Why Daniel Lissing Left ‘When Calls the Heart’?

  • Daniel Lissing left after five seasons on Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart.
  • His character Jack Thornton tragically died in the season 5 finale.
  • Since his departure from the show, he has starred in S.W.A.T. on CBS and other Hallmark Channel movies.

Hearties agree: When Calls the Heart hasn’t been the same since the heartbreaking season 5 finale. At the tail-end of the Hallmark show’s fifth season, Jack Thornton (played by Daniel Lissing) was on an assignment with a group of recruits when he was tragically killed by a landslide. Before he left, the Mountie wrote a letter to his wife Elizabeth (played by Erin Krakow) in fear that the assignment would be too much for his body to bear. The letter, which was shown in the finale episode, read:

“My dearest Elizabeth, I’m writing a letter I hope you never have to read. If you are, then you know I won’t be coming home. Take comfort that I will be watching over you for the rest of your days. I will always be with you in spirit. But I need you to promise me one thing, Elizabeth: you will open your heart to love again. Know that I want nothing more than your happiness. You are the perfect woman. You showed me what it feels like to be truly loved. For that, I am eternally grateful. Yours forever, Jack.”
While the show has carried on and Elizabeth has opened her heart to another love (or two), many Hearties still want to know the reason behind Jacks’ death. For Lissing, who played Jack for five seasons, this moment seemed like a natural progression for his career — and his character. “Circumstances arose for me where I needed to leave When Calls the Heart for reasons that are very personal to me,” he said in a Facebook Live, according to Entertainment Tonight. “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.”

why did daniel lissing leave when calls the heart?

Reason for leaving the show

At the time of his departure, his costars Erin Krakow and Lori Loughlin (who played Abigail Stanton on the show until she was written off the show in May 2019), opened up about how they really felt about Lissing’s decision. “We are actors, and actors have contracts and sometimes those contracts expire and you have a choice to make,” Loughlin explained to Entertainment Tonight. “You either renegotiate or you don’t, and Dan has chosen to move on, we respect that.”

Krakow, who filmed most of her scenes with Lissing, responded straight from the heart: “I was just sad that Dan was leaving. That’s the bottom line: We were all really sad about it, and that’s hard,” she reflected. “Dan, in many ways, has been my partner in crime for five years, and one of my greatest scene partners ever, and I’m just really gonna miss him.”

When it came time for the writers and producers to figure out how to write off Jack’s character, Loughlin admitted that death was the only option. “The only way he (Jack) would leave her (Elizabeth) is in death,” she said. Luckily, the heartbreak was followed by some good news: At the start of season 6, Hearties learned that Elizabeth was pregnant with Jack’s child a.k.a. baby Jack.

Even though he’s off the show, Lissing is still a part of the Hallmark family, regularly posting photos with his former costars and behind-the-scenes moments on new Hallmark Channel projects. Still, he continues to rave about his experience playing Jack on the highest-rated Hallmark Channel show: “When I came out to the United States, as a guy who was playing [music] in bars in Sydney, to think that I would play a character like Jack on an American TV show is beyond anything I could’ve ever imagined.”

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