Who Is Virgin River Star Colin Lawrence?

Actor Colin Lawrence plays John "Preacher" Middleton on Netflix's "Virgin River" and has since the show's first season. However, he got his start in the entertainment industry long before "Virgin River" began after he quit his job to pursue acting instead. His work paid off and his professional acting career began in the mid-'90s.

Preacher is not the only role of Lawrence's that has an iconic nickname, which you may know if you are a science fiction fan. He played Hamish "Skulls" McCall for 13 episodes of the "Battlestar Galactica" TV series that aired from 2004 to 2009. Lawrence's autograph on trading cards of his character from that show is even available for sale on eBay.

Lawrence's filmography extends beyond Preacher and Skulls — far beyond them, in fact. He has appeared in many TV and movie roles spanning a variety of genres throughout his career. But what else is known about this veteran actor? 

Lawrence has something in common with his 'Virgin River' character

Robyn Carr, the author of the "Virgin River" book series, sat down with Colin Lawrence for a brief interview on the show's set. When Carr asked if he could cook like his character Preacher, Lawrence affirmed that he can, saying, "You know, the funny thing about this character is when I had read the material and I saw that [cooking] was his thing — I am a bonafide chef myself. So, we're like this, Preacher and Colin." Lawrence linked his hands together to show that connection and added, "I'm a big, big, big chef type of foodie type of guy. That's my thing."

When Carr mentioned that her fans want her to publish a cookbook for Preacher although she cannot cook, Lawrence brought up a recipe he'd want added to that hypothetical recipe list: the ribs he likes to make. After discussing the show and Preacher a bit more, Carr thanked Lawrence for being in the show. He expressed his happiness at being a part of it by replying, "Thank you! Thank you for having me in 'Virgin River.' I think I'll stay for a while!"

Lawrence's wife is also an actor, and they work together on 'Virgin River'

Preacher's "Virgin River" Season 4 romance was with a familiar face: Colin Lawrence's actual wife! Lucia Walters plays Julia on "Virgin River." She was introduced in Season 3 but did not become Preacher's love interest until Season 4. Lawrence and Walters met in 1997 while they were both studying in an acting school and have been married since 1999. Like Lawrence, Walters had a different career before the entertainment industry — she was a nurse.

"Virgin River" is not the first time the couple has shared the screen together. They played David and Tara Kendrick in an episode of "The 4400" from 2005. They also appeared as clueless bystanders in a steamy scene from "Fifty Shades Darker." Despite how awkward it could have been, Walters told Cosmopolitan, "You didn't feel stress. It's Jamie [Dornan] and Dakota [Johnson's] second movie, so they obviously know each other really well." Walters added that Lawrence will not see the movie despite their brief part in it.

Lawrence has also acted alongside one of his and Walters' daughters in Lifetime's "Dancing Through the Snow." That proves that talent really can run in the family.

'Napa Ever After' is Lawrence's latest Hallmark film

In addition to his most notable role on "Virgin River," Colin Lawrence has also acted in many movies and shows for the Hallmark Channel. He started out appearing as a side character on the network's programming, in films including "Hitched for the Holidays," the "A Fixer-Upper Mystery" series, and the "Christmas in Evergreen" movies. Lawrence played the leading man in Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' "Morning Show Mysteries: Murder Ever After" as well, starring as Detective Tyrell Price. In an interview about the film, Lawrence said, "[Price] definitely has more of a 'guilty-until-[proven]-innocent' sort of demeanor about him."

Lawrence also has a leading role in Hallmark Mahogany's "Napa Ever After," a historic premiere because it's the first Hallmark Mahogany film to air on the main Hallmark Channel instead of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. That film stars Lawrence as Alec, a widower tasked with helping revamp the vineyard inherited by Denise Boutté's character, Cassandra. "Napa Ever After" premieres on August 26, 2023, and the first ten episodes of "Virgin River" Season 5 drop on Netflix on September 7, 2023.