Bert (Ernest Borgnine) is a retired Hollywood actor who has been estranged from his only daughter Marie (Tracy Nelson) for many years. When she ends up in the hospital following a car accident, Social Services places her 10-year-old daughter, Becca (Juliette Goglia), with the grandfather she has never met. The generation gap is apparent as Bert and Becca try to adjust to their new lives together.
In taking in the granddaughter, he never knew about, he is faced with the resentment toward him due to these stories told by the grandmother. Bert is faced with the dilemma of whether to tell his granddaughter, and later his daughter, the truth, which if they believe him, may ruin their memory of the late grandmother, or stay quiet. The dilemma is resolved when one of Bert’s friends tells the mother the truth.
Ernest Borgnine as Bert O'Riley
Juliette Goglia as Becca O'Riley
Tracy Nelson as Marie O'Riley
Katherine Helmond as Roxie
Richard Libertini as Karl
Quinn Redeker as Jack Fast
Jamie Farr as Adam
In prime time, the movie led the network to rank #1 in the time period, #1 for the weekend, and #4 for the week. It was also the third-highest-ever-rated original movie premiere on Hallmark Channel to the premiere date.
The Dove Foundation gave A Grandpa for Christmas the Dove Family Approved Seal on November 6, 2007.
Ernest Borgnine received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance.