‘Proud Parents’: Hallmark Stars Thrilled as Kids Follow in Their Footsteps

Alison Sweeney and Andrew Walker

Heavy/Hallmark Hallmark stars Alison Sweeney and Andrew Walker

Multiple Hallmark Channel stars have celebrated their kids’ forays into acting lately, from Alison Sweeney witnessing her son’s first lead role in a high school play to Andie MacDowell celebrating her grown daughters’ creative successes. Even Andrew Walker‘s young son spent a day with his dad on a Hallmark movie set last week, learning the ropes from producers. Here’s what you need to know:

Allison Sweeney & Hilarie Burton Cheer On Their Teen Sons’ Acting Debuts

On May 4, 2023, Alison Sweeney, who told Entertainment Weekly that she kicked off her own successful acting career when she was a kid, celebrated her son Ben’s stage debut in his high school play. Sweeney shares Ben and younger daughter Megan with husband David Sanov, according to Us Weekly.

The proud mom wrote on Instagram, “Wow! Congrats to Ben! Tonight was his first ever performance on stage – and he was the lead in the school production of Macbeth! And he nailed it. So awesome! 👏👏👏 #proudparents 🎭”

When someone commented that they didn’t know that Ben, who was born in 2005, had an interest in acting, Sweeney responded, “we didn’t know either! But he was so great!!! So who knows?!”

Sweeney’s Hallmark colleague Cameron Mathison, who stars in a new “Hannah Swensen Mystery” with her on May 19, wrote, “I want to hear all about it!!!!”

Meanwhile, actress Hilarie Burton, who’s appeared in multiple Hallmark movies, celebrated her own teen son’s acting debut last week. On May 1, she shared a photo on Instagram of her 14-year-old son Augustus after his debut at the Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck, New York.

“Our dude played Oberon this weekend in the local production of #midsummersnightdream,” she wrote. “He was born to be Dark Lord of the Wood! It’s just crazy to see him turn into a completely different kid up on stage.”

Burton also wrote that she and her actor husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, “are beyond beyond BEYOND proud” and that Augustus’ little sister George thinks he’s “the coolest.”

Burton continued, “Gusy Dean. You rocked that Chalamet hair and your wizard cloak! Watching you light up the stage is our happy place. Support your local arts organizations!! They give kids (and grownups!) the space to learn and grow and blossom!”

Andrew Walker Shared Son’s Day on ‘Curious Caterer’ Set

When Walker’s family — wife Cassandra Troy and young sons West and Wolf — visited him on the Vancouver set of the third “Curious Caterer” movie, “Curious Caterer: Last Suppers,” he invited eight-year-old West to spend the day with him on April 23.

In a series of photos posted on his Instagram feed and in his Stories, Walker shared that his little shadow was learning the ropes from the cast and crew, including his co-star Nikki DeLoach.

On one photo of West beaming as he soaked up all the action, Walker wrote, “Well, we now may have another actor in the family.”

In the comment section of his post, DeLoach — who has two young sons of her own — wrote, “Love that kid. What a fun day!! ‘You’re we’re great, daddy!’ ❤️”

Walker responded, “oh man, that was the best. You now have a bff for life.”

Andie MacDowell Proudly Raised 2 Daughters Who Work in Showbiz

Andie MacDowell with her daughters

Heavy/GettyAndie MacDowell with daughter Margaret Qualley in 2022 and with daughter Rainey Qualley in 2023.

Meanwhile, “The Way Home” star Andie MacDowell proves even grown kids are never too old to be cheered on by their parents. She continues to be vocal in her support of and admiration for her daughters, 28-year-old actress Margaret Qualley, with whom she co-starred in the Emmy-nominated “Maid,” and 33-year-old musician Rainey Qualley.

MacDowell, who raised her kids with actor and ex-husband Paul Qualley, also has a son named Justin who doesn’t work in the entertainment industry. But she has said she always encouraged her kids to be creative and curious and made them her first priority.

When fellow actor Michael Keaton spoke with her for Interview magazine in 2021, she told him, “My kids were always my priority and being a mother was the most important aspect of my life. But I was competitive and I did want to work, so I was always balancing both of those aspects of my life.”

The strategy apparently worked. In 2014, Rainey told Woman’s Day magazine, “She always encouraged my siblings and me to find our passions. I love music and singing and having the chance to do that as my career is such a blessing. I’m fortunate to have parents that believe in me enough to not say, ‘You should just get a normal job.'”

Meanwhile, Margaret came up with the idea of her mom co-starring with her in “Maid,” partly because she just wanted to be close to her.

“I selfishly wanted her to be in Canada, stuck with me for eight months,” she told the TODAY Show in 2021. But MacDowell said that didn’t mean Margaret isn’t able to succeed without her.

“My daughter is very independent and has forged her own path on her own,” MacDowell said.