Many know her for the showstopping performance she gave in the early 2000’s teen drama One Tree Hill, as Haley James. Today, however, Bethany Joy Lenz has found a new swarm of fans among Hallmark watchers, ever since her first stint on the network in 2014’s The Christmas Secret. Whether you know her as the Tree Hill “tutor girl” turned cheerleader or the Hallmark sweetheart, read about Bethany Joy Lenz and the movies and TV shows we love her in — and see if you agree with this list of favorites!
Bethany Joy Lenz movies and TV shows
Before she was cast in her breakout role in One Tree Hill at 22, Bethany Joy Lenz got her start, not in movies and TV shows but the way many actors and actresses do: in commercials. Advertising Eggo waffles and Dr. Pepper, it wasn’t long before she started getting cast in real television and movie roles. Over the course of her high school career, Lenz made appearances in everything from Stephen King’s Thinner, Guiding Light and Mary and Rhoda to stage productions like Foxy Ladies Love/Boogie 70’s Explosion.
Other appearances came for Bethany Joy Lenz in various movies and TV shows such as Charmed, Off Centre and The Guardian, but all of that led up to her big break on One Tree Hill, which aired for the first time in 2003.
Lenz’s time in Tree Hill
Bethany Joy Lenz played the role of Haley James (Scott) in the hit series and was a beloved character for her relationship with leading male Nathan Scott, played by James Lafferty.
Lenz said to Glitter Magazine, “The percentage of people who actually get on a series, let alone a series that runs for 10 years and 22 episodes per season, which nobody even does anymore, and it really was the last of its kind because everything after that became super genre-based, right? Like Gossip Girl and The OC and The Vampire Diaries, and now we have this new generation of Riverdale, and even Outer Banks is mystery-based, so it was really the last in the line.”
“It makes me feel really good that our fans still connect and that people are still showing it to their kids, and we have a whole new generation of people who are like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m 13, and I love that show you were on,'” Lenz said. “I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ It’s really, really, cool. I feel very lucky.”
Bethany Joy Lenz’s Hallmark origins
Since 2014, Bethany Joy Lenz has acted in a total of seven Hallmark films, with one more on the way as a part of Hallmark’s 2023 Countdown to Christmas. Lenz told Woman’s Day, “Hallmark’s a great family to be a part of. They really welcome you in and make sure you’re taken care of.”
What she’s up to today
She’s also an accomplished musician and has been making music throughout the duration of her acting career. Her most recent single, “Strawberries,” was released on August 18.
On top of all of this, Lenz continues a successful acting career, making consistent appearances on the Hallmark Channel, becoming a fixture on the network over the past decade.
Bethany Joy Lenz Hallmark movies, ranked
Here, we ranked our favorite Bethany Joy Lenz Hallmark movies — including her newest, out November 26, A Biltmore Christmas.
7. Royal Matchmaker (2018)
Lenz stars as a matchmaker in Royal Matchmaker alongside Hallmark heartthrob Will Kemp. In the film, she’s tasked with finding a bride for Prince Sebastian, only to find herself falling for the royal.
6. The Christmas Secret (2014)
Bethany Joy Lenz stars alongside John Reardon in this 2014 holiday romance. When Christine’s life is spiraling downward, to make matters worse, she misplaces a special family heirloom. However, in the spirit of Christmas, things start turning around for her when she gets a new job at a bakery and a new romance starts to blossom in her life.
5. Bottled with Love (2019)
Bottled with Love puts Lenz alongside another Hallmark favorite: Andrew Walker! (Check out this ranking of our 23 favorite Andrew Walker movies!) When Abbey is stood up, she bares it all in a letter that she puts in a bottle and tosses out to sea. What she doesn’t anticipate is a fisherman discovering it months later.
Andrew Walker told My Devotional Thoughts on working with Lenz, “What is so neat about Joy…I nicknamed her the doctor.’ So I was like, ‘Hey, Doc, what do you want to do on this one?’ Because she comes in and really works scripts. She should be a script doctor. She takes something good and makes it great. So when this movie came along, we had an absolutely unbelievable opportunity with Hallmark. “
4. A Valentine’s Match (2020)
After losing her job as a reality TV host, Natalie returns back to her hometown, only to be roped into running the town’s festival auction with none other than her ex-fiancee, starring Lenz and Luke Macfarlane.
3. An Unexpected Christmas (2021)
A speech writer (Tyler Hynes) strikes up a deal with his ex-girlfriend to fake-date him through the holidays and save his family’s Christmas, but the act can only go on for so long.
Tyler Hynes told Southern Living, “Joy [Bethany Joy Lenz] works very hard. She cares about what she’s doing, and she tries to imbue scenes with some naturalism. And she does cool things like we walk out of a store, she’s fixing her boot and I go, yes! Yes! More of that! More of this stuff. Where we do things that are not just standing.”
2. Just My Type (2020)
Lenz plays Vanessa, a pop culture writer who has finally landed the interview of a lifetime with mysterious author Martin Clayborne (Brett Dalton). A visit to his quaint town reveals to Vanessa a lot about herself, as well as Martin, and she comes to learn that maybe there’s more to him than she thought.
1. Five Star Christmas (2020)
Topping our list is a rom-com that centers around a family vying for a five-star review for their father’s B&B from a famed travel writer (Victor Webster) when he shows up unexpectedly. Lucy ends up falling for him, but doesn’t realize he’s the critic.
“It’s an ensemble comedy,” Lenz told Glitter Magazine. “We definitely focus on the love story a bit. Still, there’s a lot of attention paid to all the characters’ storylines, which is what drew me to it in the first place. Usually, I just do one on one romances with Hallmark, so the fact that they were branching out and attempting something that I don’t think they’ve ever done before…I’ve never seen anything like this on the network before, so I was just really excited at that possibility.”
Bonus: A Biltmore Christmas (2023)
Lucy is a screenwriter that finds herself transported back in time when tasked with writing the script to the re-make of His Merry Wife!, originally filmed in 1947 at the historic Biltmore House. Upon her arrival to the past, she becomes close with one of the film’s stars, Jack Huston (Kristoffer Polaha), but must be careful not to alter the future forever. Out November 26, 8/7c!
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