The Hallmark Hall of Fame has been honored with countless awards, including a record 81 Emmys and dozens of Golden Globes, Peabody and Christopher Awards and Humanitas Prizes. In 1961 Hallmark Cards received the first Emmy ever presented to a sponsor, and in 1982 the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented its prestigious Governors' Award to Hallmark for the series' unparalleled contribution to the television medium.
The Hallmark Hall of Fame has often tackled tough subjects, and those presentations have been widely honored.
“Teacher, Teacher“ (1969) told of a mentally challenged boy who emerged from his isolation thanks to encouragement from his teacher. Both “Teacher, Teacher“ and its sequel “Emily, Emily“ (1977) received Awards of Merit from the President's Committee on Mental Retardation.
“Love Is Never Silent“ (1985) and “Sweet Nothing in My Ear“ (2008) featured deaf actors and explored issues of particular relevance to the deaf community.
“Promise“ (1986), starring James Woods and James Garner, was a remarkable exploration of schizophrenia. As John J. O'Connor noted in his “New York Times“ review, "A television movie has finally done it—tackled a disease for which there is no cure, no comforting bromides, and therefore, no opportunity for easy uplift."
“My Name Is Bill W.“ (1989) dramatized the genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous.
“Miss Rose White“ (1992) examined assimilation of ethnic and religious minorities in American society.
“Ellen Foster“ (1997) was a hard-hitting portrait of an essentially parentless girl coping with a harrowing childhood.
“Grace & Glorie“ (1998) was a touching portrait of an elderly woman dealing with both isolation and illness.
“Promise“ is the most honored single program in the history of television. It received five Emmy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor (James Woods), two Golden Globes, a Christopher Award and Humanitas Prize. The production is still widely used as a teaching tool in medical schools throughout the country.
Since "Promise," many Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations have achieved both strong critical notices and high ratings. They include “Pack of Lies“ (1987), “Foxfire“ (1987), “Caroline?“ (1990), “Sarah, Plain and Tall“ (1991), “O Pioneers!“ (1992), “To Dance with the White Dog“ (1993), “Breathing Lessons“ (1994), “William Faulkner's Old Man“ (1997), “What the Deaf Man Heard“ (1997), “A Painted House“ (2003), “The Magic of Ordinary Days“ (2005) and “Front of the Class“ (2009).
In 2009 the Hallmark Hall of Fame presented “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler,“ the story of one of the most remarkable World War II heroes who saved 2500 Jewish children during the German occupation of Poland, and “Front of the Class,“ the triumphant story of Brad Cohen, a man with Tourette's Syndrome who overcame incredible obstacles to become a gifted teacher. "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler" received 3 Emmy nominations and Front of the Class received the prestigious Voice Award given by the Department of Health & Human Services.