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Leading Ladies of Hallmark

Credit: Hallmark

What makes a Hallmark movie a Hallmark movie? The two people meeting, falling for each other, the un-falling/disagreement, or the end of the movie kiss of the two main characters? For me, even if these are in a Hallmark movie, it is the acting that makes the movie good and if it is not then it probably won't be one I watch again, that is if I watch it a first time. When I want to watch a Hallmark movie I have eight actresses that I look for because I know whatever the movie they will be fantastic.

In no particular order, there are eight leading ladies in the Hallmark industry that always bring their best acting skills for any and every type of movie they are in.

1. Lacey Chabert

You might recognize Lacey Chabert from the 2004 movie Mean Girls where she played to role of Gretchen Wieners. Nowadays you can find Chabert on the Hallmark Channel. Where she is Hallmark's queen of Christmas. Cabert has played many types of characters from a mothering character, to a workaholic, and someone who just wants to find love and be happy. Some of Chabert's most famous Hallmark movies are the Trilogy All of My Heart, All of My Heart: In Love, and All of My Heart: The Wedding, Sweet Carolina, Christmas Waltz, and many more with her most recent six movie series The Wedding Veil staring alongside Alison Sweeney and Autumn Reeser.

Credit: Hallmark

“I found a real home in Hallmark...” I’m able to be more of who I am here than possibly anywhere else I’ve worked.” ~ Lacey Chabert

The trailer for the 4th movie in the Wedding Veil movie series. Lacey Chabert's 2nd movie.

Fun Fact: Lacey Chabert has been in over 30 Hallmark Movies.

2. Autumn Reeser

From small-name movies and/or roles like Sully to reoccurring roles from shows like Hawaii Five-O and The O.C., Autumn Reecer has now made a name for herself in the Hallmark industry. Reeser started Her Hallmark career with a movie titled Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Since her debut in 2012, she has starred in 18 other movies with her most recent being The Wedding Veil (The Wedding Veil Unveiled) movie. Where she stared alongside Alison Sweeney and Lacey Chabert. Some of Reeser's best movies are A Bramble House Christmas, Always Amore, and my favorite movie of hers A Country Wedding. Like Lacey Chabert, Reeser can play any character really well; however, when her character is emotional and vulnerable she is at her best.

Credit: Hallmark

“The Wedding Veil Unveiled,” “It’s a magical Italian romance.” ~ Autumn Reeser

This is the 5th installment of The Wedding Veil. Autumn Reeser's 2nd movie.

Did you know that Hallmark movies are filmed on location so Reeser's movie the wedding veil unveiled was actually filmed in Italy?

3. Alison Sweeney

Soap Opera star turned Hallmark sta, Alison Sweeney is best known for her role as Sami Brady in the hit soap opera Days of Our Lives. Sweeney's first appearance on Hallmark was with a 2013 Hallmark original movie Second Chance, just and 10 short years later she has 25 Hallmark movies under her belt. The Murder She Baked Hallmark movie series with the first movie being Murder She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery is her most well-known Hallmark movie, but she has also been in movies titled A Magical Christmas Village, Love on Air, and Christmas at Holly Lodge. Sweeney also starred alongside Autumn Reeser and Lacey Chabert in The Wedding Veil movies (The Wedding Veil Legacy).

Credit: Hallmark

Fun Fact the wedding veil legacy was the first Hallmark movie Alison sweeney was a Hallmark bride.

The 6th movie in The Wedding Veil series and Alison Sweeney's 2nd movie.

did you know in Greece they would not let any film companies film at the Acropolis? However, they allowed the 6th movie the wedding veil journey film there, so Hallmark was the first ever to film there.

4. Erin Krakow

Erin Krakow is most well-known for her character Elizabeth Thatcher on the Hallmark Channel. For the past 10 years, Krakow has portrayed the role of Elizabeth Thatcher, a teacher that moves out to a small town called Hope Valley, on the original Hallmark series When Calls the Heart. When not filming When Calls the Heart Krakow has been in other movies for Hallmark such as It's Always Been You, A Summer Romance, and her newest movie A Wedding Cottage just premiering April 15 of this year. She is also returning to her role as Elizabeth Thatcher in season 10 of When Calls the Heart premiering in July of 2023.

Credit: Hallmark

"It was great. I have zero complaints. It was just so much fun," she recalled of the experience. "I would go home at night feeling like I'd just taken a core class because my abs would hurt from laughing. We all just got along really, really well." ~ Erin Krakow, talking about filliming The Wedding Cottage

Erin Krakow's newest Hallmark movie The Wedding Cottage.

fun fact when calls the Heart is the longest-running Hallmark original series with 10 seasons.

5. Kimberly Sustad

Kimberly Sustad has been in many Hallmark movies as a supporting role like in Sense, Sensibility & Snowman where she played the sister of the lead character played by Erin Krakow. Sustad has presently co-wrote a movie titled Three Wise Men and a Baby. She co-wrote with Paul Campbell who has been in three movies with Sustad A Godwink Christmas, Wedding Every Weekend, and Christmas by Starlight. Some of Sustad's other starting roles include Lights, Camera, Christmas, The Nine Lives of Christmas, and North to Home (Highly recommend North is Home). Sustad's newest movie premiered this past February titled Game of Love.

Credit: Hallmark

We’re not “playing” around…see what I did there?…😉…I’ll see myself out🙄 ~ Kimberly Sustad, posting about her newest movie Game of Love

Kimberly Sustad's newest movie Game of Love aired this past "Loveuary" on Hallmark.

Did you know Kimberly Sustad has a sequel to her movie the nine lives of Christmas? The Nine Kittens of Christmas was released seven years later.

6. Kimberly Williams-Paisley

While her husband is writing some of the best love songs and has made a name for himself in country music, Kimberly Williams-Paisley has made a name for herself in the television world and on the station where everybody falls in love. Williams-Paisley kickstarted her television career with her breakthrough role as Annie Banks in Father of the Bride and then later starred as Dana in the sitcom According to Jim. Now Williams-Paisley is recognized in the Hallmark world. You can find her in movies like The Christmas Train, Follow the Stars Home, Darrow & Darrow movie series A Nashville Christmas Carole, and her most recent being a two-movie event with her sister, Ashley Williams, Sister Swap.

Credit: Hallmark

"This specific project was Ashley's idea," says Kimberly. "We all went in with Ashley's husband Neal [Dodson], and we pitched it to Hallmark about five years ago. It took this long to figure out how we're going to execute it. ~Kimberly Williams-Paisley, talking about Sister Swap

Trailer for the first movie, Sister Swap: A Hometown Holliday

Fun Fact Brad Paisley wrote and sang in a song for his wife's movie Sister Swap: a hometown Holiday titled Last Year.

7. Ashley Williams

Kimberly Williams-Paisley's little sister Ashley Williams is also a Hallmark star. Williams stared alongside her sister in the two Sister Swap movies. However, before Hallmark, you might Williams from her recurring role as Victoria in the sitcom How I Met Your Mother. She is now primarily on the Hallmark channel with her movies Two Tickets to Paradise, October Kiss, Northern Lights of Christmas, and her most recent film Five More Minutes Moments Like These.

Credit: Hallmark

"We had the best time," adds Ashley. "It was really fun, because we both got to work together for a long period. A lot of times the Hallmark movies you're in and out in three weeks, and this was a six-week shoot, which was really cool." ~ Ashley Williams , talking about Sister Swap

The trailer for the second installment of Sister Swap, Sister Swap: Christmas in the City

Fun Fact Ashley Williams's Husband was the executive producer for both movies. So these movies were a family affair.

8. Erin Cahill

One of the first Hallmark movies I had ever watched from Erin Cahill was her 2022 Christmas movie Christmas Bedtime Stories. After, she became one I would look for when wanting to watch a Hallmark movie. However, she first arrived in Hallmark with a 2016 Christmas movie Sleigh Bells Ring. Since then, she has been in Hallmark originals such as Last Vermont Christmas, Love, Fall & Order, The Secret Ingredient, A Timeless Christmas, and Every Time a Bell Rings. Cahill's newest movie is Heart in the Game.

Credit: Hallmark

This project TRULY touched my heart. I hope it does yours, too! It was a gift to be able to tell this moving story alongside this incredible cast and crew. ~ Erin Cahill , on Christmas Bedtime Stories

The movie that added Erin Cahill to my list.

Did you know that hallmark movies only take about 15 days to film?

Although there are a few more leading ladies I could add to this list like Candace Cameron-Bure and Danica McKellar. They do not make movies for the Hallmark channel anymore, but you can still watch their movies. The eight actresses that I named are all well-rounded actresses. They can make you feel like you're not even watching a Hallmark movie. So, next time you want to watch a Hallmark movie, but don't know what to watch, search for one of these eight actresses.



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