Here’s Why ‘Virgin River’ Star Jenny Cooper (Who Plays Mel’s Sister) Looks So Familiar

Including what else she's starred in

jenny cooper virgin river netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

We already know everything—OK, fine, nearly everything—about Virgin River star Alexandra Breckenridge. However, the same can’t be said about Jenny Cooper, the actress who plays Breckenridge’s on-screen sister, Joey Barnes.

In honor of the holiday episodes, here’s everything we know about Jenny Cooper (including what else she’s been in).

jenny cooper
Courtesy of Netflix

1. Who Is Jenny Cooper?

Jenny Cooper is an up-and-coming actress, who stars in Virgin River. Although she was born in Toronto, Canada, she spent most of her childhood in Miami, Florida. Cooper currently resides in Encino, California, with her husband and their three children.

jenny cooper
Courtesy of Netflix

2. Does She Play Mel's Sister in Virgin River?

Absolutely. Mel’s sister, Joey Barnes, was first introduced in season one and has played a prominent role ever since. Although she’s not a pivotal part of the plot, Joey is her sister’s go-to person for advice.

The show’s story line focuses on Joey’s sister, Mel (Breckenridge), who moves to the remote California town in search of a fresh start. Along the way, she meets a handsome bar owner, Jack (Martin Henderson), while getting to know the locals.

jenny cooper virgin river
Courtesy of Netflix

3. What Happens to Joey in Virgin River Season Five? 

Cooper’s character, Joey, had a smaller role in season five, but she’s still important. In fact, Joey drops a major bombshell in the finale when she calls Mel and tells her that she found some of their mother’s belongings. This includes several love letters addressed to someone in Virgin River, and the recipient could be Mel’s biological father. 

Virgin River director Gail Harvey promised the holiday episodes will address the cliffhanger. “[There are] some very beautiful things and some storylines are tied up in a very emotional way,” she said. “There’s Christmas trees, there’s ice skating, there’s lovely Christmas gifts, there’s dinners, and there’s family dysfunction dynamics that we can all relate to at Christmas. And a lot of moving things.”

jenny cooper virgin river

4. What Else Has She Starred In?

In addition to Virgin River, Cooper has made several appearances on our television screens, but they weren’t major roles. This includes Wendy in Fast Track, Molly in Jake and the Kid, Sarah in Strange Days at Blake Holsey High, Valerie in 24, Dr. Jane Blake in Open Heart and Susan in Exposed. She also had bit parts in Monk, The One, Mutant X, Ghost Whisperer, CSI: Miami, Scandal, NCIS, Grey’s Anatomy and Rizzoli & Isles. Oh, and how could we forget about Law & Order True Crime, where she played Megan Lang?

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...