Recognize the 'Virgin River' Cast? Here's Where You've Seen Them Before

virgin river l to r martin henderson as jack sheridan, alexandra breckenridge as mel monroe in episode 502 of virgin river cr courtesy of netflix copy 2023
Where You've Seen The 'Virgin River' Cast BeforeCourtesy of Netflix

While binging Virgin River, as one does, if you rack your brain trying to figure out where you've seen the cast before, we're with you—so we decided to solve the mysteries once and for all.

And we learned a lot.

For instance, did you know that the show's leading lady—Alexandra Breckenridge, we're looking at you—used to be on This Is Us? Or that multiple members of the cast had stints on ABC's never-ending hit, Grey's Anatomy? OR that one cast member had a breakout cameo in the Christmastime classic, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation? (The last one seems rather fitting, considering that after dropping season 5 in September 2023, Netflix is gifting us with two extra brand-new Virgin River holiday episodes on November 30.)

Have we piqued your interest? Scroll on to see all of the cast's best pre-Virgin River roles. (Heads up: We're throwing it back to a lot of TV shows and movies in addition to Virgin River, so there may be spoilers ahead!)

Alexandra Breckenridge

Our heroine, nurse practitioner and midwife Melinda "Mel" Monroe, who moves from Los Angeles to rural Virgin River with the hope of mending her broken heart, is played by the lovely Alexandra Breckenridge. Before Alexandra was Virgin River's leading lady, she was on…

virgin river alexandra breckenridge as mel monroe in episode 501 of virgin river cr courtesy of netflix 2023
Courtesy of Netflix

...the NBC mega-hit, This Is Us, where she played Kevin's (Justin Hartley) ex-wife (turned wife again), Sophie—who, as it turns out, was also a nurse!

this is us season 1
NBC - Getty Images

Alexandra also had an arc on the zombie hit The Walking Dead as Jessie Anderson, a mother trying to navigate the world of the undead.

alexandra breckenridge on the walking dead
Courtesy of AMC

But perhaps our favorite rediscovery is that Alexandra starred alongside Amanda Bynes in 2006's She's the Man—as the girlfriend of Sebastian, Amanda's on-screen twin brother.

alexandra breckenridge shes the man
Paramount Pictures

Martin Henderson

Martin Henderson plays Jack Sheridan, beloved Virgin River bar owner and one of the very first people Mel meets when she arrives. The two have an instant connection, which eventually turns into a very romantic—albeit, very tumultuous—relationship. But that's part of what makes Virgin River so fun! Before Martin played Jack...

virgin river l to r alexandra breckenridge as mel monroe, martin henderson as jack sheridan in episode 506 of virgin river cr courtesy of netflix copy 2023
Courtesy of Netflix

...he had an arc on Grey's Anatomy as Dr. Nathan Riggs, a cardiothoracic surgeon who worked with April Kepner during her time in Jordan (and one of our girl Meredith's many handsome love interests).

abc grey's anatomy season thirteen
Kelsey McNeal - Getty Images

Tim Matheson

Veteran actor Tim Matheson plays Dr. Vernon "Doc" Mullins, the doctor Mel was hired to work with...without Doc's exact approval. While this leads to a tense initial relationship, they eventually find common ground—and even become close friends.

virgin river tim matheson as doc mullins in episode 508 of virgin river cr courtesy of netflix copy 2023
Courtesy of Netflix

Tim also played a doctor—Bluebell, Alabama's preferred doctor, Dr. Brick Breeland—opposite Rachel Bilson's Dr. Zoe Hart on Hart of Dixie. (If you love Virgin River and haven't yet binged Hart of Dixie, you're in for a real treat—the shows are very reminiscent of each other!)

tim matheson on hart of dixie
Courtesy of the CW

But Tim may, in fact, be best known for his role as Vice President John Hoynes in Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing.

the west wing
NBC - Getty Images

Annette O'Toole

Annette O'Tool plays Hope McCrea, the town mayor and the woman behind Mel's semi-secret move to Virgin River. (She's convinced her ex-husband—then, later, husband again—Doc needs the help. He very much disagrees!)

virgin river l to r kai bradbury as denny, sarah dugdale as lizzie, annette otoole as hope in episode 502 of virgin river cr courtesy of netflix copy 2023
Courtesy of Netflix

But Annette was first known for her multiple roles in the Superman universe—first, as Lana Lang in Superman III, then, as Martha Kent, Clark's (Tom Welling) adoptive mom, on Smallville.

annette o toole smallville
Courtesy of The WB

Keith MacKechnie

Keith MacKechnie plays B&B owner and Jack's friend and glamping business investor, Nick. But—sort-of-spoiler alert!—if you ask some fans, he may also be secretly playing the role of Mel's long-lost father, possibly to be revealed in these holiday episodes.

virgin river l to r keith mackechnie as nick, barbara pollard as melissa montgomery in episode 501 of virgin river cr courtesy of netflix copy 2023

Keith has previously appeared in many things—The Twilight Zone, Desperate Housewives, and 7th Heaven, to name a few—but this is one of our favorites: his cameo on Gilmore Girls. He plays Dennis, a hotel guest determined to take cooking lessons from Sookie (Melissa McCarthy). Eager-to-please Sookie, of course, says yes, despite the fact that the inn recently caught on fire and there's no workable kitchen. (Classic GG!)

guests at the inn on gilmore girls
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Television

But perhaps Keith's most iconic cameo? His brief—yet unforgettable—appearance in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, as the delivery boy who misplaces Clark's (Chevy Chase) work bonus: a one-year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club. (Clark's subsequent meltdown is truly the definition of relatable content.)

keith mackechnie as national lampoons christmas vacation delivery boy
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Colin Lawrence

Colin Lawrence plays Virgin River's John "Preacher" Middleton, a former U.S. Marine and a close friend of Jack's. (He also works at Jack's Bar and eventually becomes co-owner.) Preacher's storyline takes quite a few turns!

virgin river colin lawrence as john preacher middleton of virgin river netflix c 2020
Courtesy of Netflix

But before Colin became the best chef in Virgin River, he played Archie's (K.J. Apa) football coach, Coach Clayton, on Riverdale, the modern (and, yes, often wild) take on the classic Archie comic series.

colin lawrence in riverdale
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Television

Benjamin Hollingsworth

Ben Hollingsworth plays Dan Brady, another veteran living in Virgin River—though one who has a bit of a harder time adjusting to civilian life than his comrades.

virgin river l to r benjamin hollingsworth as brady in episode 302 of virgin river cr courtesy of netflix copy 2021
Courtesy of Netflix

Before Virgin River, Ben appeared on Once Upon a Time as Quinn, a wolf who finds Ruby in the woods.

man and woman in fairytale clothing
Courtesy of ABC/The Walt Disney Company

You might also recognize him from several Hallmark movies, including 2023's The Santa Summit.

the santa summit hallmark
@2023 Hallmark Media

Teryl Rothery

Teryl Rothery stars as Muriel Saint Claire, one of the women in Hope's sewing circle. She's a former movie star and, at the start of the show, interested in Hope's off-again, on-again love, Doc.

virgin river teryl rothery as muriel st claire in episode 507 of virgin river cr courtesy of netflix copy 2023
Courtesy of Netflix

Teryl had a two-season arc as Jean Loring, a lawyer within the Arrow universe.

lawyer in courtroom
Courtesy of the CW

Lauren Hammersley

Lauren Hammersley plays Charmaine Roberts, the woman Jack is dating at the start of the series. She's also the mother of his twin children—or is she...? (True fans know!)

virgin river lauren hammersley as charmaine roberts of virgin river netflix c 2020
Courtesy of Netflix

Before she went around breaking hearts in Virgin River, Lauren played Alison's (Tatiana Maslany), er, messy lawyer on the Space/BBC America series Orphan Black.

laywer fitting through guard window at prison
Courtesy of BBC America

Marco Grazzini

Marco Grazzini plays Mike Valenzuela, a policeman who's both Jack's friend and the lead investigator into—once again, spoiler alert—his shooting. (Yes, things do get dangerous in Virgin River!)

virgin river l to r marco grazzini as mike, benjamin hollingsworth as brady in episode 504 of virgin river cr courtesy of netflix copy 2023
Courtesy of Netflix

But before playing Mike, Marco took on a very different role: Alejandro, Shannon's (Nicole Penney Power) world-traveling, philandering boyfriend, across multiple seasons of the Canadian comedy series Kim's Convenience (the show that helped shoot Simu Liu to stardom).

a man and woman looking into a closet
Courtesy of Thunderbird Entertainment

Christina Jastrzembska

On Virgin River, Christina Jastrzembska plays Lydie, another member of Hope's sewing circle and teenage Ricky Sudder's grandmother.

virgin river christina jastrzembska as lydie of virgin river netflix c 2020
Courtesy of Netflix

But the role we'll always remember her for? That would be Bella's Gran—or who Bella thinks is her gran—in The Twilight Saga's second movie, New Moon.

a man talking to a woman
Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

Mark Ghanimé

Mel and Doc aren't the only medical professionals in town. There's also a newer addition, Mark Ghanimé's Dr. Cameron Hayek, who arrives in Virgin River after Doc realizes he has a (spoiler!) issue with his eyes.

virgin river mark ghanime as dr cameron hayek in episode 504 of virgin river cr courtesy of netflix copy 2023
Courtesy of Netflix

Mark, however, had many fun gigs before Virgin River. Two of our favorites: His flirty role as a stranger who approaches Blake Lively's Adaline on New Year's Eve in The Age of Adaline, and...

a man smiling at a woman
Courtesy of Lionsgate Films

…the role of Don Carlos, Crown Prince of Spain—here, opposite Adelaide Kane as Queen Mary—in The CW's historical romance, Reign.

mark ghanimé and adelaide kane as don carlos and queen mary in reign
Courtesy of the CW

Zibby Allen

Zibby Allen plays Brie Sheridan, Jack's sister, who comes to Virgin River to visit him after he gets shot.

virgin river l to r zibby allen as brie, marco grazzini as mike in episode 506 of virgin river cr courtesy of netflix copy 2023
Courtesy of Netflix

Before VR, Zibby made appearances on two medical dramas: Grey's Anatomy, as "Nurse Zibby," and the Freddie Highmore-starrer The Good Doctor, on which she played a mom prepping her daughter for surgery.

zibby allen as a mom in the good doctor
Courtesy of ABC/The Walt Disney Company

Grayson Maxwell Gurnsey

Grayson Maxwell Gurnsey plays Ricky Sudder, Lydie's grandson and an aspiring Marine. He achieves this goal at the end of season four, which is why he didn't appear in season five, but if you're a Ricky fan, fear not! "He has this semi-important role in the books," Gurnsey told Express, adding, "I'm always happy to come back."

virgin river grayson maxwell gurnsey as ricky in episode 403 of virgin river cr courtesy of netflix copy 2022
Courtesy of Netflix

Before hitting Virgin River, though, Grayson had a small role in the Milo Ventimiglia tearjerker The Art of Racing in the Rain. He accidentally hits Milo's character's beloved golden retriever, the narrator of the film. Luckily—spoiler—he lives! (A crucial detail we couldn't leave you hanging without.)

grayson gurnsey in the art of racing in the rain
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Kai Bradbury

Finally, Kai Bradbury plays Daniel "Denny" Cutler, a later addition and (spoiler!) Doc's grandson. He has many secrets—including an especially heartbreaking one.

virgin river l to r kai bradbury as denny cutler, sarah dugdale as lizzie in episode 406 of virgin river cr courtesy of netflix copy 2022
Courtesy of Netflix

But before this, he has a brief cameo on the Amazon hit The Boys, where he played Kimoko's lost brother in a flashback during season one.

a man in a jungle
Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video

You Might Also Like