Hallmark’s ‘Love & Sunshine’: Meet the Cast & See Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Crown Media

Hallmark’s movie, Love and Sunshine, features a talented cast bringing this adorable story of a military dog to life. Read on to learn all about the cast of this Hallmark movie and see some fun behind-the-scenes photos and stories. To learn where this movie was filmed, see Heavy’s story here. Hallmark is airing encores all year.

Danica McKellar & Mark Deklin Star in the Movie

The synopsis for tonight’s movie reads: “Ally Craig has been fostering retired military dog, Sunshine, as she recovers from a broken engagement. But sparks fly again when Sunshine’s military partner, Jake Terry, returns to claim the dog.”

Crown Media

Danica McKellar stars as Ally. McKellar has a long and successful history in TV and film. Her appearances include The Wonder Years (Winnie Cooper), The West Wing (Elsie Snuffin), Dancing with the StarsThe Wrong Woman (Lifetime), and many Hallmark movies including Perfect Match, Crown for Christmas, Wedding Bells, Campfire Kiss, and My Christmas Dream. McKellar is also the founder of McKellarMath.com and bestselling books that tackle math education. She’s not just an actress, she’s also a mathematics genius. She starred on Hallmark’s Coming Home for Christmas and Very, Very Valentine, and in September starred in Love in Design. 

She and her co-star, Mark Deklin, had a lot of fun filming the movie.

Crown Media

Mark Deklin stars as Jake. He’s most recently known for playing Jack Bowman on Designated Survivor. He’s also starred on Major Crimes, Grace & Frankie, Devious Maids, GCB, Hawaii Five-0, Lonestar, Hot in Cleveland, Better Off Ted, Riverworld, Desperate Housewives, Big Love, Nip/Tuck, The Ex List, Sex & the City, Herbie Fully Loaded, Tarzan, The Wish List, and more. He also has performed numerous times Off-Broadway, including Cyrano de Bergerac, Sweet Smell of Success, The Lion King, and more. He was recently in Hallmark’s Switched for Christmas and in Christmas in Evergreen II. 

Mark Deklin wrote about his role on Instagram. He said: “I play Master Sgt. Jake Terry, whose dog, Sunshine, has been retired from service and sent home from Afghanistan to a farm in Washington, where she’s being fostered until my tour is over by a newly-single landscape designer (the truly wonderful @danicamckellar). We begin to form a friendship over our shared love for Sunshine, and from that bond sparks begin to fly…but how long will Jake be home before he’s called back overseas?”

After the filming, McKellar sent some of her books to Deklin and he thanked her:

In June he wrote: “The gratitude is mutual, @danicamckellar…you’re an absolute dream to work with. Thanks for being such a fun & present & all-around wonderful partner-in-crime on this adventure.”

In fact, it looks like he only joined Instagram because of McKellar’s suggestion.

A Look at the Rest of the Cast

Crown MediaJessie Fraser, Vera Ann Fredrickson, Seth Friesen, Mark Deklin, Bess Armstrong

Pictured above are Jesse Fraser, Vera Ann Fredrickson, Seth Friesen, Mark Deklin, and Bess Armstrong.

Jessie Fraser plays Barb. Her many credits include Easter Under Wraps, Love Take Two, Unspeakable, Van Helsing (Jessie), Zoo (Corporal Lee), Altered Carbon, Frozen in Love, The Man in the High Castle (Rita), Finding Father Christmas, The Whispers, Mermaid’s Song, Just the Way You Are, Supernatural, Safeword, Clients from Hell, Alcatraz, Fringe, and more.

Vera Ann Fredrickson plays Lena Terry. She plays Young Lia in the upcoming Facebook series Limetown.

Austin Friesen plays the young boy. He’s new and according to IMDB, this is his first credit. He’ll also be in a short movie called The Closet Has Secrets. 

Bess Armstrong plays Margo Terry. Her many credits include Switched at Birth (Prof. Beth Marillo), Scandal (Sen. Greenwald), SWAT (Major Barrett), Bosch, The Arrangement, Conviction (Harper), Longmire, Zoo, Rake, NCIS, House of Lies (Julianne Hotschragar), Castle, CSI, One Tree Hill (Lydia), That Was Then (Mickey), The Nanny, Touched by an Angel, and more.

Toby Levins plays Sam, Jake’s brother in the movie. His many credits include Stumptown, Critters: A New Binge, The Twilight Zone, The Chronicle Mysteries (Sean), Van Helsing, Loudermilk (Carl), Salvation, Beyond (Sheriff Dayton), Altered Carbon, iZombie, Christmas at Holly Lodge, Christmas Homecoming, Hailey Dean Mystery, Get Shorty (Clark), Zoo, The 100 (Lt. Carl Emerson), Supernatural, Wayward Pines, Fear the Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Rogue (Walt), Home and Away (Brett), and more.


Toby has an adorable dog of his own that he loves and who inspires him:

Peter Benson stars as Ben. His many credits include The Murders, The Chronicle Mysteries, Mech-X4 (Seth), The Good Doctor, The Bletchley Circle (Archie), Ice, The Detour, Signed Sealed and Delivered: Home Again, My Favorite Wedding, Android Employed, Marrying the Family, Paranormal Solutions, Hell on Wheels, Parked, Mr. Young, Ring of Fire, The Killing, and much more.

April Telek stars as Donna. Her credits include Mingle All the Way, Sacred Lies, Date My Dad, Rogue (Donna), Little Pink House, Supernatural, Frequency, Strange Empire, Hell on Wheels, and much more.

And of course, if you’re wondering who plays Sunshine, well Sunshine was actually played by two dogs: Briar and Sawyer.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes screenshot from McKellar’s Instagram:


Want to know more about the dog stars? See Heavy’s story here.

Also starring in the movie are:

  • Cristine Chatelain (Emma)
  • Brenda M. Crichlow (Trisha)
  • Daniel Bacon (Denver)
  • Eileen Barrett (Corine)
  • Austin Friesen (Little boy)
  • Eli Babay (Ricky)
  • Jadon Bergan (Kid)
  • Yvonne Chapman (Major Ramos)
  • Maggie Sullivun (Customer)

Want to stay updated on Hallmark shows and movies that this author writes about? You can join the author’s email list for updates.

READ NEXT: Where Was Hallmark’s Rome in Love Filmed?

Read More