Great American Family

Who Is Christopher Russell? The Hallmark Star Has Been Happily Married For 19 Years

Plus a peek inside his friendship with fellow Hallmark star Cindy Busby.

Hallmark and Great American Family star Christopher Russell is back again this year to delight fans in more feel-good holiday movies. Russell has been appearing on the Hallmark Channel since 2013 and will appear in two Christmas movies for their 2023 Countdown to Christmas. "The Secret Gift of Christmas" will premiere on Hallmark Channel on Dec. 15. In the movie, Russell plays a widow who's hired a personal shopper named Bonnie. Bonnie helps reconnect the solo dad back with his daughter through their shopping adventures.

Russell's second Christmas movie, "Peppermint and Postcards," will be released on Great American Family on Dec. 10. When a young girl's letter trying to find love for her mom goes viral, her mom may realize it's been right in front of her the entire time. 

For those who need more Christmas movies in their life, Russell also starred in "A Dash of Christmas," which was released in early November. 

Russell is extremely successful in his acting career and caught the acting bug at the ripe old age of three. After playing a donkey in his preschool production of "The Nativity Story," he decided he wanted to become an actor as a young teen. While in high school, he won the Sears Drama Festival Award of Excellence. He's since gone on to act in a variety of different roles on both the small and big screen. 

He and Cindy Busby have a long history together

Cindy Busby, Christopher Russell

Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Courtesy of Luba Popovic/Johnson Productions

Christopher Russell is a well-known leading man on both Hallmark and Great American Family networks, having appeared in over 15 movies. He's worked alongside many talented actresses, but has co-starred with Cindy Busby in four Hallmark originals. Cindy Busby is a Hallmark leading lady in her own right, and the two have worked with one another on "A Puppy for Christmas," "Love in the Forecast," "Chasing Waterfalls," and "Warming Up to You." 

In an interview with Digital Journal regarding "Warming Up to You," Russell shared, "Cindy Busby is the best...We first worked together six years ago on 'A Puppy for Christmas,' where I played Todd, the mean ex-boyfriend. We clicked right away since we have very complementary personalities. It was lots of fun to do 'Warming Up To You' with her. She is a barrel of laughs, that's for sure. This is our fourth movie together."

He loves romantic comedies, but he's not just a rom-com actor

Christopher Russell

Great American Family

Even though he's known and loved for his romantic comedy roles, he's taken on a wide range of roles in other genres. He appeared in the Syfy horror series, "Day of the Dead." He described his experience, saying it was "a lot of fun" and a "completely different genre" of work for him. He was even nominated for a 2022 Leo Award for Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series.

Russell also appeared in the Amazon series, "Reacher." He played Joe Reacher, the eldest brother of the main character, Jack Reacher, and a secret service agent. For Russell, the crime drama helped him stretch his acting abilities. 

Russel isn't just a TV or made-for-TV movie actor. He's appeared in several feature films, including "Land of the Dead," "Center Stage: Turn it Up," and "V is for Vengeance." 

Romantic comedies are his main bread and butter, as he has acted in over 60 movies between Hallmark and Great American Family networks. At the start of his career, he was more than happy to take on minor and supporting roles, but as he's gotten more experience, he's become a leading man. His first role in a Hallmark movie was in 2013, but he didn't become a leading man until 2019 with the release of "Love Unleashed." 2019 was a turning point in his career, as he also starred in "A Doggone Christmas." Each year, he's gone on to appear in at least one, but more like several, TV movies for the networks.

Christopher Russell is a family man

Christopher Russell and wife Tailor and kids


Christopher Russell often plays a husband and father in his roles on Great American Family, but he's a full-time family man in real life as well. Russell is married to Canadian model Tailor James. The two have reportedly been together since Russell was 21. In 2018, he shared a 14-year anniversary tribute to his wife, writing, "14 years later and my heart still skips a beat when you walk in the room. Happy anniversary to the #loveofmylife #loveatfirstsight #soulmate"

Russell's wife is not involved in the acting world but is a well-known model. She first appeared on Playboy's Miss June cover in 2003. After her initial cover, she went on to appear on several Playboy covers, as well as in issues of Maxim, FHM, Esquire, and Max. According to her LinkedIn profile, she's been the executive vice president of Hollywood Curves, a lingerie line, since 2011. 

Even though Russell shares photos of his wife and family on his social media, he's been mum on the names and personal details of his kids. In a recent Instagram post of himself and his son and daughter, he wrote, "Family. Where life begins and love never ends. I love you three bigger than the thing that's bigger than the universe!"

READ MORE: Your Guide to Hallmark's Royal Christmas Movies