Michael Rady: 14 Facts About The Hallmark Channel Star

Actor Michael Rady has been active in Hollywood for a while, and chances are that you have seen his face around even if you do not know his name. That is because Rady has either starred or recurred on a massive number of television shows over the last two decades and had one-off guest stints on even more. Then there are the handful of movies he has appeared in —   "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and its sequel, anyone? — and perhaps most notably, his work with Hallmark. Over the years, Rady has become one of Hallmark's go-to leading men, earning himself a slew of fans in the process.

Having appeared in a lot of one-season television shows, Rady has not always had the best of luck with his projects, but Hallmark has been one consistency ever since he first appeared in the 2015 film "Cloudy with a Chance of Love." Rady balances his TV movies with his other work projects, and somehow finds the time to engage in a ridiculous amount of indoor and outdoor hobbies. He is also a devoted husband and father, with some very California vibes for a guy from the East Coast. Though he often plays the nice guy, Rady does take on the occasional villainous role. In interviews, however, Rady comes off as affable and sincere, which is perhaps why Hallmark keeps calling (also, his talent). Here are 14 of the most interesting facts about lovable Hallmark Channel star Michael Rady.

He went to college in his hometown

Michael Rady was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he remained all the way up until he finished college. According to a profile on PhillyBurbs.com, both his father John and his mother Annette grew up in the City of Brotherly Love, though on different ends — and anyone who has been to Philly knows how different the North and South are. He himself grew up in South Philadelphia, where he attended Catholic school and participated in the Eagle Scouts. When high school ended, Rady decided to stay in the city and enrolled at Temple University, a state school that serves as the city's biggest institution of higher education.

Not surprisingly, the actor majored in theatre but in a less obvious move, took on an Italian minor. This choice led him to Italy for a semester as part of a study abroad session, which is maybe why his accent in "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" sounded slightly more Italian than anything Greek. "The women there are beautiful," he told People of his experience in Italy, "but they wouldn't pay any attention to American men!" No big deal for Rady, though, since he later met his wife, Rachael Kemery, while still a student at Temple. Kemery is also an actor, having appeared in projects such as the film "Random Encounters," which starred Rady and the future Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.

He started acting while still in high school

Like so many people who go on to study theatre in school, Michael Rady had already demonstrated an interest in acting prior to enrolling at Temple University. According to an article from the Boston Herald, Rady attended his first audition — for a local production of "Anything Goes," which he booked — when he was only 15 years old, accompanied by his encouraging mother. And once Rady was hooked, and perhaps due to his mega-supportive family, he never looked back. "I never questioned doing anything else," Rady said in an interview with the "Hallmarkies Podcast." "I was very lucky to come from a household where ... my dreams weren't questioned or anything."

Philadelphia's The Actors Center also played a large role in Rady's evolution as an actor, as it is where he first started taking classes to learn the craft. He even made a video about his experiences at the center in 2011, where he credited his teacher, Rodney Robb, with helping him learn confidence. "He really taught me how to believe in myself. I didn't not believe in myself, but I didn't believe in myself, and here was this guy leaning out from behind the camera saying, 'You, I believe in you," Rady said in the video, which is still posted on the center's YouTube channel more than a decade later. "And that was pretty powerful — and it really kind of sent me on my way."

He is the king of primetime TV recurring players

Here's the thing about Michael Rady: He is a great recurring player on a television show but has terrible luck with the projects in which he plays a main character. For instance, "Emily Owens M.D.," where he played Dr. Micah Barnes, lasted only 13 episodes during the 2012-2013 television season. His other starring roles have included parts on "Melrose Place," "Intelligence," and "Swingtown," all of which only lasted between 13 and 18 episodes. He was also a main player on Lifetime's "UnREAL," but only for the show's second season. Still, he does not seem to be too down about the short-lived nature of a lot of his roles. "A lot of actors do one specific thing and I have been lucky," he said in an interview with MediaVillage.com.

Rady is often a recurring guest on already-established shows, and his arcs on "Jane the Virgin," "The Mentalist," and "Greek" were especially notable. In addition to those programs, Rady has been a recurring character on everything from "Timeless" to "Chicago Med" to (most recently) "Magnum P.I." But it is his role on "House of Lies," spanning four episodes, that may be one of the standouts for the actor. "It's a different style of show in general. I can't liken it to anything, which is something I love about it," he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2011. "It has its own look, writing style, humor. The producers from the start told everyone, 'You can do whatever you want to do'."

Michael Rady is not a fan of dating shows

When Michael Rady joined "UnREAL" in its second season, people were already raving about the Lifetime drama. The show's first season won a Critic's Choice Television Award for "Most Exciting New Series," and many were hailing it one of the best shows of 2015, including Entertainment Weekly, which named it one of the "best new shows," and IndieWire, which ranked it number 10 for the year. So, Rady was in good hands when he signed on to appear as Coleman Wasserman, the new showrunner of the "Everlasting," the fictional dating show at the heart of "UnREAL." "I had never even heard of the show. It was not on my radar at all," he told Vulture in 2016. "I got an audition. For some reason when you hear 'Lifetime' you think, aw I don't know. So went in, just had fun, no pressure, and did it."

"UnREAL" is very much not your typical Lifetime show — it is actually quite dark — and Rady and his wife became quick fans after watching it. Unfortunately for Rady, despite briefly being a love interest for the main lead, Rachel Goldberg (Shiri Appleby), his character was killed off before the season's end. Interestingly, while the whole premise of the show is to expose the darkness behind the scenes of a dating show, Rady told Vulture that he is not a fan of "The Bachelor" and its contemporaries. He does, however, like competition shows such as "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance."

He is a married dad of four

Michael Rady married college sweetheart Rachael Kemery in 2010, and together they have built a beautiful family. Before we get into the kids, let's focus on the pets — because the two dogs Rady has featured on his Instagram are beyond adorable. One, which looks to be a Goldendoodle, can be seen with the family on a Christmas tree lot in December 2020, while the other made its debut in November 2022. As cute as both dogs are, it is Rady's four kids who are the stars of his grid. The best of the photos emphasize what a hands-on dad Rady is, showing him doing things like climbing a kids' rock wall and reading books on the kitchen floor. "I try my best to be a good dad, but a superdad? My kids would have to be the judge," he joked in an interview with MediaVillage.com.

Rady and his wife share four children — two boys named Ellington and August and two girls named Olive and Maisie. In a 2016 Hallmark Channel interview, Rady discussed how his older daughter was born only days before he had to get on a plane to film the Hallmark Channel Christmas movie "Christmas in Homestead," despite being due nearly a week earlier. Ever the devoted dad, Rady spent the entire shoot flying back and forth from the Vancouver set to his homebase, sometimes for less than 24 hours. "Yeah, there was no question. You just want to do that," he said.

He is an ardent surfer

Most of us do not associate Philadelphia, where Michael Rady grew up, with surf culture. But what do you know, the Philadelphian is a diehard surfer. On his birthday back in 2016, Rady posted an Instagram photo of his sand-covered feet laying beside his surfboard, in front of the crashing waves on El Porto Beach. "I snuck away for a few blissful hours this morning for my birthday-surfday...man was it splendid," he wrote. As he shared with Talk Nerdy With Us, that same birthday, Rady's wife bought him a new surfboard as a present — presumably the v.Bowls from Ryan Lovelace Surf that he tagged on Instagram.

We are not sure exactly how long Rady has been surfing, but there are photos of him with a board dating back to at least 2011, when he participated in a celebrity surf event for Project Save Our Surf, and he talked about his hobby in a 2010 interview with TheCWSource while promoting "Melrose Place." And clearly, it is a big part of his identity, since "surfer" is the fourth word in his Instagram bio. Rady has even expressed hopes that his kids will follow in his footsteps and take up the sport. "I'm not going to force them to do anything they don't want to do — I can only actively share my passion for those things with them — but I think there's a pretty decent likelihood they would probably be interested in it too," he told Talk Nerdy With Us.

Musical theatre was his first love and he is musical himself

Though he has done a limited amount of singing on screen, Michael Rady is a big fan of musicals. In fact, his love of musical theatre is what got him interested in acting in the first place. "I grew up watching musicals, 'Camelot' and 'West Side Story,' while all my friends were watching horror films. To this day, I'm terrified of my own shadow. I was always singing growing up, so my mom always knew I loved performing. But she dragged me kicking and screaming to an audition. I was paralyzed with fear the entire time," Rady once told The Boston Herald. Rady can both sing and play the piano, so it is a shame that his musical talent has not been exploited much when it comes to his screen roles.

That is not to say that Rady has never shown off his skills, as he did highlight both a bit in the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Movie "A Joyous Christmas" back in 2017. "I play piano. I have my whole life. I'm not great, I'm not amazing, but I love it. It brings me joy and it makes me happy. I also sing a little bit. I'm not amazing but it's something I like to do" Rady explained in a Hallmark Channel interview about the film. "In this movie, I got to sing a song, while playing piano, with Bonnie Bedelia. I'm not being hyperbolic here...it truly was my favorite scene I've ever done in my career."

He has a lot of interesting hobbies

It is amazing that a dad of four with a thriving acting career has time for one hobby, let alone a collection of them. And yet, Michael Rady appears to have a plethora of interests that he pursues both inside the home and in nature. Beyond surfing and playing the piano, gardening is one of Rady's most recurring interview discussion topics and a common topic on his social media. He has posted photos of his kids joining him in the garden, and in one post, said he began gardening when he was a teenager in Philly.

Woodworking and cooking are of Rady's other big interests, per his interview with Talk Nerdy With Us, and he has also been known to brew kombucha as a hobby (again, where does he get the time?). In an interview from 2008 with Walden Ponders, Rady also noted that Ultimate Frisbee and midday movie-going were on his list. One of the most notable things about Rady's interests is how eclectic they are. Some are more active, while others require stillness, and a lot of them are unexpected choices as far as hobbies go. Take calligraphy, for example. Rady told PhillyBurbs.com that he was a fan of the handwriting art, which is certainly not a widely practiced pastime for people of his generation.

He loves nature — especially trees and flowers

It makes sense that Michael Rady would be into gardening because he is a full-on nature freak. He is especially fond of trees and flowers and enjoys spending time exploring them through his hobbies and through activities such as hiking. "I'm a big fan of flowers. Ever since I began gardening as a teenager they've always enchanted me," he wrote on Instagram back in 2016. He has also posted about his family wandering the woods in search of "the finest spicebush and beech leaves the forest had to offer," so he is in pretty deep (what's a spicebush?). Luckily for Rady, a lot of his Hallmark movies have featured flowers quite heavily, either in relation to holidays or in other ways, like a scene in "You're Bacon Me Crazy" where his character and another shop for potted plants.

For Rady, the love of nature is something important to pass down to the next generation. His Instagram makes this clear with photos of his children helping with gardening and picking oranges, and it is also something the actor has discussed in interviews. "I teach my kids all the different names of all the flowers and plants and trees," he told Talk Nerdy With Us back when he was a dad of two. In a 2020 interview with My Devotional Thoughts, Rady said that his family lives out in the country in Connecticut, in a home they purchased in 2018 and which sits on seven acres of land — a perfect setting for outdoor exploration.

He has been a vegan for close to two decades

Michael Rady has a connection to nature and the environment that seems to be not just a hobby or an interest, but a way of life for the actor. This is evident by way of his vegan lifestyle, which appears to be a central part of his identity, considering how often he mentions veganism and plant-based cooking in interviews. In his 2016 interview with Talk Nerdy With Us, Rady said that he had been a vegan for almost a decade, which means that he is approaching the 20-year mark within the next few years.

Rady has a variety of reasons for maintaining his veganism but has said it started as an experiment into trying something new. "It started out as just a curiosity, just pure curiosity. I've always been interested in all things about my body and health and fitness, so it was just another area of exploration, and as soon as I tried it, I never looked back," he told Talk Nerdy With Us. "It just felt dynamite and I didn't think twice, and now it's an equal, three-part thing for me. Now it's animals and environment and health." In that same interview, Rady said that plant-based cooking has become one of his passions, and in a separate article from People, said that he grows his own fruit. He has since purchased acres of land, so we can only imagine what Rady is growing nowadays.

He has been in a bunch of Christmas movies

In the years since he made his Hallmark Channel debut in 2015, Michael Rady has become one of the channel's most notable leading men. His talent, charm, and good looks have allowed him to join the ranks of the channel's other standout male stars, such as Andrew Walker and Brennan Elliott. As Us Weekly noted in their roundup of Hallmark's leading men, each guy has his own "brand." Of Rady, they wrote, "Despite having a variety of boring professions, his characters are sweet and kind," which very much aligns with that dad-next-door quality he has going in real life.

To date, Rady has appeared in 10 Hallmark movies, beginning with "Cloudy with a Chance of Love," where he romances an eccentric meteorologist. While a few of his other Hallmark films have also been regular romcoms — like "Love to the Rescue," for example — a good number of his movies have been holiday-themed. Rady has starred in a total of six Christmas or New Year's movies for the network, including "Christmas in Pemberley Manor." His most recent Hallmark film, "Unexpected Grace," aired on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, which is a sister channel to the main Hallmark Channel. "Hallmark movies are wonderful and always fun to make," Rady told MediaVillage.com. "You're working with good people, and the fans are so effusive and wonderful. What's interesting is that you can't easily profile a Hallmark fan. My parents are Hallmark fans, my neighbors, and even the guy who fills up our oil tank."

He'll play a doctor but he hates blood

Michael Rady has played a doctor on television, but absolutely hates the sight of blood. This goes for not only the real thing, but even the fake blood they use on sets, which is often just corn syrup, red food coloring, and maybe a couple of other grocery store items. Still, when he portrayed Dr. Micah Barnes on the short-lived drama "Emily Owens M.D.," Rady admitted to TVSource that he was extremely squeamish. "[Blood] is just horrible. It's weird when we're doing operating scenes and I'll turn to our tech advisors, they're working surgeons and doctors, and I'll say, 'hey, is this enough blood on my hands?' Just the fact that they know how much blood should be on my hands...I've never had blood on my hands. Wow, that's gross." he said in the interview.

Despite his extreme aversion to plasma — real or otherwise — Rady has since signed on to play multiple other doctors, which is kind of hilarious. In fact, if someone were to count, it is very possible that doctor is the most common job for his characters. He portrayed Dr. Hans Paré in one episode of "New Amsterdam" and another doctor in his Hallmark movie "The Christmas Bow," but his best known medical professional character is Dr. Matt Cooper, who Rady has portrayed in 11 episodes of the hit show "Chicago Med." While he did not play a doctor on either, Rady has also made appearances on two other huge medical series, "ER" and "The Resident."

He has insecurities about showing skin on screen

There are no questions about it, Michael Rady is gorgeous. And you don't have to take our word for it — People magazine named him their "Sexy Man of the Week" in 2009. If you need more proof, please visit his Instagram, where you can see not just his beautiful face and amazing head of hair on display, but also his big biceps and extremely fit torso. This is all to say that we have never complained when Rady has been on screen, and certainly not when has taken on a role that required lots of shirtless scenes.

Rady has shown skin in everything from "UnREAL" to "Jane the Virgin" to "Melrose Place," and he has shown actual nudity at least once, in the film "Sleeper Cell." Despite looking the way he does, these instances have not been easy for Rady, who has expressed insecurities related to having to be semi-nude on camera that lead him to completely alter his lifestyle beforehand. "I just read a scene where someone comes into the room, and I'm getting changed, putting my shirt on," Rady told Vulture in an interview about his role on "UnREAL." "They don't realize that those couple little letters written on a page change weeks for you. Weeks! Weeks goes into planning for that, and you might not even see a belly button. But I'm going to be really, really strict about diet, and have an exercise routine."

He's up for a third Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The first "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" film was Michael Rady's screen debut (and first professional job), and it remains one of his biggest movie roles to date. On the "Hallmarkies Podcast," he credited the movie with teaching him about the ins and outs of how to behave on a set, and said that he had no idea what he was doing at the time. His character, Kostas, was brought back for the sequel three years later, in 2008, and Rady has said on numerous occasions that he would be more than willing to appear in a third installment of the series. "I'm looking forward to the day my phone rings with that phone call," he told reporter Brittany Valadez in 2017. "I would be pleased and proud to be a part of it."

While it may sound silly to talk about a third film so long after the last, "Top Gun: Maverick" and others have shown that a sequel can find success decades after the original. Plus, rumors of a third "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" have been swirling for years. In a 2022 chat with SiriusXM's "Pop Culture Spotlight with Jessica Shaw," "Traveling Pants" star Amber Tamblyn talked about what was causing the third movie's deferment after a decade of discussion. "It's very complicated for a lot of reasons, some of which include just the fact that between the four of us, we all have, like, 870 children," she said.