'The O.C.': Where Are They Now?

"The O.C." only lasted four seasons, but the primetime teen soap about privileged families living in the beachfront town of Newport Beach, Calif., launched the careers of many stars and introduced some of the older cast members to a whole new audience. Here's what the actors from "The O.C." are up to now:


Mischa Barton (Marissa Cooper)

Mischa Barton was born in foggy London but took "The O.C." by storm, playing troubled California girl Marissa Cooper. Her character was eventually killed off in a car accident.

Despite a real-life DUI arrest in 2007 and a stint at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center psych ward, she kept pushing her career forward.

This year, Barton will star in two horror films, notably "Resurrection," admitting to TWELV magazine, "I literally became obsessed with that genre." Off-screen she sells her upscale handbag line. Does she miss all the press? Not at all: "I'm so relieved it's not how it was. … It was just over the top."


Ben McKenzie (Ryan Atwood)

Once a relative unknown, Ben McKenzie shot to superstardom playing Ryan Atwood, the bad boy from the wrong side of town who gets adopted into the wealthy Cohen family.

In 2007, he acted with his idol Al Pacino in the film "88 Minutes." He then took the starring role in the 2008 movie "Johnny Got His Gun," about a wounded World War II soldier alone in his thoughts.

These days, McKenzie plays rookie police officer Ben Sherman on the gritty police drama "Southland." The show -- co-starring Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy, and Regina King -- airs on TNT. McKenzie recently booked the co-lead role in CBS's pilot drama "The Advocates."


Rachel Bilson (Summer Roberts)

Los Angeles native Rachel Bilson was encouraged to pursue a career in acting by her father, Danny -- who was a writer, producer, and director -- and at age 21, she nabbed the role of Summer Roberts on "The O.C."

After the series ended, Bilson made the leap to the big screen, co-starring in the Zach Braff film "The Last Kiss," and popped up on TV with guest spots on "Chuck" and "How I Met Your Mother." It wasn't until she reteamed with "O.C." creator Josh Schwartz that she found big success on the small screen again as Dr. Zoe Hart on The CW series "Hart of Dixie."


Adam Brody (Seth Cohen)

Adam Brody was cast as geeky Seth Cohen on "The O.C." and spent the next four years gracing teen magazine covers. Offscreen, he dated co-star Rachel Bilson for three years.

Brody returned to TV in 2011 to lend his voice to the animated series "Good Vibes." In 2012, he played Keira Knightley's ex in "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World." This year, he's been busy in the indie-film world with two movies recently released -- "Lovelace" and "Some Girl(s)" -- and three more due out by the end of the year. You can also catch him on Yahoo! Screen's series "Burning Love."


Peter Gallagher (Sandy Cohen)

For four seasons on "The O.C.," Peter Gallagher played the Newport Beach patriarch Sandy Cohen -- lawyer, public defender, and father to Seth, Ryan, and Sophie.

After the series ended, Gallagher appeared in several feature films, and in 2012, he played dad to Kathryn McCormick's ("So You Think You Can Dance") character in "Step Up Revolution." On the small screen, he's had story arcs on "Californication" and "Rescue Me." Gallagher's also done guest spots on "Shark," "Whitney," and "How I Met Your Mother." For the last few years, he's played Arthur Campbell, director of clandestine services at the CIA, on "Covert Affairs."


Kelly Rowan (Kirsten Cohen)

Kelly Rowan won a Prism Award in 2006 for playing Kirsten Cohen, the recovering-alcoholic mother of Seth and wife to Sandy, on "The O.C."

When the Newport Beach gang parted ways, Rowan worked on a series of TV movies both on camera and behind the scenes, and in 2011, she starred alongside Emily Osment, Kay Panabaker, and Meaghan Rath in the ABC Family TV movie "Cyberbully." Most recently, she began playing Eric McCormack's ghostly love interest Natalie Vincent on the TNT drama "Perception." The series premiered in July 2012, and Season 2 is set to start up in the summer of 2013.


Melinda Clarke (Julie Cooper)

Melinda Clarke portrayed Marissa Cooper's catfight-loving mom, Julie, long before Bravo's reality "Housewives" franchise made socialite backstabbing popular.

After "The O.C.," Clarke was cast in recurring roles on "Eli Stone" and "The Vampire Diaries." She also continued to pop up on "CSI" and "Entourage" (roles she had during her "O.C." run). She returned to her manipulative-character ways when she signed on to portray Amanda on "Nikita" in 2010. As recent series developments have indicated, the former "head of division" just might be the person to take Nikita down.


Chris Carmack (Luke Ward)

Before Chris Carmack signed on to play hunky jock Luke Ward on "The O.C.," he was already well known for his sun-kissed good looks; he had modeled for brands like Abercrombie & Fitch and Guess years earlier.

Post-"O.C.," he was a regular on the short-lived WB series "Related." Now he's giving the small screen another shot with a six-episode arc on "Nashville" as Charlotte and Gunner's new country-music-singing neighbor. According to reports, if the show comes back for a second season, he'll remain a part of the drama. Also, his new thriller "Dark Power" is set to hit theaters in 2013.


Autumn Reeser (Taylor Townsend)

Autumn Reeser first joined the cast of "The O.C." as overachieving socialite Taylor Townsend in Season 3. She became a series regular in Season 4 when Mischa Barton left the show.

After "The O.C." ended, Reeser hit some rough patches, joining the cast of the short-lived sitcom "Valentine" and the film "The Lost Boys: The Tribe," which went straight to DVD. She bounced back in 2009, when she was cast as Lizzy on HBO's "Entourage." After some TV guest spots, she landed a role in the military drama "Last Resort" -- which was recently canceled after 13 episodes.


Shailene Woodley (Kaitlin Cooper)

Shailene Woodley played the original Kaitlin Cooper; Willa Holland took over the role for the final two seasons. Woodley portrayed George Clooney's oldest daughter, Alexandra King, in the Oscar-winning movie "The Descendants." She's also filming "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" with Andrew Garfield.


Chris Brown (Will Tutt)

Yes, that Chris Brown. Brown has pursued an acting career over the years, beginning with three episodes of "The O.C." playing Will Tutt, a band geek who briefly dated Kaitlin.

After the show, Brown appeared in the film "Stomp the Yard," and this fall, he will star in "Battle of the Year: The Dream Team."

Despite the scattering of acting roles, Brown is better known for his music career. He received two Grammy nods for his 2007 album "Exclusive," but the celebration turned to tragedy when he pled guilty to assaulting his girlfriend, singer Rihanna. He is currently serving five years' probation. Now, Rihanna and Brown seem to an off-agian/on-again relationship, and his music career is rebounding. The release of his sixth album, "X," will be a good indicator of whether all is forgiven.

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