The Richest Hallmark Stars Might Surprise You

Would the Christmas season still be the Christmas season without the non-stop marathon of holiday films on the Hallmark Channel? There's just something about the heartwarming, formulaic (if a little cheesy) movies that sets the tone for the holidays and keeps some of us watching year-round. While cuddling up to Crown Media classics, it's normal to wonder how much the network's stars actually make for their contributions.

Unfortunately, we don't have an exact answer. But here's what we can say: each Hallmark Christmas movie budget is around $1 million, according to Vancouver Magazine. Under SAG guidelines, this qualifies them as "low budget" films, which means Hallmark is only obligated to pay actors $2,324 a week or $670 a day. However, Vancouver Magazine notes that "top talent" can earn $900 per day on average. Even if that sounds low compared to the paydays major Hollywood actors might receive for other projects, many of Hallmark's biggest stars have other ways to add to their overall wealth substantially.

We're rounding up 15 of Hallmark's wealthiest stars. The top honor formerly would have gone to Lori Loughlin (who has an estimated net worth of $70 million), but after her part in the college admissions scandal, the network made it abundantly clear that she was not returning. Although GAC cast her in their "When Calls the Heart" spin-off, Hallmark said in a statement to Showbiz Cheatsheet: "Hallmark Channel has not cast Lori Loughlin in any current projects, including "When Calls the Heart," nor do we have any plans to cast her in the future." 

So, who has the top spot today? Read on to find out.

Luke Macfarlane: $2 million

For some actors, the decision to spend their lives in show business is almost a genetic one. When you come from a family of artists and performers, it can be difficult to imagine doing anything else. For others, like Luke Macfarlane, the decision to pursue a career in Hollywood is much more conscious and calculated. The Hallmark hunk told The Rage Monthly, "My family was all academics, medical professional academics, and part of me was terrified that I would end up in that field and be unhappy. I played the cello, so on a lark, I thought I would audition for Juilliard." Macfarlane continued, "I knew I wasn't a good enough cello player to make it. So instead, I thought I would trick them into believing that I am a good enough actor. I was very lucky and got in to Juilliard. I was not a theater kid, but this became my escape plan."

And a good escape plan it was. The Canadian actor landed many regular TV roles in fairly quick succession, including "Brothers & Sisters" and "Killjoys," that established him as a talented and consistent actor. Hallmark, for their part, took note. The network began casting him as the romantic lead in a number of their original films. To date, Macfarlane has made 12 movies for the cable giant to date, many of them Christmas flicks. According to Celebrity Net Worth, these regular roles have helped the actor build his net worth to an estimated $2 million.

Andrew Walker: $2 million

To save on costs, many of Hallmark's Christmas and wintry movies are shot in Canada, where tax breaks and other perks allow each film's budget to stretch a little farther. For many of the network's biggest actors, spending a few blustery months in the Great White North is a novel, and cold, experience. That's not the case for Hallmark veteran Andrew Walker (the novel part, that is), as he grew up in Montreal and even booked his first few jobs in the city before moving to California.

However, it was after he moved to the warmer climate that Walker's career really took off. The actor landed roles in a number of TV series, including "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," "The Big Bang Theory," and "Against the Wall." But the bulk of his work has been in Hallmark films — he's made almost two dozen and had an arc on the network's popular series "When Calls the Heart" — jobs that have allowed him to amass substantial wealth. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Walker is worth an estimated $2 million.

His longevity with the network has also allowed him to be more selective. When discussing how he chooses the projects he's made up to this point, the actor told fan blog Lolly Christmas that, "all in all, I do get to pick and choose." It's a privilege that allows him to take an active role in Little West, the L.A.-based juice bar he runs with his wife, Cass. The juice bar, which opened in 2013, seems to be another major source of income for Walker.

Brooke D'Orsay: $3 million

Another Canadian, Brooke D'Orsay, got her start in "Trailervision," a Toronto-based comedy improv troupe (per Hallmark Channel). After spending a few years with the group, honing her comedic timing and learning how to play off a close-knit cast, she began landing small roles in TV series like "Doc" and "Soul Food." Then, in 2004, the actor landed two career-changing parts: the voice of Caitlin Cook in the animated sitcom "6teen" and Clarissa, a marijuana-loving college student in "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle."

These jobs gave D'Orsay the exposure she needed to be recognized by Hallmark. After "6teen" wrapped, and a year after her recurring role on "Drop Dead Diva" ended, she landed her first film for the cable network, "How to Fall in Love." Despite the fact that she quickly became one of Hallmark's leading ladies, she hasn't limited herself to these projects. In fact, she's had long-term roles on major shows, including "Two and a Half Men," "Royal Pains," and "Grace & Frankie." All the hard work seems to have paid off for D'Orsay, who has an estimated net worth of $3 million.

Autumn Reeser: $3 million

At seven years old, Hallmark veteran Autumn Reeser got her first taste of stardom when she appeared in the musical put on by her local theater troupe. Unable to walk away from the spotlight, she applied to the theater program at UCLA a decade later and got in "on sheer hope and desire," as she told Career Contessa. The actor earned guest roles and recurring roles on many series, from "George Lopez" and "Grounded for Life" to "Entourage" and "The O.C.," where she became a series regular. 

As of 2021, Reeser has almost 70 acting credits to her name, 12 of which are Hallmark movies. She's an actor first and foremost. Reeser told "Career Contessa" that her ability to support herself through her acting alone is "probably what I'm most proud of in my career." She's branched out into behind-the-scenes work, executive producing her first Hallmark movie, "The 27-Hour Day," in 2021. At various points, she's supplemented her TV and film income with other creative projects, including "The Thrilling Adventure Hour" (a podcast turned theater production), a now-defunct e-zine called "Move LifeStyle," and parts in various Los Angeles cabaret shows.

As of 2021, Reeser is worth $3 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Jessy Schram: $4 million

Jessy Schram is the perfect example of an individual who seems to have known their whole life that they're destined to be an actor. The Illinois native began acting as a child, according to her Hallmark profile, working on several commercials and in local and regional theater productions. At 18, she moved to Los Angeles in order to more effectively pursue her dreams.

Some of her first big jobs after landing in Tinseltown were as Susan Davis in Hallmark's "Jane Doe" movie franchise. After appearing in nine of these films, the network finally cast her as the leading lady in her first rom-com, "Harvest Moon," in 2015. Since then, Schram has appeared in seven additional Hallmark original movies. At this point, it seems the actor has fully embraced her close relationship with the network. She told TV Fanatic, "They care so much about their stories and their actors and their crew and really making something as quality as they can. ... I've just always loved what we're making." Schram added that the Hallmark movies are "meant to bring lightness into the world."

That being said, she's done plenty of acting outside of the network, with turns on "Chicago Med," "Once Upon a Time," and "Nashville." All of this work has allowed Schram to build her net worth to a cool $3 million.

Alicia Witt: $4 million

Like her fellow Hallmark alumni, Alicia Witt also began acting at the tender young age of seven. But rather than start out in something low-stakes, like a local theater production, her first role was in the film version of the iconic sci-fi classic "Dune." She parlayed that exposure into a slew of guest roles on everything from "Twin Peaks" to "The Sopranos," landing an assortment of movies big and small (like "Mr. Holland's Opus" and "Vanilla Sky") along the way. Other notable roles include Cheryl on "Friday Night Lights," Autumn Chase on "Nashville," and Zelda on "Orange Is the New Black." Witt also made eight consecutive Christmas movies for Hallmark from 2013 to 2020.

Outside of acting, Witt is an accomplished musician. Her work, which is described as "original piano-driven pop music" on her website, has been featured in TV and movies, even her own. The classically trained pianist has also released a number of solo albums. Other professional accomplishments include writing and producing films for the Hallmark Channel, writing a lifestyle-focused book called "Small Changes," and warming up audiences as the opening act at concerts for such performers as Rachel Platten and Jimmy Webb.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Witt is worth $4 million.

Lacey Chabert: $4 million

Though she'd already been working as a professional actor for more than a decade, Lacey Chabert wasn't what you'd consider an A-list star until 2004, when "Mean Girls" hit theaters. A box office smash, the movie catapulted her from relative unknown to in-demand leading lady. Thanks to her existing experience in the industry — she spent a year on "All My Children" in the early '90s, six years on "Party of Five," and six years on "The Wild Thornberrys"— she was able to keep her head on straight and avoid falling into the darker traps of fame.

That good girl persona served her well when Hallmark first came knocking in 2010 with "Elevator Girl." Notorious for their "no a**hole policy," the cable network works to hire actors whose image and on-set behaviors match the overall wholesome vibe of the company. Having proven herself to be just that type of person, Chabert has now made 30 movies, and one TV show, for the network. She told PureWow, "It's hard to believe... I never would have known that after all these years that I would end up doing so many. It's been a real honor to be a part of the Hallmark family."

Outside of her acting work, Chabert is a spokesperson for Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader. These combined ventures have helped bring her net worth to an estimated $4 million.

Jill Wagner: $4 million

Jill Wagner's path to becoming a Hallmark Channel star is unorthodox, to say the least. Her first jobs in Hollywood were as a field agent in the practical joke program "Punk'd" and the on-field host of "Wipeout," an obstacle course competition show. Her commanding, upbeat manner on-screen meant that casting directors for scripted shows began taking note of her, offering bit parts on crime and sci-fi series. In 2011, she landed her first significant role on one of these series, the recurring character Kate Argent on "Teen Wolf."

Though she's done some work for other studios, the bulk of her credits come from Hallmark Channel original movies. To date, she's done 10 movies for the network and seven film-length episodes of the "Mystery 101" series. She credits her devotion to the family-friendly studio to her grandmother, telling "The Journal-Gazette," "My grandmother really loves Hallmark Christmas movies... she really gets a kick out of me being in one of them. In fact, she picked the first Hallmark movie I did out of the scripts that I sent her." Aww.

Off-screen, Wagner has the same "heart of gold" that many of her Crown Media characters exhibit, per HuffPost. She's partnered with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to raise funds and awareness for blood-related cancer cures, a cause that became important to her after a cousin was diagnosed with leukemia. The cause is so close to her heart, that the actor contributes to the foundation from her own estimated $4 million fortune, allocating portions of her Cameo proceeds to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Holly Robinson-Peete: $4 million

Very few actors can claim that their first role was as cool as Holly Robinson-Peete's: a neighborhood kid on the first-ever episode of "Sesame Street." Only five years old at the time, Robinson-Peete enjoyed working on the episode enough that it seems she decided right then and there to pursue acting as a career. In the '80s and '90s, the young actor landed leading, long-lasting parts on a series of successful sitcoms, including "21 Jump Street," "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper," and "For Your Love."

It wasn't until the mid-2010s that Robinson-Peete made the jump to the Hallmark Channel. Despite being relatively newer to the cable network, she's been busy, making annual original Christmas movies and seven film-length episodes of the "Morning Show Mysteries" series. The entertainer was also one of the original co-hosts on the daytime series "The Talk" and the star of her own reality series (alongside her husband, football star Rodney Peete) called "Meet the Peetes." She's been a producer on some of her Hallmark projects, as well.

Off-screen, Robinson-Peete has written a number of books, including several about autism (her son was diagnosed with the neurological condition). She also runs a charity called the HollyRod Foundation, which provides support for people living with Parkinson's and Autism.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Robinson-Peete is worth $4 million.

Jessica Lowndes: $6 million

A relative newcomer to the scene, Jessica Lowndes only got her big break in 2005 when she was discovered by Showtime producers. The experience, which took place before her senior year of high school, solidified for the actor what she'd always known — she wanted to move from her native Canada to Hollywood to pursue a career on screen. After relocating and paying her dues in a number of small TV and movie roles, she finally got her big break as Adrianna Tate-Duncan in the 2008 to 2013 "90210" drama.

Her experience on the show not only allowed her to hone her acting chops but also gave her a place to showcase her musical ability. A singer-songwriter, Lowndes has released a number of singles and EPs but has yet to put out a full-length album of her own (her songs do appear on a number of movie soundtracks). Hallmark, historically appreciative of multi-talented performers, has also had her sing in a handful of her original films.

Interestingly, Deadline announced that Lowndes was cast in a GAC Family movie, set to premiere in early 2022. Regardless of her future with Crown Media, it's undeniable that Lowndes' time as a Hallmark Channel star has played a significant part in building her estimated $6 million fortune.

Danica McKellar: $6 million

Danica McKellar makes the list on a technicality. In October 2021, Deadline announced that one of the queens of Christmas had signed an exclusivity contract with GAC Media for holiday projects. Her first project with the new network was set to premiere in January 2022. That being said, she has one final (for now) Hallmark Christmas movie, "You, Me & the Christmas Tree," that made its debut in 2021, thereby qualifying her for this list (but just barely).

McKellar first rose to fame in the late '80s as Winnie Cooper on "The Wonder Years." Her strong performance on the sitcom helped her snag plenty of work once the show went off the air, including a recurring role on the political drama "The West Wing." With Hallmark, the actor has made 13 movies and several installments of the "Matchmaker Mysteries" series. Given her impressive list of acting credits (IMDb lists over 100), it would be easy to imagine that's all McKellar does. In reality, that's only half of it — she's also a mathematician. According to her website, she graduated summa cum laude from the UCLA mathematics department, having co-written "a groundbreaking mathematical physics theorem." Since leaving academia, she's written a number of books about math for both child and adult audiences.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, McKellar is worth $6 million.

Alexa PenaVega: $8 million

Born in Miami, Florida, Alexa PenaVega didn't grow up experiencing the white Christmases that are so often featured in Hallmark movies, but that doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy them. The actor told Glamour magazine, "I love Hallmark movies because they're out-of-control awesome. There are no limits. ... You can't go overboard."

PenaVega started acting at just five years old, with roles in the TV series "Evening Shade" as well as several major commercials for companies like JC Penny and Pillsbury. Her big break came in 2001 with the first "Spy Kids" movie. From then on, she became an in-demand actor, particularly in movies and TV shows aimed at a teenage audience. In 2016, she starred in her first Hallmark movie, "Ms. Matched," and hasn't looked back. Several of her movies feature her real-life husband, Carlos PenaVega, as does her "Picture Perfect Mysteries" series.

Outside of their Hallmark work, the couple also runs a successful YouTube channel called "LexLovesLos." Their videos are typically slice-of-life clips and vlogs, often centered around family time and major life events (like the births of their children). With almost 150 million views, the channel surely brings in a nice bit of money, contributing to the couple's combined $8 million estimated net worth.

Tamera Mowry-Housley: $8 million

'90s kids will remember Tamera Mowry-Housely from the sitcom "Sister, Sister," which she starred in alongside her identical twin sister Tia Mowry-Hardrict. As a preteen and teenager, Tamera made a ton of family-friendly content, including a number of movies for the Disney Channel and the Lifetime network. As an adult, she's never strayed too far from those wholesome values, electing to stick with projects that adhere to her Christian morals.

In 2020, Deadline reported that Mowry-Housley, who had previously starred in a few Hallmark Christmas films, had signed a deal with Crown Media Family Networks. The agreement locked her in for several more original films that she would both star in and executive produce, as well as a hosting position on the channel's talk show "Home & Family." Her 2021 holiday film, "The Santa Stakeout," is a product of this deal.

Outside of her acting work, Mowry-Housely hosted the daytime talk show "The Real" for seven years. She also runs a lifestyle website simply called "Tamera Mowry" and YouTube channel, "The Housley Life," with her husband, Adam Housley. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Tia and Tamera combined are worth $8 million.

Marilu Henner: $12 million

Marilu Henner is a jack of all trades. A classically trained dancer, she was a teacher and choreographer in her own right by the age of 14. As a young adult, she pursued her passion for performing at the University of Chicago, and she portrayed Marty in the first-ever performance of "Grease" (a role she'd later reprise on Broadway once the show took off) at Kingston Mines. After graduation, she landed the role of Elaine Nardo in the sitcom "Taxi." The part made her a household name and earned her 5 Golden Globe nominations.

Over the course of her decades-long career, Henner has starred in dozens of TV shows, movies, and Broadway shows. She's also hosted her own radio program, "The Marilu Henner Show," as well as two TV talk shows. Interestingly, Henner is one of 12 known people to have Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (per her Hallmark bio), which means she remembers in almost perfect detail everything that has ever happened to her. The condition has led her to multiple books about memory and health. Together, these various pursuits have allowed the actor to build her estimated $12 million fortune.

Henner has appeared in six Hallmark original movies, and 17 feature-length installments in the network's "Aurora Teagarden Mysteries" series. The mystery series is a favorite of Henner's, she explained to MediaVillage. "It's really one of those little gems of a job and so special," she said. Henner has also formed a close bond with another Hallmark star, Candace Cameron Bure.

Candace Cameron Bure: $14 million

The richest Hallmark star? Candace Cameron Bure. Instantly recognizable as D.J. Tanner from the family-friendly sitcom "Full House," she's been working in Hollywood since elementary school (although she took a brief hiatus to raise her family). Like pal Marilu Henner, Bure "wears a lot of different hats" as an actor, producer, talk show host, author, and entrepreneur (per her website).

Bure produced and starred in "Fuller House," the Netflix revival of her famous sitcom. She's also a New York Times best-selling author with an array of lifestyle books as well as a series of children's books, and has product lines with both QVC and Dayspring. But her most significant job is being Hallmark's (unofficial) Christmas Queen. In 2021, she made her tenth holiday film for the network. Talking to Fox News about the milestone, she said, "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. I always try to make it the best that I can..."

In addition to her holiday films, Bure plays detective Aurora Teagarden in the "Aurora Teagarden Mysteries" series. On average, she and the network deliver three film-length installments of the series each year. The schedule may be a hectic one, but it seems to be worth it, as it's allowed the star to grow her net worth to $14 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.