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Erin Krakow Is One of Our Favorite Hallmark Actresses — Here’s Why We Love Her

Learn how she got her start and read about all the great Hallmark romances she's starred in!


Hallmark movies and shows are constant sources of comfort. After a long day, there’s simply nothing better than kicking back with an episode of When Calls the Heart or a swoony romantic movie on the channel. The Hallmark television and cinematic universe is vast, and Erin Krakow is one of its brightest stars. The 39-year-old actress, who stars in When Calls the Heart and movies like It Was Always You, The Wedding Cottage, A Summer Romance and more, embodies the wholesome, down-to-earth vibes that are Hallmark’s signature. Read on to learn more about her.

How Erin Krakow got her start

Erin Krakow had an auspicious start to her acting career, training at New York’s prestigious Juilliard School. While at Juilliard, she received a classical education in acting and starred in Shakespeare plays (her roles included Viola and Sebastian in Twelfth Night and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream). She performed in more plays following her graduation, and in 2012 she broke into TV, playing Tanya Gabriel on Lifetime’s Army Wives. More TV roles followed, and she appeared on shows like Guiding Light, Castle, NCIS: Los Angeles and Good Girls Revolt.

Related: Rachael Leigh Cook Movies and TV Shows: From ’90s Teen Queen to Hallmark Star

Actress Erin Krakow in 2014
Erin Krakow in 2014Tibrina Hobson/WireImage/Getty

When Calls the Heart: The show that made Erin Krakow a star

In 2014, Krakow had her big break when she was cast as Elizabeth Thatcher on When Calls the Heart. The Hallmark series, which will debut its 11th season in 2024 and has aired over 100 episodes, has a devoted fanbase that can’t get enough of its escapism and romantic drama. As Elizabeth, a teacher in 1910 who moves from the city to the Canadian frontier, Erin Krakow is the show’s heart and soul.

Erin Krakow in Season one of 'When Calls the Heart'
Erin Krakow in Season one of When Calls the Heart (2013)Eike Schroter/Copyright 2013 Crown Media United States, LLC

In an interview with TV Fanatic, Krakow said, “I knew that we had something special with When Calls the Heart from the beginning.” The show’s drama and character development, which has Elizabeth adjusting to small town life and experiencing love and loss, gives Krakow ample opportunity to show off her acting chops. She’s described the character as being brave yet vulnerable, and says she could never get bored of playing her.

Erin Krakow and Chris McNally in 'When Calls the Heart,' 2023
Erin Krakow and Chris McNally in When Calls the Heart (2023)David Dolsen/©2023 Hallmark

Krakow doesn’t just act on When Calls the Heart. In 2018, she became an executive producer on the show. She’s called producing “really enjoyable,” and has said, “I would certainly be interested in exercising a new muscle with directing or maybe even writing someday.” Given Krakow’s commitment to the show and her willingness to take the reins, we wouldn’t be surprised to see an episode written or directed by her in the future!

Erin Krakow movies

While When Calls the Heart takes up much of Krakow’s time, she’s still appeared in a number of movies — in fact, she’s pretty much Hallmark’s go-to leading lady! When you see Erin Krakow onscreen, you know you’re in for a good old-fashioned romance. Here are some of her most notable Hallmark movies.

Chance at Romance (2014)

Erin Krakow and Ryan McPartlin in 'A Chance at Romance,' 2014
Erin Krakow and Ryan McPartlin in A Chance at Romance (2014)Alexx Henry Studios, Jeremy Lee/Copyright 2013 Crown Media United States

Chance at Romance was Krakow’s very first Hallmark movie. She plays Samantha Hart, a woman who gets an opportunity to visit Heath Madsen (Ryan McPartlin), a hunky photographer she has an online relationship with. She expects a romantic weekend, but soon finds out it was a setup by his son. Chance at Romance is a fan favorite that’s so popular it still airs regularly 10 years later.

A Cookie Cutter Christmas (2014)

Erin Krakow in 'A Cookie Cutter Christmas,' 2014
Erin Krakow in A Cookie Cutter Christmas (2014)Diyah Pera/ Copyright 2014 Crown Media United States, LLC

It wouldn’t be Hallmark without Christmas movies! In Krakow’s first Christmas movie, A Cookie Cutter Christmas, she plays Christie Reynolds, a teacher who finds herself in a rivalry to win a holiday baking contest and romance. The movie also featured the late Growing Pains actor Alan Thicke.

Finding Father Christmas (2016)

Erin Krakow and Niall Matter in 'Finding Father Christmas,' 2016
Erin Krakow and Niall Matter in Finding Father Christmas (2016)Katie Yu/Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC

In Finding Father Christmas, Krakow plays Miranda, a woman who tragically lost her mother when she was young and never knew her father. Shortly before Christmas, she goes on a journey to find her father’s identity — and meets a handsome small-town suitor in the process. Finding Father Christmas spawned a trilogy, with Engaging Father Christmas following in 2017 and Marrying Father Christmas in 2018. Krakow told TV Insider, “They were important stories to tell because not everyone has the cookie cutter family with the happy traditions around the holidays.”

A Summer Romance (2019)

Erin Krakow and Ryan Paevey in 'A Summer Romance,' 2019
Erin Krakow and Ryan Paevey in A Summer Romance (2019)Ryan Plummer/©2019 Crown Media United States LLC

There’s an Erin Krakow romance for every season! In A Summer Romance, she plays Sam Walker, a ranch owner in Montana deciding whether to sell her property. Things soon become complicated when Richard Belmont (Ryan Paevey, one of our favorite Hallmark actors), a New York real estate developer, shows up and cross-cultural sparks fly.

Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen (2019)

Luke Macfarlane and Erin Krakow in 'Sense, Sensibility and Snowmen,' 2019
Luke Macfarlane and Erin Krakow in Sense, Sensibility and Snowmen (2019)Eike Schroter/Crown Media United States LLC

A charmingly updated version of the classic Jane Austen novel Sense and Sensibility, this holiday movie features Krakow as Ella Dashwood, a party planner who clashes with her toy company CEO client, Edward Ferris. Edward is played by Luke Macfarlane, Krakow’s fellow Juilliard-classmate-turned-Hallmark-star.

It Was Always You (2021)

Tyler Hynes and Erin Krakow in 'It Was Always You,' 2021
Tyler Hynes and Erin Krakow in It Was Always You (2021)Luba Popovic/©2021 Crown Media United States LLC

In It Was Always You, Krakow plays Elizabeth, a woman who finds herself at a crossroads when her fiancé’s brother comes home. Krakow told TV Insider that she found the script “very bold,” and noted, “The story of a woman who falls out of love with her fiancé and into love with his brother is a tricky line to walk.” The movie gave her an opportunity to dive into some seriously juicy drama.

The Wedding Cottage (2023)

Brendan Penny and Erin Krakow in 'The Wedding Cottage,' 2023
Brendan Penny and Erin Krakow in The Wedding Cottage (2023)Allister Foster/©2023 Hallmark Media

Krakow’s latest Hallmark movie, The Wedding Cottage, tells the tale of a Vanessa Doyle, a wedding guide creator who must convince Evan Stanford (Brendan Penny, star of Hallmark’s Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe), the owner of the titular cottage, to renovate it and host a dream wedding. Like many movies on the channel, it follows an enemies-to-lovers plot, and Krakow told Entertainment Tonight, “There’s a lot of growth throughout the movie, and so their changing relationship became like another character within it, and that was really fun to get to explore.”

We can’t wait to keep watching Erin Krakow in When Calls the Heart, and we’re sure we’ll be seeing her in even more fun Hallmark movies soon!

Learn more about all your favorite Hallmark actresses:

Brooke D’Orsay: 8 Hallmark Movies Starring the Actress We Love

Rhiannon Fish: The Australian Hallmark Actress Making a Splash On the Network

Emilie Ullerup Overcame a Health Scare Before Becoming a Hallmark Sweetheart

From Hallmark Sweetheart to Special Ops — Get To Know Jill Wagner

Pascale Hutton: Get To Know the Hallmark Sweetheart Lighting Up Our Screens

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