Martin Henderson, from the fim X, poses at the Variety Studio at SXSW 2022 at JW Marriott Austin on March 13, 2022 in Austin, Texas
Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Variety

Who Plays Jack on 'Virgin River'? Meet Martin Henderson


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Martin Henderson should look very familiar to Virgin River fans. He stars on the hit Netflix series opposite Alexandra Breckenridge as the heartthrob bar owner, Jack Sheridan. The show's fourth season will hit the streaming service on July 20, making it the perfect time to get caught up on the beloved, charming series. (Or just binge-watch it again from the beginning.) (See the season 4 trailer here.)

But who is Martin Henderson? He should look really familiar to fans of popular ABC dramas.

Who is Martin Henderson?

Actor Martin Henderson attends Entertainment Weekly's 2016 Pre-Emmy Party at Nightingale Plaza on September 16, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

Henderson grew up in Auckland, New Zealand where he started acting when he was just 13 years old. New Zealanders most likely recognize this Kiwi from his teenage days starring on the soap opera Shortland Street in the role of Stuart Neilson. He also appeared in Australian TV shows Sweat, Home and Away and Big Sky before moving over to American productions.

The actor told EW that the breakout role that put him on Hollywood's radar was appearing in the 2002 horror film The Ring with Naomi Watts. 

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"It exceeded everyone's expectations. It's become a classic," he recalls. "It definitely put me on people's radars. Prior to that, I was still sort of running around town, desperately trying to get jobs."

Shonda Rhimes first put the New Zealand actor in the short-lived Off The Map series (as Dr. Ben Keeton), but Henderson is really most recognizable for starring as Dr. Nathan Riggs on Rimes' other medical drama, Grey's Anatomy, in seasons 12-14. Yes, he's the guy the network threw in there ASAP to replace Patrick Dempsey's character, McDreamy. We're glad he didn't stick around to romance Meredith Grey for too long because we can't imagine anyone else playing Jack on Virgin River. Over the years he's also appeared in multiple films including Everest (as Andy "Harold" Harris), Miracles From Heaven, Smokin' Aces (as Hollis Elmore), Bride & Prejudice. More recently, he starred in the A 24 horror film X.

He even starred in Britney Spears' music video for "Toxic" which he apparently didn't get paid for.

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On Virgin River, based on Robyn Carr's novels, Henderson plays the love interest for Alexandra Breckenridge's character Mel, who moves to his small town in the mountains of California for a fresh start. According to Henderson, he feels extremely grateful to play such a moral character on the beloved show and giving people some hope in goodness and humanity. 

"There is something unusually... what's the word... comforting and cozy about it," he says. "It's refreshingly romantic, particularly in an era where so much of what we find on television, particularly on cable and on streaming, is this tendency to keep pushing the envelope toward darker, more sinister material. When I read this, I thought it would be quite nice to just play someone who is wholesome. People do still want some goodness. It feels like an honor to be bringing that to people's homes right now."

Outside of his acting career, Henderson is dating someone named Aisha Mendez. While details of their relationship have been primarily kept private, the two lovebirds look like they've been having quite the quarantine together out on the water (with Henderson's dog of course) and constantly on the beach based on the pics they've each shared on social media.

READ MORE: 'Virgin River': 7 Charming Locations to Visit if You Love the Netflix Series

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