Kristoffer Polaha is one of the most recognizable Hallmark Channel faces. The 46-year-old actor even made our list of the kings and queens of Hallmark Christmas. Most recently, he expanded his holiday filmography with the time-travel romance "A Biltmore Christmas." Beyond the feel-good ethos of Hallmark, Polaha has also had roles in studio fare like "The Shift" (2023) and "Jurassic World Dominion" (2022).
The Reno, Nevada native is the youngest of four brothers. His father immigrated to the U.S. from the Czech Republic. Polaha earned a B.A. in Acting from NYU Tisch and got his start in the New York theater scene before booking TV shows like "Angel" and "Roswell." His first lead role came on FOX's 2004 primetime soap "North Shore," which ran for one season. This led to bigger roles on series like "Miss Guided" and the Sarah Michelle Gellar starrer "Ringer," and guest appearances on "Mad Men" and "Castle." Then, in 2016, he made his Hallmark debut with the love triangle romance "Dater's Handbook," starring a pre-royal Meghan Markle.
Since then, Polaha has starred in 10 Hallmark flicks and shows no sign of slowing — even amidst his bustling home life. The actor shares three sons with his wife, "Days of Our Lives" alum Julianne Morris. Here's everything you need to know about Kristoffer Polaha, from his sterling Hallmark filmography to his new career as a romance novelist.
His First Hallmark Movie Starred Meghan Markle
The first time Hallmark Channel came calling, Polaha had no idea what he was in for. The film was called "Dater's Handbook." His agent's other client, "Suits" actress Meghan Markle, was attached to star. The romance premiered in 2016, two years before she would marry Prince Harry and become the Duchess of Sussex. The pair struck up a friendship during filming. Meghan even texted Polaha after she met Prince Harry:
"She texted me in January and she was like, 'I took your advice. I'm single, I'm free. I'm going to see who's out there,'" Polaha recalled to SheKnows in 2022. "In March, I get this other text and she's like, 'Well, I met someone.' I said, 'Do you like him?' And she said, 'I kinda do.' And then of course, it was Harry."
Polaha was nothing but supportive of his former co-star's new status as a royal, telling My Devotional Thoughts in 2018 that Meghan would "change the world for the better."
"One of the things that she was really clear about was that she didn't want to be an actress forever. She was already part of the UN doing stuff for children, education and women's rights in Africa. She was already moving in the direction of being a global ambassador, and I think that being married to Prince Harry is going to be this amazing opportunity to ultimately pursue what she was designed for, which is this awesome opportunity to help people on a massive scale. So Hallmark opened up the door for me to have those remarkable interactions with this incredible woman who has now married into the royal family and will no doubt change the world for the better."
Kris Polaha's Hallmark Movies
Polaha followed up "Dater's Handbook" with films like "Hearts of Christmas," "Rocky Mountain Christmas," "Pearl in Paradise," "A Small Town Christmas," the "Mystery 101" series with Jill Wagner, "A Dickens of a Holiday!" and "Haul Out the Holly" with Lacey Chabert. 2023's "A Biltmore Christmas," filmed at the historic Biltmore Castle, is the latest in his meaty Christmas filmography.
He's a Romance Novelist
Polaha co-wrote the "From Kona with Love" romance novel series, which includes 2021's "Moments Like This" and 2022's "Where the Sun Rises." At least one more book is expected to complete the trilogy. In 2022, news broke that "Moments Like This" would be made into a movie.
"In the constantly shifting Hollywood landscape, we are endeavoring to enlarge our creative footprint by creating content for the publishing world first, and then adapting the stories that people love straight to film while keeping the creative team behind the stories in control from page to screen," Polaha told Variety.
While there haven't been any updates since, Polaha plans to produce his books for film and TV through his company Podunk Productions. He has previously produced short films through Podunk, including 2023's award-winning "The Marked" and 2016's "Frontman," for which Polaha won the Best Actor award at the Seattle Shorts Film Festival.
He Has Three Sons
Polaha has been married to former actress Julianne Morris since 2003. The L.A.-based couple share three sons: Kristoffer "Caleb", Jude and Micah.
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