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Split image of Martin Henderson, Alexandra Breckenridge and Annette O'Toole

Virgin River stars at the start of their careers: best then and now photos

See epic throwback photos of Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson and more

Megan Bull
TV Writer
July 2, 2024
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Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson and Annette O'Toole walked very different paths before finding their way to Virgin River. The hit Netflix show – which just wrapped its sixth season – has captivated viewers over the years, thanks to its quiet optimism, idyllic setting and incredibly talented cast.

Before shooting kicked off in 2019, the stars of Virgin River had already poured their hearts and souls into various other roles across film and TV, leading them to where they are now. Come with us on a trip down memory lane and see the cast at the start of their careers – these throwback photos are epic! 

Alexandra Breckenridge in 2002/ Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel in Virgin River

Alexandra Breckenridge

According to IMDb, Alexandra Breckenridge landed her first acting credit in 1998, after signing on as Kit Murphy in the TV movie Ghosts of Fear Street. Among her earliest roles, the aspiring actress starred in episodes of Dawson's Creek (2000), Freaks and Geeks (2000), and Undeclared (2001-2002). 

By 2002, Alexandra had started bagging film roles too, appearing in Orange County, Big Fat Liar and Wishcraft – the above photo was taken that same year. With her dark brunette locks, the A-lister looks worlds away from her on-screen counterpart, Mel Monroe. 

Martin Henderson in The Ring / Martin Henderson in Virgin River

Martin Henderson

Martin Henderson began acting on-screen at the age of 13 after he was cast in Strangers (1989). Four years later, he joined the New Zealand prime-time soap opera, Shortland Street, playing Stuart Neilson from 1992 to 1995. 

While Martin was already making his mark on the acting world, it wasn't until 2002 that he landed his big break. Appearing alongside Naomi Watts in The Ring, the supernatural horror film became a box office success, catapulting the actor to stardom. 

He followed up with Bride and Prejudice (2004), Little Fish (2005), Miracles from Heaven (2016) and more before finding himself in a certain small town.

Annette O'Toole in Love for Rent / Annette O'Toole in Virgin River

Annette O'Toole

There's no doubt about it, Annette O'Toole is a Hollywood legend. Her earliest roles came in the late '60s and early '70s, and by the '80s she was a household name. 48 Hrs (1982), Superman III (1983) and Cross My Heart (1987) are among her best-known films. 

No stranger to the small screen, Annette has also appeared in episodes of Smallville (2001-2011) Private Practice (2011) and Grey's Anatomy (2013). 

While we're used to seeing Annette with her beautiful silver locks, the actress was a natural redhead, just like Mel Monroe! Above, she's pictured filming the 1979 TV movie Love for Rent

Tim Matheson in Tucker's Witch / Tim Matheson in Virgin River

Tim Matheson

Like his Virgin River co-star, Martin Henderson, Tim Matheson landed his first role at the age of 13, starring in Window on Main Street (1961-1962). In the years that followed he was cast in the films Yours, Mine and Ours (1968), Magnum Force (1973) and National Lampoon's Animal House (1978).

As for his TV roles, Tim is best known for Tucker's Witch (1982-83), The West Wing (1999-2006) and Hart of Dixie (2011-15). 

Ben Hollingsworth in 2009/ Ben Hollingsworth in Virgin River

Ben Hollingsworth

Ben Hollingsworth has been acting since the early 2000s. You may have spotted him in episodes of Heartland (2008), Degrassi: The Next Generation (2008), The Beautiful Life (2009) and Suits (2011). 

Zibby Allen in 2011/ Zibby Allen in Virgin River

Zibby Allen

Zibby Allen hasn't changed one bit! The above photo was taken in February 2011. At this point in her career, the actress had appeared in Without a Trace (2008), Waiting for Ophelia (2009) and Grey's Anatomy (2006-2012). 

Just before she was cast as Brie in Virgin River, Zibby featured in episodes of Bates Motel (2017), Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2017) and The Good Doctor (2021).  

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