Early life, family, educational background
Canadian actor Benjamin Allen Nicolas Hollingsworth was born on 7 September 1984, in Brockville, Ontario, Canada, to Patricia and Brian ‘McPhee’ Hollingsworth. He has a brother named Luc and two sisters, Asia and Leanne; the family is particularly of Irish descent.
When Ben was 12 the family moved to Peterborough, Ontario, and he began acting two years later just to earn some money. While attending St. Peter’s Secondary School, he appeared in over 20 regional and professional theatre productions over four years.
He performed with the Peterborough Theatre Guild while still at school, and helped raise $5,000 towards a local homeless shelter and funding for Terry Fox Cancer Research, winning a Civic award for participating and contributing.
When he was 17, he landed the leading role of a mentally disabled homeless young man living on the streets of Toronto in “Frozen Dreams,’ a critically acclaimed play written and directed by Robert Ainsworth. Ben’s performance was so impressive that it helped him get accepted into the National Theatre School of Canada, a prestigious university in Montréal.
In his senior year of university, he landed the lead roles for all three productions at the Monument National Theatre, and The Hour listed him in the top ten list of 2006 performances. He graduated with a degree in an acting conservatory program after studying at NTS for three years.
Following graduation, he was cast as Lance Corporal Dawson in “A Few Good Men” by Aaron Sorkin, at the Neptune Theatre for the Canadian Premier – Aaron is also very well-known for creating the “West Wing.” In 2007, Ben was nominated for a Robert Merritt Award for his performance, while under the direction of fellow NTS graduate, Ted Dykstra.
In February 2008, he played Andy in “Last Days of Graceland” at the Theatre Passe Muraille.
Television and Movies
Ben began guest-starring in popular Canadian television series – in 2007, Ben and director/actor Stuart Gillard appeared in “The Cutting Edge III,” an MGM Studios Film along with Matt Lanter from ABC’s “Heroes.” Ben’s role led to his guest-appearance in CBC’s “Heartland.” as Sam in 2008, followed in “Degrassi” as Devon in 2008, and “The Line” as Evan in 2009.
Ben’s feature film debut doubled as his breakout role in 2009, as the lead, Chris Andrews, in “The Joneses,” alongside Demi Moore, Gal Gadot, Misha Barton and Sarah Paxton.
The series was produced by Ashton Kutcher and was loosely based on his own life and experiences as a young male model, however, the show was canceled after only two episodes, which both attracted poor ratings, but unaired episodes are available to watch on YouTube.
Ben continued to regularly appear in television series, including the first season of “Suits” in 2011 as Kyle Durant, Mike Ross’ rival; as Agent Troy in “The Tomorrow People” on The CW; as Quinn in ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” in 2012; and as Peter Grey in “Cult” from 2013-2014.
In 2014, he was cast as Assistant District Attorney Steven Kines in Fox’s “Backstrom” series, starring Rainn Wilson who is best-known for playing Dwight Schrute in the US “The Office.”
Ben also starred in several romantic-comedies that year, including “Can’t Buy My Love” starring Adelaide Kane, “A Wish Come True” with Meghan Park, and “Lucky in Love” opposite Jessica Szohr from “Gossip Girl.” He also had two lead roles in the action thrillers Lionsgate’s “Vendetta”, and 20th Century Fox’s “Joy Ride 3.”
In 2015, he played series regular Dr. Mario Savetti in “Code Black,” a CBS medical drama, a performance which earned him a nomination for a Golden Maple Award for Best Actor in a TV Series. The show starred Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Rob Lowe, Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden, and Luis Guzman; the series finished in 2018 after three seasons.
In 2019, Ben appeared in “Hard Power,” a Lionsgate revenge thriller starring Liam Neeson, Emmy Rossum, and Laura Dern. He also acted in “Rabid,” a David Cronenberg remake of the Soska Twins’ 1997 cult classic.
Since 2019, Ben has been playing Dan Brady in the Netflix original series “Virgin River” – Dan was a recurring character in season one and became the main character from season two.
In 2013 and 2019, he appeared in the Christmas movies “Coming Home for Christmas” and “A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love.”
From 2006 to 2009, Ben was reportedly in a relationship with fellow Canadian actor and former roommate, Nina Dobrev, although their relationship was never confirmed.
They met on the set of “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” and in 2008 they lived together in downtown Toronto as roommates. They seem to be good friends still, as they follow each other on Instagram.
In November 2011, Touch Weekly published a cover story claiming that Demi Moore – then married to Ashton Kutcher – was having an affair with Ben. He turned the rumors down by denouncing them in a Facebook post, and many people believed that the rumors were merely part of a smear campaign against Demi. However, Touch Weekly continued with the story. and even reported that Ben was proud of the affair.
After two years of dating, on 10 November 2012 Ben married Nila Myers, a Bar Method teacher and lingerie designer. They have two sons together, Hemingway Nash born in 2016, and Gatsby Willem in 2018; on 15 October 2020, their first daughter, Juniper Bloom, was born.
Ben enjoys hockey, and is a Toronto Maple Leafs fan.
Ben has black, hazel eyes and is 5ft 10ins (1.78m) tall.
Net worth and salary
As of 2020, his net worth is estimated at over $1 million.