Ryan Paevey Revealed The Tragic Truth About His Exit From Hallmark

Ryan Paevey has starred in an impressive number of Hallmark movies. As such, it came as a massive surprise when the actor announced that he was walking away from the channel, and from acting in general, at least for a little while. In a heartbreaking statement, Paevey shared that there were a few reasons why — and his mental wellbeing and his mother's health were two of the biggest. The "Unleashing Mr. Darcy" star first hinted at taking a step back from showbiz in April 2024. In a since-deleted post on X, previously Twitter, he wrote, "I need some time away from a world so full of fake friends and empty promises," (via Us Weekly). The "General Hospital" alum declined to give any further details at the time. 

However, more recently, Paevey spoke up about all the reasons he needed a break from the industry. In a statement to Heavy, the actor pointed out that he no longer felt like himself anymore. "It's taken me to a bit of a dark place, made me feel like a version of myself I don't like very much," Paevey admitted, confirming that he was prioritizing his mental health. That wasn't all, though. He also shared that he'd been a victim of financial mismanagement. The final straw, however, was his mom's ailing health. "My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. I left Los Angeles to be closer to her, and feel the need to devote more of my time, energy, and resources closer to home," he said. A lot to handle, no doubt! 

Ryan Paevey wanted to pivot in the past, too

Ryan Paevey's reasons for walking away from Hallmark are completely heartbreaking. That said, those who have followed his career for a while know that there were already signs that the actor wanted to shift his focus several years back. We're referring, of course, to Paevey's 2018 exit from "General Hospital." While the "Coyote Creek Christmas" star acknowledged that leaving the show was emotional for him — even telling Soap Opera Digest that he teared up while filming his final scenes — Paevey also made it clear that it was his own choice to leave the long-running soap. So much so, in fact, that he actually walked away without another gig in the pipeline, disclosing, "I didn't have anything lined up; I had no idea what was next." 

Paevey was even prepared to go back to what he did before "General Hospital" — a combination of handyman jobs and bartending. That the Hallmark stalwart was so willing to step away makes sense given that he also divulged in an interview with Soap Hub that he went in to "General Hospital" with every intention of only doing it short-term. Fair enough, we guess — after all, Paevey confessed to Soaps in Depth that he had plenty of reservations when he took the job: "I didn't even call myself an actor — I didn't even know if I wanted to be an actor." Even after signing on to work with Hallmark, clearly, that uncertainty lingered. 

Ryan Paevey shifted his focus to jewelry design

Ryan Paevey may have been ready to quit his acting career without another role lined up, but luckily, he had something else to fall back on. You'd probably never guess, but outside of acting, Paevey actually owns jewelry and clothing company, Fortunate Wanderer. As noted on their official website, the actor's travels were the original inspiration for the brand. However, while speaking to Soaps in Depth in 2017, Paevey explained that it was only after he started giving out bracelets he'd made to fans at meet-and-greets that the former soap star began thinking of it as a business opportunity. 

Though the brand was briefly put on hiatus around 2020, it's now fully operational. And, in his statement to Heavy, the "Two Tickets to Paradise" star shared that it had since become his top priority, career-wise. Paevey was grateful for another creative outlet that he could explore on his own terms too. It's great to know that he will have something to fulfil him as he navigates his new life, outside of the spotlight. More specifically, we're glad to hear that he'll be able to focus on his side hustle, while still caring for his mom even though Paevey's absence will certainly be felt by Hallmark fans.