Martin Henderson

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Martin Henderson
Henderson in 2006
Born (1974-10-08) 8 October 1974 (age 49)
Auckland, New Zealand
EducationBirkenhead Primary
Northcote Intermediate Westlake Boys High
Years active1989–present

Martin Henderson (born 8 October 1974) is a New Zealand actor. He is known for his roles on the American medical drama series Off the Map as Dr. Ben Keeton (2011), the medical drama series Grey's Anatomy as Dr. Nathan Riggs (2015–2017), the Netflix romantic drama Virgin River as Jack Sheridan (2019–present),[1] and for his performance as Noah Clay in the 2002 horror film The Ring, while remaining known in his home country for his teenage role as Stuart Neilson in the soap opera Shortland Street (1992–1995).[2]

Early life[edit]

Henderson was born in Auckland to Ian and Veronica Henderson. They divorced when he was five.[3] He began acting at the age of thirteen, appearing in Strangers, a local television production. He attended Birkenhead Primary Northcote Intermediate and Westlake Boys High schools.[4] He played rugby as a flanker and his team won the championship in 1990 and 1991.[5] He turned down going to study at university when he was 17, in favour of acting.[6] He initially considered studying science and business.[7]


Early work[edit]

At age 17, in 1992, Henderson starred as Stuart Neilson in the New Zealand prime-time soap opera Shortland Street.[8] He played the role until 1995. Shortland Street became New Zealand's longest-running drama and soap opera.[9] He subsequently lived in Australia for three years[10] and appeared in a number of Australian films and television productions including Echo Point and Home and Away.

Move to the United States[edit]

Henderson moved to the United States in 1997 to pursue a career in Hollywood films and to train in a two-year program at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City with a student visa.[11] To pay the tuition, he took a job at night as a restaurant food runner.[12] While at school, he starred as Hamlet in the off-Broadway play Ophelia Thinks Harder. He left the school halfway through the two-year course and moved to Los Angeles.[12]

Heath Ledger helped him financially during a period of numerous auditions without securing any role.[13] Henderson first landed a voice over part in a Fanta commercial, speaking with an Australian accent.[11] In 1999, he appeared in Kick, for which he was nominated for an AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 2000.[14] After more than a year unsuccessfully auditioning for film roles in Los Angeles, in 2001 he was cast in a supporting role in the John Woo-directed war film Windtalkers.[15] In 2002, Henderson starred opposite Naomi Watts in the horror film The Ring.[6] Following the box office success of the film, he was cast as Drew in Perfect Opposites,[16] and subsequently as the lead character in the biker film Torque, released in early 2004.[17] Later that year, he starred opposite Aishwarya Rai in the British romantic film Bride and Prejudice and appeared in Britney Spears' "Toxic" music video.[17] In 2005, he appeared in the award-winning Little Fish starring Cate Blanchett.[6] In 2006, Henderson received rave reviews in London's West End in a theatre production of Fool for Love with Juliette Lewis.[18][19]

He was set to star alongside Jordana Brewster in the television series adapted from the 2005 film Mr. & Mrs. Smith. However, the series was not picked up by any network. In 2006, he appeared in the movie Flyboys. He also appeared in a commercial for the 2008 Cadillac CTS, and the House episode "Painless". In 2010, Henderson was cast in Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes' short-lived television series Off the Map as a New Zealand doctor.[20] In 2014, he starred in the multi-platform Australian drama television series Secrets & Lies and in the SundanceTV drama series The Red Road.

In 2015, Henderson appeared in Everest,[21] with Jake Gyllenhaal. In June that year, he joined the cast of Grey's Anatomy, as a potential love interest for series lead Ellen Pompeo's Meredith Grey,[22] making his first appearance in November. The actor exited two years later, his final appearance in October 2017. Henderson told Deadline that his departure was a storytelling-based decision, adding, "This [was] my final year so I was expecting Nathan’s storyline to be wrapped up."[23] In 2016, he starred in the film Miracles from Heaven opposite Jennifer Garner.[24]

Since 2019, Henderson has co-starred on the Netflix series Virgin River alongside Alexandra Breckenridge, playing the role of Jack Sheridan, a former marine with PTSD.[25] The series was renewed by Netflix for a fourth and fifth season in 2021. He was cast in A24 horror film X (2022) as Wayne Gilroy.[26]

Personal life[edit]

As of 2017, he lives in Los Angeles with his dog. [27]



Year Title Role Notes
1999 Kick Tom Bradshaw Nominated—AFI Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
2000 The Summer of My Deflowering Luke Short film
2002 Windtalkers Private Thomas Nellie
2002 The Ring Noah Clay
2003 Skagerrak Ian/Ken
2004 Torque Cary Ford
2004 Perfect Opposites Drew Curtis
2004 Bride and Prejudice William Darcy
2005 Little Fish Ray Robert Heart Nominated—AFI Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role[28]
Nominated—FCCA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
2006 Flyboys Reed Cassidy
2006 Smokin' Aces Hollis Elmore
2007 Battle in Seattle Jay
2009 Cedar Boys Mathew
2010 Home by Christmas Young Ed
2013 The Moment John/Peter
2013 Devil's Knot Brent Davis
2015 Everest Andy Harris
2016 Miracles from Heaven Kevin Beam
2018 The Strangers: Prey at Night Mike
2018 Juveniles Oliver
2018 Hellbent Jeb Dupre
2022 X Wayne Gilroy


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Strangers Zane
1990 Betty's Bunch
1990 Raider of the South Seas Jack Taylor Television film
1992–1995, 2017 Shortland Street Stuart Neilson Main (27 episodes, Seasons 1 & 26)
1995 Echo Point Zac Brennan
1996 Sweat Tom Nash Main (26 episodes, Season 1)
1996 Home and Away Geoff Thomas Recurring (7 episodes)
1997–1999 Big Sky Scotty Gibbs Main (53 episodes, Seasons 1–2)
2009 House Jeff Episode: "Painless"
Nominated—AFI International Award for Best Actor
2011 Off the Map Dr. Benjamin "Ben" Keeton Main (13 episodes, Season 1)
2012 Rake Joshua Floyd Guest (2 episodes, Season 2)
2014–2015 The Red Road Harold Jensen Main (12 episodes, Seasons 1–2)
2014 Secrets & Lies Ben Gundelach Main (6 episodes, Season 1)
2015–2017 Grey's Anatomy Dr. Nathan Riggs Main (45 episodes, Seasons 12–14)
2019–present[29] Virgin River Jack Sheridan Main role
2020 The Gloaming Gareth McAvaney Main Role (8 Episodes)
2021–2022 My Life Is Murder Will Crowe Guest (Seasons 2 & 3)
2024 Madam [30]

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013–2014 Auckland Daze Martin Henderson 3 episodes

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Notes
2003 Toxic Britney Spears' boyfriend


  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (19 December 2018). "'Virgin River': Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson, Tim Matheson & Annette O'Toole To Star In Netflix Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 19 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Shorty Street actor is the new McDreamy". Stuff. 18 January 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  3. ^ Tailor, Leena (7 January 2016). "Martin Henderson returns to hospital". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  4. ^ "Past Pupil Martin Henderson Visits Westlake". 4 May 2010. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010.
  5. ^ Coddington, Sarah (4 May 2010). "Star visits school". Stuff. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  6. ^ a b c Secher, Benjamin (11 July 2006). "My Hollywood nightmare". The Telegraph. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Martin Henderson on his return to Shortland Street: 'I feel like an alien'". 25 May 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  8. ^ Harrop, Nicky (25 May 2017). "25 Years of Shortland Street: Martin Henderson". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  9. ^ "Virgin River star Martin Henderson's accent in first ever role is jaw-dropping". Hello!. 22 February 2022. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  10. ^ McWhirter, Erin (4 January 2007). "Ledger digs deep for a pal". Perth Now. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  11. ^ a b Kilgallon, Steve (9 April 2017). "Martin Henderson: When US immigration locked me up". Stuff. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  12. ^ a b "Martin Henderson - Now that I'm older I don't give a ..." The Big Idea. 1 July 2003. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  13. ^ McWhirter, Erin (25 January 2007). "Heath lends mate Martin Henderson a helping hand". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  14. ^ "Past Awards". Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  15. ^ Mitchell, Elvis (14 June 2002). "FILM REVIEW; Of Duty, Friendship And a Navajo Dilemma". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  16. ^ Martin Henderson in Perfect Opposites Archived 8 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ a b Kaufman, Gil (25 August 2004). "Yes, Britney Really Is Naked In The 'Toxic' Video: VMA Lens Recap – News Story | MTV News". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
  18. ^ Brown, Peter (21 June 2006). "Fool For Love – Review". London Theatre Guide. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  19. ^ Billington, Michael (16 June 2006). "Fool for Love, Apollo, London". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  20. ^ "From Shortland St to medic in Guatemala jungle". Otago Daily Times. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  21. ^ "Martin Henderson: Surviving Everest and rhino attack". The New Zealand Herald. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  22. ^ Boardman, Madeline (16 June 2015). "Martin Henderson takes Patrick Dempsey's spot in Grey's Anatomy". Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  23. ^ Ausiello, Michael (27 October 2017). "Grey's Anatomy Shocker: [Spoiler] Exits". Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  24. ^ Kroll, Justin (22 June 2015). "Martin Henderson Joins Jennifer Garner in 'Miracles From Heaven' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  25. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (19 December 2018). "'Virgin River': Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson, Tim Matheson & Annette O'Toole To Star In Netflix Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 19 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  26. ^ "'X' Trailer: Mia Goth Stars in Ti West's A24 Horror Movie About a '70s Porn Shoot". Indiewire. 12 January 2022.
  27. ^ Kilgallon, Steve (9 April 2017). "Martin Henderson: When US immigration locked me up". Stuff. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  28. ^ "Past Awards". Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  29. ^ Petski, Denise (20 December 2019). "'Virgin River' Renewed For Season 2 By Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 20 December 2019. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  30. ^ "Rachel Griffiths leads NZ dramedy Madam | TV Tonight". 29 September 2023.

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