How Candace Cameron Bure went from child star to queen of Hallmark movies

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Candace Cameron Bure needs no introduction.

The actress grew up before our very eyes on the popular sitcom Full House, when at just 11 years old, she was cast as the lovable D.J. Tanner. Bure played the character for eight years up until 1995, before reprising the role in 2016 for the Netflix offering, Fuller House

The reboot saw her reunite with former castmates John Stamos and Bob Saget, as well as real-life best friends Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber. So when the series wrapped again this past June after five seasons, she was sad to say goodbye. 

“It’s been the biggest blessing and gift of my career,” Bure, 44, tells 9Honey Celebrity from Canada.

“It’s a very rare experience to be on television and as child actors together — they really are my best friends. To be able to reprise those roles and do it all again, it’s been such a gift. I wish it didn’t have to stop. We are so proud of Fuller House and the five seasons that we had. I wish it could go on forever and ever.”

Fan favourite Candace Cameron Bure has been in the industry for more than three decades. (Getty)

But another role Bure has made her own over the years is that of amateur sleuth Aurora Teagarden, the protagonist in the charming Hallmark movie series, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries.

Aurora is a librarian by day, but at night she is the president of the Real Murders Club, a group of crime buffs who try to solve past mysteries in their small town of Lawrenceton, Georgia. 

Bure was cast in the role in 2015 and has already portrayed Aurora in 14 films. And now Australian viewers get to play catch-up on 17 August when the first six movies are released on streaming service Acorn TV

Bure stars in the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries film series, available on streaming service Acorn TV from August 17. (Acorn TV)

“We’ve been shooting these mysteries for five years already, so I’m so happy that Australia is getting them,” says Bure, who is also an executive producer on the films. 

“Aurora is such a fun character to play because she’s a really intelligent woman. She’s like a little powerhouse — fearless, super courageous and always a step ahead of everyone. So if there’s a mystery to solve, nothing is going to stop Aurora.

“There’s parts of me that I see in her. I think my favourite part is her physical activity — she is always willing to fight. If she gets in a battle with the bad guy or the bad girl, she’ll go for it.” 

And every protagonist needs her sidekicks, right? Just like D.J. Tanner, who had sister Stephanie and best friend Kimmy Gibbler, Aurora has her mother Aida (played by Marilu Henner) and best friend Sally Allison (Lexa Doig). And just like D.J., Stephanie and Kimmy, the Teagarden trio also formed an unbreakable bond. 

Veteran star Marilu Henner plays Bure’s mother, Aida, in the Aurora Teagarden films. (David Owen Strongman/Crown Media)

In fact, Bure and 68-year-old Henner quarantined together in Vancouver before filming the 14th Aurora Teagarden instalment, Reunited and It Feels So Deadly (within coronavirus guidelines, of course).

“Marilu and I are like best friends,” Bure reveals. “We’re here in Canada for a total of two months, so we’re staying in a home together. We’re such good friends, and that is so special because it doesn’t happen all the time. We are so close now, and with Lexa.

“We’ve been on the series for five years and we’re a close-knit bunch. It’s important because you can see and feel the chemistry when you’re watching on screen. And when it’s genuine, the viewers know it.”

The actress played D.J. Tanner on both Full House and its Netflix reboot, Fuller House. (ABC/Netflix)

It’s also important to Bure that viewers know the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries are family-friendly films. Starting out as a child star — Bure was just five years old when she began acting — she makes a conscious effort to have her movies cater to all ages.

“Nothing is too gruesome, nothing is too scary. You can have your children watch this and you don’t ever have to worry,” she says of the films. “I was dedicated and very intentional in my career to do family-friendly television — something you can sit with your parents, children, grandma and grandpa, and everybody can enjoy it together.”

The Full House cast (clockwise from back) Lori Loughlin, John Stamos, Dave Coulier, Bure, Mary-Kate Olsen, Bob Saget and Jodie Sweetin. (Walt Disney Television via Getty)

Family has always been number one on her list. When Full House wrapped in 1995, the actress was 18 and more than ready for the next chapter in her life.

She married professional hockey player Valeri Bure in 1996, and after they welcomed daughter Natasha in 1998, the actress called time on her career to focus on raising their family. The couple would later welcome two sons: Lev in 2000 and Maksim in 2002.

With husband Valeri Bure, 46, sons Maksim, 18, and Lev, 20, and daughter Natasha, 22. (Instagram)

When Bure was ready to make her acting return, it was Natasha who helped her transition from child star to rightful queen of Hallmark movies. To date, Bure has starred in 24 Hallmark films — 14 Aurora Teagarden Mysteries and 10 Christmas flicks — with her movies billed as the highest-rated on the US cable channel.

And it all began with one audition tape that Natasha — who was just nine at the time — helped make back in 2008.

“It makes me giggle and it humbles me, but it’s fun to think back to the beginning. I took a very long 10-year break from the industry to stay home with my kids, and the first thing I went back to was sending an audition tape [to Hallmark] and having Natasha read the other lines from off-camera because I didn’t have anyone else to read them with me,” she laughs.

Bure had her first child at 22 and took a 10-year hiatus from acting to raise her three children. (Instagram)

“Then to see that we’ve come to this point, 24 movies later, it’s incredible. I really have to thank all the fans because they’re the ones who are watching my movies. So I’m grateful to all the people who tune in and watch. It definitely keeps me driven. I love making these movies for everyone, and I try to thrive to make them better and better every year.” 

Aussie fans are in for a treat next year with Bure revealing to 9Honey Celebrity that she’s set to film a Hallmark movie Down Under.

“I’m actually going to be in Australia next year to shoot a Hallmark movie,” she shares. “The title could change, but it’s going to be like a summer Down Under movie. I’ve never been to Australia, so I’m really excited.”

The actress is now the queen of Hallmark movies and has starred in 10 Christmas films since 2008. (Instagram)

So what is the secret to her staying power? A good support network, she says.

Bure didn’t fall into the trappings of fame like other young stars, effortlessly making the transition from child star to bona fide actress. And she hopes to guide Natasha, an up-and-coming actress, down the same path. 

“I was surrounded by such good people, which included my parents who always looked out for the best, and all the adult cast on Full House. I was really protected and given great advice. So I continue to pass that same advice on to Natasha,” says Bure.

“I’m always telling her to do her best and work hard and fight for herself, because no one is ever going to fight for you as much as you will for yourself. If you really want something, just work for it. Keep knocking on the door. Don’t let one no or two no answers stop you. Just keep pushing.”

The first six Aurora Teagarden Mysteries will be released on Acorn TV on 17 August. New subscribers can use the code ACORNTVAU30 for a special 30-day extended trial.

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