film a sequel. “We need a royal wedding,” she said, adding she would be up for another Christmas Waltz installment as well because she “enjoyed it so much.”
Credit: 2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Michael Mc Laughlin
Chabert made her Hallmark debut with 2010’s Elevator Girl. Two years later, she starred in her first holiday film for the network in Matchmaker Santa. She has since appeared in the All of My Heart trilogy as baker Jenny who falls for Brian (Brennan Elliott) after they are gifted half of the same property. The duo reunited in 2019 for the first Crossword Mysteries movie and have since worked on five more detective films. Chabert has continued to leave her mark on Hallmark, often starring in holiday films that take place all over the world, including 2021’s Christmas at Castle Hart, which was set in Ireland, and 2022’s Haul Out the Holly. In November 2022, she announced three more films for her Wedding Veil franchise, the third of which was filmed in Greece.
Top Movies: Winter in Vail, Christmas in Rome, All of My Heart: Inn Love, My Secret Valentine, A Royal Christmas, Love, Romance & Chocolate, Christmas at Castle Hart,The Crossword Mysteries series and The Wedding Veil trilogy.
Hallmark Signature: Often a world traveler, Chabert’s characters are loveable, adventurous and frequently find themselves falling for men of nobility in exotic locations.
Credit: 2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Alexx Henry/Alexx Henry Studios, LLC
The Days of Our Lives actress starred as single mom Jenny, who falls for an injured firefighter named Jeff (Greg Vaughan) in 2013’s Second Chance. Two years later, she cemented herself as one of the biggest stars on the Hallmark Channel with her role as Hannah Swensen in the Murder, She Baked movie mystery films. Sweeney began playing podcaster Alex McPherson in the Chronicle Mysteries movies in 2019. She reprised her role as baker Hannah Swensen in 2021’s Sweet Revenge: A Hannah Swensen Mystery, which is the first of many new detective films from the network. In 2022, she costarred in The Wedding Veil triology, which is getting three more films in 2023.
Top Movies: The Irresistible Blueberry Farm, Time for You to Come Home for Christmas, Good Morning Christmas!, Murder, She Baked: A Peach Cobbler Mystery, The Chronicles Mysteries: Vines That Bind,Open by Christmas andThe Wedding Veil trilogy.
Hallmark Signature: While she may come off as a meddler who likes to snoop, Sweeney’s characters usually have a heart of gold and just want to keep everyone safe.
Credit: 2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Allister Foster
Holly Robinson Peete
The actress appeared as a supporting character in 2015’s Angel of Christmas before landing the role of Michelle Lansing in the Christmas in Evergreen film franchise two years later. Robinson Pete has since starred in three more of the holiday movies in addition to other festive films for the network. She began playing TV chef Billie Blessings in the Morning Show Mysteries franchise in 2019 alongside Rick Fox as Detective Ian Jackson.
Top Movies: A Family Christmas Gift, The Christmas Doctor, Our Christmas Journey and Morning Show Mysteries: Countdown to Murder.
Hallmark Signature: Eye on the prize, Robinson Pete tends to portray hard-working women who aren’t afraid to fight for what they know they deserve.
Credit: 2018 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs
The Pennsylvania native earned her stripes as a Hallmark leading lady when she landed the role of Elizabeth Thatcher, who becomes Elizabeth Thornton, on When Calls the Heart in 2014. She has played the small-town teacher for nine seasons — and is set to return for season 10 in 2023. Krakow appeared in her first two movies for the network in 2014 with Chance at Romance and the holiday film A Cookie Cutter Christmas. Her biggest Christmas hit, however, has been playing Miranda Chester in the Father Christmas trilogy.
Top Movies: Finding Father Christmas, Marrying Father Christmas, A Summer Romance, Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen and It Was Always You.
Hallmark Signature: The all-American, girl next door appears to be quiet and reserved, but in reality, she’s a force to be reckoned with and totally lovable.
Credit: 2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Josh Stringer
The Awkward alum starred in 12 movies from 2015 to 2021. Her first Hallmark Channel movie was 2015’s Christmas Land, in which she played a woman who inherited a Christmas tree farm that she must decide to fix up or sell. Since then, DeLoach has starred in films about a struggling diner owner in 2017’s The Perfect Catch, a widower who runs a hospital in 2019’s Love Takes Flight and a candy shop owner who falls for a local maple farmer in 2020’s Sweet Autumn, among other roles. In 2022, she partnered with Andrew Walker once again for the first film on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries A Curious Caterer Mystery franchise as baker Goldy Berry — and Us has since confirmed it’s getting a sequel in 2023.
Top Movies: The Perfect Catch, Truly, Madly, Sweetly, Two Turtle Doves, Love to the Rescue, Sweet Autumn, Cranberry Christmas, Taking the Reins and Dying for Chocolate: A Curious Caterer Mystery.
Hallmark Signature: The actress has portrayed her fair share of single moms with gumption, hidden strengths and big dreams. When she’s not the mom, DeLoach’s characters are driven and determined.
Credit: Alexx Henry/Crown Media
The Full House alum made a splash on Hallmark in 2017 when she starred alongside Eric Winter in Finding Santa. Sweetin continued her holiday partnership with the network by appearing in 2018’s Entertaining Christmas and 2019’s Merry & Bright. That same year, she made her Hallmark rom-com debut with 2019’s Love Under the Rainbow. The former child star again expanded her Hallmark portfolio in 2022 when she starred in A Cozy Christmas Inn and served as an executive producer on the project.
Top Movies: Finding Santa, Merry & Bright, Love Under the Rainbow and A Cozy Christmas Inn.
Hallmark Signature: Little miss fix it! Sweeten’s go-to character is a businesswoman, who wants it all — even if it means sacrificing love. After coming to terms with her own faults, and embracing help from others, the leading ladies usually find that their dream partner has been there waiting for them all along.
Credit: Copyright 2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Allister Foster
The Sister, Sister alum made her mark as a Hallmark lady with 2019’s A Christmas Miracle. The following year, she starred in Christmas Comes Twice, which follows Cheryl (Mowry-Housley) as she magically travels back in time while visiting her family for the holidays. She gets a fresh start after making a wish and must decide how to switch her path for the better. The actress has also been an executive producer on all of her projects with the network.
Top Movies: A Christmas Miracle, Christmas Comes Twice and The Santa Stakeout.
Hallmark Signature: Christmas spirit is never in short supply for this lady, who is family-oriented and often double booked with prior commitments.
Credit: 2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Allister Foster
The O.C. alum first popped up on the network in 2012’s Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Two years later, she played an heiress named Elyse who finds romance with a lawyer that she meets at a costume ball in Midnight Masquerade. In 2015, Reeser starred in two Hallmark movies — I Do, I Do, I Do and A Country Wedding — before she made a holiday movie for the channel with 2017’s A Bramble House Christmas. In 2022, she teamed up with Chabert and Sweeney for The Wedding Veil trilogy, which will be unveiling three new films in 2023.
Top Movies: Midnight Masquerade, I Do, I Do, I Do, A Country Wedding, Valentine Ever After, Love on the Menu, All Summer Long, Christmas Under the Stars,The 27-Hour Day and The Wedding Veil trilogy.
Hallmark Signature: An on the go, head on a swivel type woman who is very active, loves the outdoors and moves a mile a minute.
Credit: 2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Steven Ackerman
The Canadian actress has starred in more than 10 Hallmark Channel movies since 2012’s A Bride for Christmas. She made her debut as a holiday film leading lady with 2014’s The Nine Lives of Christmas where she played vet-school student Marilee, who falls for a neighborhood firefighter named Zachary (Brandon Routh). Sustad reprised the role in 2021’s The Nine Kittens of Christmas. She has guest starred on a variety of the network’s movie franchises, including The Gourmet Detective, Signed, Sealed, Delivered and Emma Fielding Mysteries as well as appearing on two episodes of Chesapeake Shores.
Top Movies: A Godwink Christmas, Sense, Sensibility & Snowman, Wedding Every Weekend, Christmas by Starlight and The Nine Kittens of Christmas.
Hallmark Signature: Fun-loving, friendly and a good fit with any leading man — and the perfect wedding buddy.
Credit: 2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Fred Hayes
The New York native made her mark on Hallmark with her Halloween-themed movie debut, 2015’s October Kiss. She has since appeared in more than 10 seasonal films for the channel, including the Christmas in Evergreen franchise. The actress teamed up with her big sister, Kimberly Williams Paisley, in 2021 for two Christmas movies — Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday and Sister Swap: Christmas in the City.
Top Movies: Love on a Limb, Christmas in Evergreen, Northern Light of Christmas, Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater and the Sister Swap films.
Hallmark Signature: The kind-hearted, overly expressive star seems to have a smile fixed on her face at all times — and is ready to spread cheer wherever she goes.
Credit: 2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen
The former model starred alongside Andrew Walker in 2016’s rom-com Appetite for Love the same year she appeared in Christmas in Homestead and My Summer Prince. Cole followed up the films with two Hallmark movies in both 2017 and 2018. She is best known for portraying Cara Reneau in the One Winter Weekend films and journalist Ruby Herring in the detective franchise A Ruby Herring Mystery.
Top Movies: My Summer Prince, Christmas in Homestead, Falling for You, One Winter Proposal, Unlocking Christmas, Making Spirits Bright and A Ruby Herring Mystery: Her Last Breath.
Hallmark Signature: Organized, fearless and at times fickle, Cole enjoys taking on challenging women who have in-depth story lines.
Credit: 2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Courtesy of Johnson Production Group
Busby had a small role in 2014’s Lucky in Love before landing a role on Cedar Cove. The Canadian actress portrayed Rebecca Jennings on the Hallmark series for two seasons from 2014 to 2015. She has played Elizabeth Scott in two Mr. Darcy films — Unleashing Mr. Darcy and Marrying Mr. Darcy — and starred in a variety of travel movies on the channel, including Romance in the Air, which takes place in Lake Tahoe, California.
Top Movies: Unleashing Mr. Darcy, Royal Hearts, A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love, Love in the Forecast, Follow Me to Daisy Hills and Chasing Waterfalls.
Hallmark Signature: Well-rounded, sweet, smart and open to new things, this woman is ready to hit the ground running.
Credit: 2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs
Rachael Leigh Cook
The She’s All That actress made her network debut as a widowed mom who learns to bet on herself during a summer internship in 2016’s Summer Love. The same year, she played Frankie Baldwin, a vintner who is in love with the son of her family’s biggest rival, Nate Deluca (Penny). Cook reprised the role in two more movies about the different seasons on the winery — Summer in the Vineyard and Valentine in the Vineyard.
Top Movies: Summer Love, Valentine in the Vineyard, Frozen in Love, A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas and Tis the Season to Be Merry.
Hallmark Signature: Don’t let her soft-spoken voice fool you, Cook’s type of women are fighters who won’t back down from a challenge.
Credit: Shane Mahood/Crown Media
Boston popped onto the Hallmark scene in 2014 when she played Caryn in A Ring by Spring, which she also worked on as an associate producer. The following year, she starred in Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ A Gift of Miracles. That same year, the actress marked her first holiday film for the company with Ice Sculpture Christmas. The Tennessee native has since starred in five more festive movies, including 2022’s A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe. Earlier that year, Boston reunited with The Last Bridesmaid costar Paul Campbell for Dating the Delaneys.
Top Movies: Stop the Wedding, Christmas in Angel Falls, The Last Bridesmaid, Check Inn to Christmas and A Christmas Carousel.
Hallmark Signature: Boston tends to portray spitfires who don’t take no for an answer. While she may come off as soft spoken to start, her characters always manage to find their voice — and their one true love.
Credit: 2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen
Bethany Joy Lenz
The One Tree Hill alum has been popping up on the network since her 2012 holiday film, The Christmas Secret, where her character discovers a magical family heirloom that brings her love and good fortune. She has since appeared in a variety of films, including the spring fever hit Bottled With Love and Valentine’s Day favorite A Valentine’s Match. In 2021, she costarred with Tyler Hynes in the holiday movie An Unexpected Christmas.
Top Movies: Christmas Secret, Royal Matchmaker, Bottled With Love, Just My Type and Five Star Christmas.
Hallmark Signature: Independent, strong-willed and longing for love, the actress seems to play women with spunk.
Credit: 2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Fred Hayes
The Virginia native starred in her first holiday Hallmark movie in 2016. She played a single mom named Laurel in Sleigh Bells Ring, who finds her way back to an old flame while organizing her city’s Christmas parade. Two years later, Cahill appeared in another festive film, Last Vermont Christmas, which she followed up with 2020’s A Timeless Christmas and 2021’s Every Time a Bell Rings.
Top Movies: Last Vermont Christmas, Love, Fall & Order, The Secret Ingredient, A Timeless Christmas and Every Time a Bell Rings.
Hallmark Signature: Competitive, confident and courageous, Cahill’s characters are total go-getters who appear to be very ladylike.
Credit: Tilly Blair/Hallmark
The Friday Night Lights alum pulled at viewers’ heartstrings in her Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ debut, Once Upon a Christmas Miracle, which premiered in 2018. In the movie, Teegarden’s Heather falls in love with her organ donor, Chris (Brett Dalton), following her transplant surgery. The California native later starred in 2021’s A New Year’s Resolution and My Christmas Family Tree and 2022’s hit Autumn in the City and the holiday film Christmas Class Reunion.
Top Movies: Once Upon a Christmas Miracle, A New Year’s Resolution, My Family Christmas Tree and Autumn in the City.
Hallmark Signature: Teegarden often plays more complex characters who are either dealing with a mid-life crisis — like Piper in Autumn in the City or Andie in 2022’s Heart of the Matter. The actress’ on-screen personas aren’t always looking for romance, instead, they are trying to make their way in the world by learning how to believe in their own power.
Credit: 2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Courtesy Johnson Production Group/Luba Popovic
The Danish actress portrayed Dale Travers in three Signed, Sealed, Delivered mystery movies in 2016. She reprised the role one year later for Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Home Again. Ullerup has been playing Bree O’Brien on Chesapeake Shores since 2016. The same year, she appeared in her first holiday Hallmark movie, Hearts of Christmas, alongside Kristoffer Polaha. When she’s not starring in Christmas movies on the network, Ullerup is jet-setting all over the world like she did in 2019’s Winter Castle, which took place at an ice hotel in Canada.
Top Movies: Hearts of Christmas, Christmas Bells Are Ringing, Winter Castle and Nature of Love.
Hallmark Signature: A hard worker, who eventually realizes that there is more to life than her job — and finds love all over the globe as a result.
Credit: 2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Allister Foster
The Minnesota native has starred in five Hallmark Channel movies starting in 2019. Her first film for the network, In the Key of Love, followed a photographer named Maggie (Osnes) who reignited a past romance while shooting her sister’s wedding. The same year, she played a country singer named Charlotte who builds a house for a friend in town while home for the season in A Homecoming for the Holidays. Two years later, she stole the show as an aspiring sommelier named Jenna who finds herself falling for a new winemaker in town in Raise a Glass to Love.
Top Movies: A Homecoming for the Holidays, One Royal Holiday, Raise a Glass to Love and Christmas in Tahoe.
Hallmark Signature: A creative, independent and driven woman who is always searching for a way to better herself.
Credit: 2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer
The Argentina-born star played baker Casey McArthy in 2016’s Pumpkin Pie Wars two years before she portrayed a cupcake store owner in The Sweetest Heart. Gonzalo appeared in her first holiday Hallmark movie with 2020’s Jingle Bell Bride, where her character Jessica Perez falls in love after traveling to Alaska to pick up a rare flower for one of her client’s weddings.
Top Movies: Pumpkin Pie Wars, The Sweetest Heart, Flip That Romance and Jingle Bell Bride.
Hallmark Signature: Often associated with baking, Gonzalo’s alter egos are women who never give up no matter what the circumstances.
Credit: 2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Kailey Schwerman
The Teen Wolf alum kicked off her Hallmark Channel residency with the fall film Autumn Dreams, which premiered in 2015. One year later, Wagner appeared in her first holiday movie, Christmas Cookies. She joined the Christmas in Evergreen family of actors in 2018 with the Letters to Santa film. The North Carolina native has been the leading lady professor Amy Winslow in the Mystery 101 movie series since 2019.
Top Movies: Christmas Cookies, A Harvest Wedding, Pearl in Paradise, Hearts of Winter, The Angel Tree and Mystery 101: Dead Talk and Mystery 101: Deadly History.
Hallmark Signature: Smart, witty, brave and bold, Wagner rarely plays a wallflower of any kind.
Credit: 2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen
Candace Cameron Bure
The Full House alum, who has been dubbed the queen of Christmas, appeared in her first Hallmark Channel movie, Moonlight & Mistletoe, in 2008. She went on to become a staple on the network as one of its most-featured actresses and a go-to producer. In addition to starring films like Puppy Love and Let It Snow, Cameron Bure was the leading lady in the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries movies, which follow librarian Aurora Teagarden as she solves crimes in her small town and beyond.
In April 2022, Cameron Bure surprised fans when she announced an exclusive multi-picture deal with Great American Media. Her final Hallmark film was 2021’s The Christmas Contest.
Top Movies: Christmas Under Wraps, A Christmas Detour, A Shoe Addict’s Christmas, Christmas Town, If I Only Had Christmas and the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries franchise.
Hallmark Signature: Little miss everything! Cameron Bure gravitates toward curious characters, who are feisty, focused, full of personality and always follow their hearts.
Credit: 2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen
The Wonder Years alum became a fixture for the Hallmark Channel after portraying event planner Jessica Summers alongside Paul Greene in 2015’s Perfect Match. The same year, she appeared in her first holiday movie, Crown for Christmas, in which she played governess Allie, who falls for the royal she works for. In 2019, she landed the role of Angie Dove in the Matchmaker Mysteries movie series alongside Victor Webster. As a TV matchmaker, Angie has a keen sense about people which helps Detective Kyle Cooper (Webster) solve crimes.
In October 2021, Great American Media announced an exclusive four-picture deal with McKellar. The actress with star and executive produce movies for Great American Family and Great American Living.
Top Movies: Crown for Christmas, Campfire Kiss, Very, Very Valentine, Love in Design, Love and Sunshine, Christmas at Dollywood and Christmas She Wrote.
Hallmark Signature: McKellar’s onscreen personas are ready for anything, never give up and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
Credit: 2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Allister Foster
The General Hospital alum landed her first leading role on the network in 2016’s A Dash of Love where she played aspiring chef Nikki, who teams up with Paul (Brendan Penny) after they are both wrongly fired from their jobs. The duo opens their own eatery, fall in love and live happily, ever after. Lilley has since appeared in more than 10 movies, including holiday favorites Mingle All the Way and USS Christmas. In January 2022, Lilley announced that she would be teaming up with Great American Media for four original movies. At the time, her deal was not classified as exclusive.
Top Movies: A Dash of Love, Eat, Play, Love, Yes, I Do, Harvest Love, Winter Love Story, Paris, Wine and Romance, Snow Kissed, Mingle All the Way and Royally Wrapped for Christmas.
Hallmark Signature: Bubbly, sweet and often underestimated, fans can’t help but root for Lilley and all of the women she portrays.
Credit: 2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss
The Canadian actress captivated fans in 2017’s A Royal Winter, in which she plays a tourist named Maggie who meets a handsome royal while taking in the sights. The same year, Patterson took on a techy rom-com with the Bad Date Chronicles and got into the holiday spirit with The Christmas Cottage. She has since starred in multiple jet-setting romances and Christmas flicks.
In 2021, she starred in one of Great American Family’s first holiday films, Jingle Bell Princess. While Patterson didn’t sign an exclusive deal with the network as of winter 2022, she did kick off GAF’s second annual Great American Christmas with her movie Catering Christmas.
Top Movies: A Royal Winter, The Christmas Cottage, Christmas at the Palace, Forever in My Heart, Chateau Christmas and Gingerbread Miracle.
Hallmark Signature: Patterson’s characters appear to live unrealistic lives, but their love of the holidays, traditions and desire to find romance makes fans connect with her with ease.