Justin Hartley: Daughter, 19, Is 'Best Friend' Bond

Hartley Opens Up About Fatherhood and Family Dynamics

by Zain ul Abedin
Justin Hartley: Daughter, 19, Is 'Best Friend' Bond
© David Becker/Getty Images

47-year-old actor Justin Hartley, the star of the new CBS show "Tracker," recently confided to PEOPLE the one-on-one bond he has with his 19-year-old daughter Isabella Hartley, whom he is co-parenting with his ex-wife Lindsay Korman-Hartley.

Known for creating roles that pull depth and intensity from within, Hartley's life's most rewarding part finds him in his real-life role as a father. Hartley said that it is great witnessing Isabella grow into adulthood. "It's great, I love it.

It's the best," he said. "Having an adult, it's like having another friend you can talk to. She's really wonderful." He insisted that his fatherly role never lessens even as Isabella ages. "It's always dad first. I think when she's 30 it'll be dad first."

Isabella's Milestones: Reflections

Isabella was born after Hartley and Korman-Hartley married in 2004, having met on the set of "Passions" in 2003.

In the year 2022, Isabella completed her high school education, and it is the same year that she joined the University of California, Santa Cruz. Korman-Hjson/insta: "So very proud of my baby girl who's not a baby anymore. I love you Isabella!

Here we come UCSC!! ??? @isabellahartley ??" Reflecting on fatherhood, Hartley is definitely one of those fathers of whom it can be said: "A "Well, if you had a punch list of things that kids should do from the time they're an adolescent to the time to become an adult, she's hit all of the positive ones," he said.

"She's just made it easy on me, so that's good." Hartley also shared moments of reflection, recalling memories of Isabella's early years. "Sometimes I'll look at her, and then I'll have a memory of the first time she tried to climb the stairs or the first time she tried to put her shoes on or the first time she spoke," he said.

"It's just hard to believe that's the same person, and it's hard to believe that that was that long ago 'cause it seems like yesterday. So it puts things in perspective." But as he wows on-screen, in his real-life off-screen, it's his role as a dad that Hartley says is his most important source of pride and joy.

"Tracker" is set to debut after Super Bowl LVIII on CBS, just one more notch for his belt, but this journey with Isabella, the most cherished narrative of them all.