Warren Christie ‘Gutted’ by Loss Ahead of Hallmark Movie Premiere

Warren Christie

Heavy/Hallmark In 2023, Warren Christie has starred in Hallmark's "The More Love Grows" and "Holiday Road"

Just over a week before Warren Christie co-stars in his latest Hallmark Channel Christmas movie, “Holiday Road,” the actor and his family are coping with an unexpected loss.

On November 13, 2023, Christie posted on Instagram for the first time since February 2022 to reveal that he was “gutted to hear about the passing of my buddy @pfgs.seanmurray.” Sean Murray was a Canadian hockey coach who specialized in training young goalies including Christie’s teenage son, Cash.

“No coach/mentor has had a bigger effect on my son’s life,” Christie wrote. “He was passionate about the sport and cared deeply about his students.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Christie Family & Hockey Community Mourns Loss of Goalie Coach Sean Murray

Though little has been reported about the circumstances around Murray’s death, staff at the training center he founded, Performance Goalies School (PFGS), confirmed the news on its website “with a very heavy heart.”

“He was a tremendous Goalie Coach always on the details, pushing to get the very best out of any athlete he came across,” Murray’s colleagues wrote. “Even if they didn’t see it in themselves, he did and he encouraged to bring the best out of them. He loved his athletes and would let them know, not afraid to use the ‘L’ word. This spoke to his caring nature.”

Christie made sure to offer his condolences to Murray’s children, writing, “My ❤️ goes out to @kaleb_murray9 and @rachelkcmurray your dad was so incredibly proud of you🙏”

Though Christie was born in Belfast, Ireland, he moved to Canada with his parents when he was 18 months old, according to the Windsor Star. He grew up playing football, but loved hockey like most people in Canada, where hockey is a way of life. According to Statista, 93 percent of Canadians consider the sport of hockey to be “part of Canadian identity.”

“As a Canadian, I am a huge hockey fan, as stereotypical as it sounds,” he he told Brief Take in 2019, adding, “Coming from Vancouver, I’ve got to pull for the Canucks.”

In 2007, Christie married Sonya Salomaa, an actress whose career has included small roles on Hallmark’s “Cedar Cove” and 2015’s “Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Bone to Pick,” per IMDb.

Two years later, per TV Overmind, they welcomed their son Cash, who shares his dad’s passion for hockey. In 2021, Christie even shared a fun video on their dog Yogi’s Instagram account, showing Yogi and Cash playing hockey together.

On October 9, Salomaa shared a series of Instagram photos after Cash’s team won a major tournament.

She wrote, “Shout out to my babe! Such a great tournament! Grabbing the W and the All Star, this mama is one proud lady. Hard work pays off. Love you.”

Warren Christie is Part of an Ensemble Cast in ‘Holiday Road’

Actress Sara Canning, who co-stars with Christie in “Holiday Road,” commented on the actor’s Instagram post about Murray’s death.

She wrote, “So sorry to hear! Condolences to your family.”

Their upcoming movie together, which Hallmark says was inspired by true events, features an ensemble cast playing stranded holiday travelers who rent a van together to hit the road for Denver.

“When their unexpected journey brings them into uncharted territory,” Hallmark’s synopsis says, “they navigate a series of misadventures together and form a deeper bond that just might change the trajectories of each of their lives.”

Christie, whose most recent Hallmark movie was August’s “The More Love Grows,” plays a tech entrepreneur in “Holiday Road” and Canning plays a travel writer. The cast also includes Trevor Lerner as a “stubborn senior,” Brittany Willacy as “an enigmatic woman with a hint of mystery,” a couple traveling from Hong Kong played by Sharon Crandall and Ryan Mah, and a social media influencer played by Princess Davis, and a “devoted mother” and her son, played by Enid-Raye Adams and Kiefer O’Reilly.

On November 14, Canning posted the movie poster on Instagram, writing the cast and crew were so fun that she often found herself “needing to get it together enough to say my lines.”

Willacy commented, “A dream come true my dude, a dream come true ❤️”

And Adams wrote, “No spoilers. But your faces in the Christmas tree lot scene. Cast AND crew. Pure magic. Every single one of you. 🥰”

“Holiday Road” premieres on Hallmark Channel on November 24.

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