Niall Matter
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Hallmark Media

Who Is Niall Matter? The Hallmark Star's Dangerous Former Career + Private Family Life

His former day job almost cost him his life.

Niall Matter is no stranger to the Hallmark network, appearing in 20 of its TV movies. He debuted on the network in 2016 and has been pumping out romantic hits ever since. So far in 2023, he's starred in "Family History Mysteries: Buried Past" and "Come Fly With Me."  He's also starring in a new Christmas classic, "Holiday Hotline," in which he plays a single dad who calls into a cooking hotline and connects with a young woman, Abby. "Holiday Hotline" premieres Sunday, Nov. 19.

Matter is no stranger to spreading Christmas cheer, appearing in at least one Hallmark Christmas movie every year since 2016. Along with his holiday films, Matter branched out to star in several Aurora Teagarden Mysteries series and movies on Hallmark's Movies & Mysteries. While Matter is cranking out several Hallmark movies per year, he still has time to appear in other Hollywood productions. In 2023, he appeared in the thriller "Double Life." 

Prior to his Hallmark career, Matter had a wide-ranging TV and movie career, appearing in the series "Remedy," "Arctic Air" and "Eureka." In 2019, he won his first Leo Award, the Canadian equivalent of an Oscar, for his role in "Frozen in Love." 

With Matter pumping out movies left and right, it helps that he has a short-term photographic memory. He shared that he has been "blessed" with a photographic memory that's very helpful for memorizing lines very quickly. Unfortunately, it only works in the extreme short term, as he says he can't even remember lines from the prior week. 

When it comes to his Hallmark career, he says, " I'm very happy every single day that I get to go to work. I have zero complaints and am a very fortunate guy." 

From his rugged early life working on an oil rig to what we know about his wife and personal life, here's everything about Hallmark hunk Niall Matter.

His Career Path Began on an Oil Rig

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 14: Actor Niall Matter attends the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Winter 2017 TCA Press Tour at The Tournament House on January 14, 2017 in Pasadena, California.

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Even though Matter is a well-known and loved actor, his career path did not start out like that of many other seasoned actors. Matter was born into an oil rigging family, becoming a third-generation oil rigger after his father and grandfather. It wasn't exactly his first choice, but as Matter said in an interview with My Devotional Thoughts, "My grandfather took me out to the rigs when I was seventeen. I was a little bit of a wild child, and my parents said, 'You either move out of the house or you go work on the rigs with your grandfather.'"

He recalls working "non-stop," so much so that he missed part of his senior year of high school. After spending three months working on the rigs, he decided he did not want it to be his forever career path. He recalls that working on the rig with his grandfather helped him turn his life around and led him to the decision to pursue film. When he did finish on the rig, he scored high grades to end his high school career and moved to Vancouver to attend Vancouver Film School. 

He Didn't Let a Personal Tragedy Ruin His Life

Niall Matter attends a special screening of Hallmark's "Unthinkably Good Things" at The Athenaeum on August 10, 2022 in Pasadena, California

Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

During college, Matter kept his day job oil rigging as a way to support himself. He actually ended up working on the rig for eight years, from age 17 to 25. He would fly back and forth from Vancouver to the rig in order to go to school and work.

Unfortunately, when he was 25, he was crushed inside the cab of a rig that weighed 17 tons. In his interview with The List, he shared, "They had to rip me out of there. It was pretty awful. It was horrific actually. I got to the hospital and the doctor immediately wanted to amputate my right leg." Fortunately for Matter, the doctors were able to save his leg, but not without extensive physical therapy that rendered him unable to walk for six months. 

Matter gave deeper insight into the complexity of his injury, stating, "I ripped my quad muscle off my femur, and I had something called compartment syndrome. My muscle had to slowly re-attach to my femur and I had to train my muscle again."

As with most people who have near-death experiences, the accident and recovery made Matter rethink his life choices and career oath. He decided he wanted to spend his time doing something he loved, which was acting. Once he was rehabbed, he did go back to the rigs for a short period. However, while he was there, he witnessed another tragic accident in which a man's leg was literally amputated and left on the rig. He quit the next day to pursue acting and hasn't looked back since. 

Niall Matter's Life Off Screen

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - JULY 26: Actor Niall Matter visits Hallmark's "Home & Family" celebrating 'Christmas In July' at Universal Studios Hollywood on July 26, 2018 in Universal City, California.

Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Unfortunately for the single ladies, Matter is a happily married man. He married Sara Matter, aka Sara Bradley, in 2016, and they share two children. The family seems to be pretty private, as Matter doesn't even have a public Instagram account. He occasionally shares photos of his kids on his Facebook page, but it is mostly reserved for movie promotion. 

He and his family reside in Vancouver, though Matter has dual citizenship in Canada and the U.S. He's a loyal Canadian sports fan, specifically to the NHL's Edmonton Oilers. He shares snapshots on his X (formerly Twitter) feed of his favorite team and, yes, he is the loyal fan who dresses up and paints his face. 

READ MORE: Who is Stephen Huszar? The Hallmark Star Found Love Filming a Hallmark Christmas Movie