Bethany Joy Lenz in "A Biltmore Christmas"
Hallmark Media/Photographer: David Scott Holloway

Who Is Bethany Joy Lenz? The Hallmark Star Is a Mom and Cult Survivor

Plus her new 2023 Hallmark Christmas movie.

Is there anything more relaxing during the crazy holiday season than sitting back and enjoying some of the new Hallmark Christmas movies? Every year, you can expect to see some of the same friendly faces, season after season, and they are always folks who you'd expect to be some of the nicest in Hollywood. Bethany Joy Lenz is the prime example of one of those shining lights this holiday season on Hallmark. She has an infectious smile, an amazing singing voice, and some genuine acting chops that make her a fan-favorite to watch.

While longtime fans probably recognize Lenz from her days on "One Tree Hill," she's actually been acting in Hollywood for much longer than that. In an interview with Glitter Magazine, the actress explained that, while growing up in New Jersey, she knew early on that she loved performing. She grew up singing in church and eventually fell in love with acting and theater.

"I was an only child, and I loved attention and that was where it kind of started, but then I really fell in love with storytelling and the idea that I could try and make people feel something that maybe they hadn't been feeling before and that I was good at that."

From her early career to Hallmark to her family and personal life, here's everything to know about Hallmark star Bethany Joy Lenz.

Who Is Bethany Joy Lenz?

DANA POINT, CA - AUGUST 01:  Bethany Joy Lenz attends the 8th Annual Oceana SeaChange Summer Party at Strands Beach on August 1, 2015 in Dana Point, California.

Joe Scarnici/FilmMagic

Lenz booked roles in various commercials as a child before landing the role of Michelle Bauer Santos on the soap opera "Guiding Light." TV roles on "Felicity," "Charmed" and "The Guardian" followed, as well as the film "Bring It On Again."

She was then chosen to play Haley James on "One Tree Hill." The teen drama followed numerous high school kids in Tree Hill, North Carolina and the chemistry she had with co-star James Lafferty (who played her on-screen love Nathan Scott) was electric until the end of the popular series. Similar to her on-screen persona, Lenz is a talented singer and songwriter who has released her own music over the years. Her singing has even been featured on "One Tree Hill" as well as on some of her other TV roles. This year, she released a new single, "Strawberries."

Over the years, Lenz has appeared on numerous TV shows, including "Dexter," "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," "Grey's Anatomy," and "Men at Work." She even reunited with her "One Tree Hill" co-stars Hilarie Burton and Sophia Bush for the podcast "Drama Queens," which recounts their time on the teen drama.

"We're moving forward with where we are now, and looking back and reliving the memories," Lenz explained to People prior to the launch of the podcast in 2021.

"There's going to be a lot of candid talk about what we experienced, but we're not trying to be like Jerry Springer and trash everything. We loved our show. We love what we're doing now."

Bethany Joy Lenz Hallmark Movies

Bethany Joy Lenz in "A Biltmore Christmas"

Hallmark Media/Photographer: David Scott Holloway

But as much as we loved her time as Haley, it's been such a treat to see Lenz transition into one of the regulars on the Hallmark Channel. Currently based in Nashville, Lenz has bundled up in her winter coat to appear in countless feel-good Christmas films on the popular network. So far, she's appeared in numerous films, including "The Christmas Secret," "Royal Matchmaker," "Bottled With Love," "A Valentine's Match," "Five Star Christmas" and "An Unexpected Christmas." Let's not forget regular appearances in Lifetime Christmas movies as well, like the holiday film "Snowed Inn Christmas."

This year, she is starring opposite Kris Polaha in the new "A Biltmore Christmas." where she plays a journalist who gets sent back in time to the set of a 1947 holiday movie. The film takes place in the historic Biltmore Estate, a National Historic Landmark in Asheville, North Carolina.

Bethany Joy Lenz Family + Personal Life

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 03: (L-R) Maria Rose Galeotti and Bethany Joy Lenz attend Steven Tyler's 4th Annual GRAMMY Awards® Viewing Party benefitting Janie's Fund presented by Live Nation at Hollywood Palladium on April 03, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Janie's Fund

Lenz has one child with her ex-husband, Michael Galeotti, a daughter named Maria. She is also in the process of writing a memoir that covers a 10-year period she spent in an abusive cult, which overlaps with her time on "One Tree Hill." While discussing the upcoming book, she even admitted that many of her castmates tried to get her to leave, but she wasn't in a place where she was ready to walk away yet.

READ MORE: Who Is Nikki DeLoach? Inside the Hallmark Star's Sweet Family Life and Charity Work