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Kevin McGarry: Harlequin Romance Cover Model to the Hallmark Leading Man

Catch him in 'Checkin It Twice' on October 20, 8/7c, during Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas!

We were first introduced to Kevin McGarry as Mitch Cutty in the Canadian hit series, Heartland and Dr. Timothy Hudson in 2015’s Open Heart. But over the years — and to our delight — McGarry has become one of Hallmark’s most popular hunks, gaining fame as mountie Nathan Grant on the network drama When Calls The Heart and in made-for-TV films such as The Wedding Veil and Winter Love Story

Here, we get to know Kevin McGarry a little better and find out more about how he got his start, some surprising side jobs he’s had, our favorite films and what he’s doing next!

How Kevin McGarry fell into acting

Hallmark’s Kevin McGarry, quite literally, stumbled into acting. That’s right — the Ontario, Canada native was a freshman in high school, busy looking at his new surroundings, and mistakenly entered the wrong room for his assigned class. Instead, the 12th grade theatre class he found himself in lit a fire in him — and today, we’re grateful for his little mistake all those years ago!

McGarry continued learning the ins and outs of acting after that fateful day, graduating from George Brown College with a degree in Creative Writing. Following graduation, he enrolled in Fanshawe College in London, Ontario where he took theater arts. He continued his thespian education studying at the Pro Actors Lab.

Eventually, McGarry got sick of the studying and wanted to put it into practice, itching to venture out into the real world of scripts, auditions and bright lights. But before he achieved fame in motion pictures, McGarry was involved in another venture.

Kevin McGarry, 'The Wedding Veil Expectations', 2022
Kevin McGarry, The Wedding Veil Expectations, 2022©2022 Hallmark Media/Photographer: Craig Minielly

Kevin McGarry as a Harlequin cover model

Kevin McGarry also tried his hand at modeling in the early days of his career — but it was more than just catwalks and catalogs. He was on the cover on three Harlequin books – you know, the ones women read in the comfy confines of their bedroom, chock full of steamy plot lines? Some of his covers included Her Sexiest Surprise by Dawn Atkins and Mission: Christmas by Lindsay McKenna and Susan Grant.

Kevin McGary on Harlequin
Kevin McGarry as cover model on Harlequin novelsHarlequin

I did model when I first came to Toronto. I was not good at it,” McGarry said on the Grass is Greener podcast. “But the only thing I really got down was on the catwalk walk or the runway walk…putting your shoulders back to slide off the jacket and then doing the over-the-shoulder motion in one move,” he joked, while also recalling a gig he had in a Sears catalog. “I’m from a small town, and back then we had the Sears Wishbook.  And they were like, ‘McGarry’s in the Wishbook, page 170,’ or whatever it was.” 

(Click through to see him in thi list of Hallmark hunks!)

Kevin McGarry, ''Feeling Butterflies', 2022
Kevin McGarry, Feeling Butterflies, 2022

Kevin McGarry’s personal life

While Kevin McGarry tends to keep his private life private, the When Calls the Heart star has found his forever love with fellow Heartie castmate Kayla Wallace. They met on set in 2019 and started dating soon after. In December 2022, Wallace took to Instagram to announce their engagement with a sweet video.

To us, Kevin McGarry is the ultimate Hallmark hunk. The charming 38-year-old actor kids that while he’s never borrowed Hallmark storylines and incorporated them into his real life, they’ve borrowed from him. “I feel like Hallmark steals storylines from my real life and uses it on-camera,” he joked with Entertainment Tonight.

Kevin McGarry Hallmark movies and TV shows

Here, take a look at some of our favorite Kevin McGarry Hallmark movies and TV shows over the course of his career!

1. Love at First Bark (2017)

Jana Kramer, Kevin McGarry, 'Love at First Bark', 2017
Jana Kramer, Kevin McGarry, Love at First Bark, 2017

An interior designer (Jana Kramer) seeks the help of handsome dog trainer Owen (played by McGarry) when she adopts a dog of her own. While juggling the various tasks her job throws at her, she leans on Owen for support and begins to fall for him.

2. A Song for Christmas (2017)

Rebecca Tobin, Kevin McGarry, 'A Song for Christmas', 2017
Rebecca Tobin, Kevin McGarry, A Song for Christmas, 2017

Becca Tobin stars as a country pop-star who is struggling with the image she’s forced to present to the public. When her bus breaks down in Pennsylvania and accidentally leaves her behind, she’s taken in by a local family thanks to the teenage girl who comes to her rescue — and begins falling for her musician older brother.

3. Winter Castle (2019)

Kevin McGarry, Emilie Ullerup, 'Winter Castle', 2018
Kevin McGarry, Emilie Ullerup, Winter Castle, 2019

Jenny (Emilie Ullerup) is ecstatic over her sister’s destination wedding at an ice hotel, and finds herself falling for the best man, Craig, in this ice-cold setting.

4. Winter Love Story (2019)

Jen Lilley, Kevin McGarry, 'Winter Love Story', 2019
Jen Lilley, Kevin McGarry, Winter Love Story, 2019

Cassie (Jen Lilley) is an author whose book is struggling to sell. In an effort to boost her sales, she’s paired with best-selling author Elliot on a book tour — and sparks start to fly.

5. When Calls the Heart (2019)

Kevin McGarry, 'When Calls the Heart', Season 6, 2019
Kevin McGarry, When Calls the Heart, Season 6, 2019©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter

Kevin McGarry joined season 6 of this popular Hallmark period drama as Nathan Grant, one of Elizabeth’s (Erin Krakow) suitors.

6. Christmas Scavenger Hunt (2019)

Kevin McGarry, Kim Shaw, 'Christmas Scavenger Hunt', 2019
Kevin McGarry, Kim Shaw, Christmas Scavenger Hunt, 2019

Belinda (Kim Shaw) must team up with her ex, Dustin, in her town’s annual Christmas scavenger hunt.

7. The Wedding Veil (2022)

Kevin McGarry, Lacey Chabert, 'The Wedding Veil', 2021
Kevin McGarry, Lacey Chabert, The Wedding Veil, 2022

Lacey Chabert plays a museum curator who discovers a long lost antique veil. She and Peter, a new board member, work together to discover its origins and plan a gala for the unveiling of a long lost painting.

8. My Grown-Up Christmas List (2022)

Kevin McGarry, Kayla Wallace, 'My Grown-Up Christmas List', 2022
Kevin McGarry, Kayla Wallace, My Grown-Up Christmas List, 2022

Taylor (Kayla Wallace) is a journalist and Luke is in the military. After a chance encounter one Christmas Eve, the two remain bonded over the next few Christmases, whether their paths cross or they remain apart, and over time, they begin to fall for one another.

9. Feeling Butterflies (2022)

Kayla Wallace, Kevin McGarry, 'Feeling Butterflies', 2022
Kayla Wallace, Kevin McGarry, Feeling Butterflies, 2022

Emily (Kayla Wallace) runs a booming butterfly business, and when she goes to deliver monarchs to a birthday party, she meets single dad, Garrett.

10. Checkin’ It Twice (2023)

Checkin' It Twice, 2023
Checkin’ It Twice, 2023

A part of Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas 2023, Kevin McGarry stars as a hockey player traded to Ashley’s (Kim Matula) hometown team — who just so happens to take up residence in her family’s backyard cottage. Airing October 20, 8/7c on Hallmark!

For more Hallmark stars:

Bethany Joy Lenz Movies and TV Shows + Her Best Hallmark Romances, Ranked

Hallmark Countdown to Christmas 2023: The Full Lineup, Who’s Starring & When to Watch

Peter Mooney: The Handsome New Hallmark Star You Don’t Want to Miss!

Swoon Alert! The Top 14 Ryan Paevey Hallmark Movies You *Must* See

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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