Hallmark Star Andrew Walker Owes On-Screen Success to Off-Screen Loss

Elma Aksalic
By Elma Aksalic
April 16, 2024Entertainment
Hallmark Star Andrew Walker Owes On-Screen Success to Off-Screen Loss
Andrew Walker attends Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas Holiday Celebration at The Grove in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 15, 2023. (Olivia Wong/Getty Images)

Hallmark star Andrew Walker opens up about his personal life and its impact on his long-standing career with the channel.

Making his network debut in 2012, the Canadian actor and producer has become a household name in dozens of movies, especially around the holidays. While he resonates with millions of viewers on-screen, it is off-screen where he has faced the most challenging of times.

Over the years, Hallmark has become known for its feel-good films. From mystery to drama to romance, there is content for everyone. For a decade now, Mr. Walker has become a constant for the network, and his acting skills have flourished through a combination of professional experience and personal growth.

Speaking to TV Fanatic, Mr. Walker notes despite playing nearly 26 different roles, it is drawing in on life-altering moments that allow him to not only connect to a character but also help distinguish fiction from reality.

“I feel like there are so many things that a person goes through in their life, and things can change at a drop of a hat. So I could win the lottery this afternoon. I could be a completely different person, or my spirit or my demeanor could be completely different.”

Specifically, losing his mother, Joyce, last year to Alzheimer’s disease was incredibly difficult for the actor as they had a close relationship. Her 10-year battle with the condition helped Mr. Walker prepare for a role in the movie “My Christmas Family Tree,” calling the gig his “therapy.”

Mr. Walker portrayed the character Kristopher, who lost both his parents at 22 years old.

“That’s what I love about acting. You’re able to take certain things that you’ve either experienced already or that you potentially might experience and know how to process that. If it’s losing a parent or, God forbid, losing a child, you have this platform where it can be healing.”

In a YouTube video in honor of Mother’s Day, Mr. Walker expressed gratitude for his mom, crediting her with his success and noting that she inspired him to become involved in the arts.

“My mother was an artist, an incredible artist, and if it wasn’t for her encouraging me to pursue my acting career, I don’t think I’d be doing what I’m doing today. So thank you, mom,” he said.

Prior to his rise to fame, the 44-year-old was no stranger to financial struggles. In the early days of his career, Mr. Walker struggled to make ends meet with paying rent or affording basic necessities. Ultimately, he was offered a multi-picture deal with Hallmark’s parent company, Crown Media.

In 2012, Mr. Walker made his on-screen debut in the movies “A Bride for Christmas” and “Finding Mrs. Claus.” Over the next six years, he had up to four leading roles in a single year.

In addition to holiday hits, Mr. Walker made his Hallmark Movies and Mysteries debut in the first “A Curious Caterer Mystery” film in 2022.

Finding a Cure

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder affecting a person’s ability to function. It is the most common cause of dementia, a gradual decline in memory, thinking, behavior, and social skills. Nearly 7 million Americans are living with the disease.

As a result of his loss, Mr. Walker, along with several other Hallmark stars, came together for the “Dance Party to End ALZ” annual event in November last year to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.

Over $300,000 was raised for the Alzheimer’s Association research grant program, and over $2 million has been raised since the event’s six-year run.

During the gathering, Mr. Walker stressed the importance of finding a cure.

“We need to find a way to cure this disease and it’s grassroots people coming together like this that are getting us one step closer to figuring out this problem. So it means everything to me. And to be surrounded by so many people that have also been touched by it means the world,” he told Southern Living in an interview.

History of Hallmark

The Hallmark Channel, owned by Hallmark Media, is a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards. The 24-hour cable television network has been around since the early 1990s under different names before its official rebranding in 2001.

The network’s lineup features signature original content, including movies, primetime scripted series, and specials. Hallmark, along with its sister networks, says the company is dedicated to helping viewers celebrate holidays, seasons, and life’s special moments.

The channel prides itself on becoming a host of annual programming events, including its “Countdown to Christmas.” Since 2011, beginning from late October to January, Hallmark has broadcast Christmas movies nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

From The Epoch Times

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