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

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
When Calls the Heart main characters

One big When Calls the Heart star fans thought would be leaving following Season 10 made a surprise return, but another actor is saying goodbye to the series.

When Calls the Heart Season 11 officially premiered on Sunday, April 7, ushering in new storylines of the Hallmark historical drama.

[ Full Cast of When Calls the Heart Season 11 - Every Main Character & Actor Who Appears (Photos) ]

Who Is Leaving When Calls the Heart Season 11?

After the Season 10 finale of When Calls the Heart aired, many fans wondered if actor Chris McNally would return for Season 11 due to Bill telling Elizabeth and Nathan that something was wrong with Lucas (McNally's character).

However, McNally appeared in the Season 11 premiere episode. It was revealed that he was shot but survived the injuries he had sustained when he opened his eyes in his hospital bed.

As mentioned, many fans worried about McNally's status after that Season 10 cliffhanger. However, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight from October 2023, showrunner Lindsay Sturman confirmed that the actor would be coming back and that he would "always" have a major role in the show:

"We can assure everyone that Lucas is back for season 11. He’s a huge part of Hope Valley and always will be. But there’s definitely a cliffhanger and a few mysteries packed in there, and it will all be revealed next season."

One major When Calls the Heart character didn't return for the Season 11 premiere, however, and isn't expected to be coming back at any point in a prominent role.

The actress in question is Kayla Wallace (who plays Fiona), and the Season 11 premiere revealed that her character will be staying with her sister to fight for women's rights.

In reality, Wallace was cast in a series called Landman, which led to her being written off When Calls the Heart.

Executive Producer Erin Krakow stated in an interview with TV Insider that she wishes Wallace the best and that they "would love for her to be in every episode:"

"We love Kayla Wallace. We would love for her to be in every episode. Kayla had a really incredible opportunity on another TV series that films out of town ['Landman']. We’re excited for her."

However, Krakow did reveal that she and others "are hoping" to bring "Fiona back for some episodes," so fans shouldn't rule out her making a guest appearance on When Calls the Heart every now and then:

"We are hoping that we’ll be able to have Fiona back for some episodes. Who knows? But yeah, we truly, truly over the moon thrilled for Kayla."

What Major Characters Have Already Left When Calls the Heart?

Season 11 of When Calls the Heart just began. Here are all the major actors and their respective characters that have left the show since its inception:

Daniel Lissing - Mountie Jack Thornton

Daniel Lissing as Jack Thornton in When Calls the Heart

Daniel Lissing played Mountie Jack Thornton in When Calls the Heart until he departed the show in the Season 5 finale. Jack was a main character on the show but was eventually killed by a landslide.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Lissing revealed that he had to step away for "personal" reasons, but Hallmark was "nothing but supportive" of his decision:

"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."

Lori Loughlin - Abigail Stanton

Lori Loughlin as Abigail Stanton in When Calls the Heart

Lori Loughlin was another major actor forced to leave When Calls the Heart. Loughlin played Abigail Stanton on the show, and it was explained in one of the episodes that her mother became ill, causing Abigail to go care for her.

In reality, Loughlin was let go due to being accused of paying around $500,000 in bribes so that her daughters could get accepted into the University of Southern California.

However, in December 2023 in a sit down on the Heart to Hearties podcast, When Calls the Heart co-creator Brian Bird teased that "good conversations" have happened regarding Loughlin coming back to the show:

"Well, this is a tricky question and what I can say is that there are good conversations happening. We can't guarantee anything, but there are good conversations happening around this topic."

Paul Greene - Dr. Carson Shepherd

Paul Greene as Dr. Carson Shepherd in When Calls the Heart

Paul Greene's Dr. Carson Shephard first appeared in Season 4 of When Calls the Heart but was eventually written off in Season 8. The character came to Hope Valley to work on the railroad, but after the people discovered he was a doctor, they asked him to become the official town doctor.

Just Jared revealed that Greene voluntarily left the show after he and his fiancee, Kate Austin, began expecting their first child.

The child was born in November 2021, and Paul has worked on music and other projects since.

Eva Bourne - Clara Stanton Flynn

Eva Bourne as Clara Stanton Flynn in When Calls the Heart

Eva Bourne's Clara Stanton Flynn first appeared in Season 2 of the show. Her last official appearance was in the Season 8 finale.

In the Season 9 premiere, it was revealed that Clara and Jesse moved to Montana, and Bourne never revealed the real reason she stepped away from the show.

However, the actress did make a post on Instagram in March 2023 and stated that she was "so sorry for leaving everyone:"

"I still cannot believe I left WCTH. I’m so sorry for leaving everyone!"

Aren Buchholz - Jesse Flynn

Aren Buchholz as Jesse Flynn in When Calls the Heart

Aren Buchholz's Jesse Flynn left When Calls the Heart simultaneously as Eva Bourne's Clara Stanton Flynn (Jesse's wife) after the Season 8 finale.

It is unclear as to why Buchholz left the show.

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

- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.