Who Is Wanda Cannon? 6 Facts About the Val Stanton Actor on Heartland
Wanda Cannon is the actress who plays Val Stanton, the mother of Ashley and Jesse Stanton, in Heartland. Her character is a tough woman who is easy not to like but adds some necessary drama and animosity to the show. It is also the hallmark of a great actress to play a character that is unlikeable like Val is– and to do it well!
She was born in Kitchener, Ontario, and mainly grew up in Saskatchewan. She then lived in Toronto for many years before moving to her current home in Vancouver. Wanda was born in February 1960 and is a Pisces. Read on for some more facts about her!
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- Who Is Wanda Cannon? 6 Facts About the Val Stanton Actor on Heartland
- Wanda Cannon Started Out as a Musical Theater Actress
- Wanda Cannon’s Biggest TV and Movie Roles
- Wanda Cannon and Cindy Busby are Close Friends
- “Val has many sides”
- What Happened to Val Stanton on Heartland?
- 5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Wanda Cannon
Wanda Cannon Started Out as a Musical Theater Actress
Wanda Cannon actually got her start in the acting world by working in musical theatre. She acted in live theatre and then was able to transition into television and then onto film, too. She still takes part in theatre by directing and acting in theatre plays, alongside her television and movie roles.
On the Heartland Q and A blog, Wanda has said that her acting on screen was a gradual development that happened over the years, after she was beginning to become more well known in the live musical theatre world.
Wanda Cannon’s Biggest TV and Movie Roles
Of course, we know Wanda from her role as Val Stanton on Heartland, but she has many other credits to her name, too! One of her most prominent roles was as Betsy in For the Moment, which was a romantic war drama. The role won her a Genie Award nomination in 1994 for Best Supporting Actress.
She also acted in several Hallmark movies, including Angel of Christmas, Christmas List, and Love In Winterland. She was a regular on the Canadian TV show My Secret Identity from 1988-1991 and played Katherine Weir in The 6th Day, as well as Caroline Monroe in The Final Cut. The 6th Day and The Final Cut, along with For the Moment, as mentioned above, are some of her biggest and most well-known roles to date.
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Wanda Cannon and Cindy Busby are Close Friends
Cindty Busby is the actress who plays Ashley, Val Stanton’s spoiled daughter, on Heartland. Therefore, Wanda and Condy would have many scenes together and spend a lot of time around each other on set. This has led to a strong friendship between the two actresses, built on shared laughs, collaboration, and time spent together!
Besides Cindy, Wanda has gushed about the rest of the Heartland cast, too, saying that the amazing team makes it fun to come to work every day and put on the show. Being on set was what finally got Wanda to learn to ride horses, too, even though she grew up on a farm!
“Val has many sides”
Wanda does seem to have a soft spot for her character Val Stanton on Heartland. Though the character comes across as harsh and abrasive, Wanda says that there is more to meet the eye– and the character shouldn’t be judged too harshly by viewers. After all, the character can be kind and gentle, too, at certain points. She is not only the willful, intense mother that will manipulate people to get what she wants– which is how she typically appears when she is on the screen!
Wanda does her best to portray Val as a three-dimensional character and show her side of the story, too. She does always keep Val’s edginess, though, because, without it, Val would lose her strength.
What Happened to Val Stanton on Heartland?
Val actually disappears for a bit on Heartland. She is gone after Season 4 and does not return until Season 7. In Season 7, viewers learn that Val began living in Florida after Ashley left to go to college. She disappears again until Season 11, where she resurfaces to get involved with Georgie’s showjumping career.
Val wants help fixing Flame, her expensive jumping horse, in Season 11, and asks Amy to help her. Georgie assists Amy with this, and she and Flame forge a strong bond. Once Val sees how well Georgie jumps with Flame, she invites Georgie to compete with the horse. However, she ends up pressuring Georgie to choose between showjumping with Flame and trick riding with Phoenix, and of course, Georgie chooses to stick with Phoenix. She was pressuring Georgie about doing that because she felt like she wasn’t seeing results fast enough, and she wanted results quickly! Val blamed Amy’s abilities for this lack of progress.
Unfortunately, this is the last we see of Val. It would be great to see her return to the show, at least to give us and the other viewers closure and to wrap up her storyline a bit better! It can be assumed that her character is back in Florida, but it would be even better to know for sure where she is and what she is doing.
5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Wanda Cannon
Here are some additional fun facts about Wanda Cannon.
- She loves to scuba dive.
- If she wasn’t an actress, Wanda would have worked with marine animals.
- She loves to cook, work out, and host her friends at home.
- Her favourite actress is Gena Rowlands.
- Cindy Busby used to call Wanda Cannon her West Coast mom.