Here's Why Jack Left 'When Calls the Heart'

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Jack Thornton in When Calls the Heart

Jack Thornton had a tragic end to his When Calls the Heart journey during the Season 5 finale in April 2018. 

Mountie Jack Thornton (played by Daniel Lissing) was killed by a landslide after sacrificing himself to save two of his men during a training mission in Fort Clay. This tragic death came only one day after his marriage to his pregnant wife, Elizabeth Thornton. 

[ Who Is Leaving When Calls the Heart? Every Actor Who Got Downgraded or Left ]

Explaining Jack's Exit After When Calls the Heart Season 5

Jack Thornton's exit from When Calls the Heart shocked fans since he is one of the main characters in the series. 

When Calls the Heart, Jack Thornton

After Jack's death, it was hard for Elizabeth to move on, but she paid tribute to him by naming her baby boy, Jack Thornton Jr. Hope Valley also dedicated its school in Jack's honor. 

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight in April 2018, Daniel Lissing (who plays Jack Thornton) revealed that there are "circumstances" that are "very personal to [him]" as the reasons why he left When Calls the Heart

"Circumstances arose for me where I needed to leave When Calls the Heart for reasons that are very personal to me. I went to Hallmark and they were nothing but supportive of me. I went to the girls and they were nothing but supportive of me."

In a separate interview with Entertainment Tonight in February 2020, Lissing admitted that he has no regrets about leaving the series, noting that he wouldn't have met his fiancé and eventually get married if he'd return in Season 6: 

“It's funny the way the world works. If I had stayed on the show, and been there during season 6 and shot and all that kind of stuff, then I wouldn't have met [my fiancee] Nadia, you know? And I wouldn't be getting married and I wouldn't be at this place in my life where I feel really in line with what I'm meant to be doing personally and professionally, so no regrets at all. How can I look at my future wife and say, 'Oh, I should've stayed on this job?' She's my life, you know? That's my personal life and that's exponentially more important to me than a job.”

Still, the actor added that he would be interested in returning for a cameo or a flashback appearance in When Calls the Heart, saying, "That would be so much fun:"

“That would be so much fun. Of course. Just to go up there and see everyone again. I could see my old horse, Taylor. Look, if Hallmark called me for anything, I'd be there. They were there for me for five years so of course, I love those guys, so anytime.”

Lissing reprised his role as Jack Thornton in a dream sequence in an episode of When Hope Calls, a spinoff of When Calls the Heart, in 2021. 

What Are Daniel Lissing's Other Projects After When Calls the Heart?

Daniel Lissing had been busy on the small screen after his exit from When Calls the Heart in 2018. Lissing portrayed Ty in S.W.A.T. and Sterling Freeman in The Rookie.

The actor's other notable credits include appearances as Brandon in The Cleaning Lady, Carson Jacob Harrison in Catering Christmas, and Tom in Christmas Keepsake

Outside of his acting duties, Lissing (via the same interview with Entertainment Tonight) shared that he is also an investor in a fast-food vegan restaurant, Burger Patch. 

New episodes of When Calls the Heart are released every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on the Hallmark Channel.

Read more about When Calls the Heart on The Direct:

Who is Cecilia Deacon? 4 Things to Know About When Calls the Heart Actress

Who Is Kevin McGarry? 4 Things to Know About When Calls the Heart Actor

When Calls the Heart Season 11 Cast, Characters & Actors (Photos)

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.