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Movies & Shows

Catch Up With the ‘One Tree Hill’ Cast Over 20 Years Later!

Plus, learn which actor was severely depressed during filming

Chances are that if you ever turned the channel to The CW between the years of 2003 and 2012, you caught at least one or two episodes of the hit teen drama One Tree Hill. Filled with teenage love triangles, great outfits, fun musical guest stars and dramatic basketball games, the plots of the show were truly a wild ride — and so is the cast’s life! Keep scrolling to learn everything you need to know about the One Tree Hill cast, including which actor was severely depressed during filming.

Chad Michael Murray

Chad Michael Murray
2003/2024 Getty

CHARACTER PLAYED: Lucas Scott

BORN: August 24, 1981 in Buffalo, New York.

BEST KNOWN FOR: Gilmore Girls (2000-2001), Dawson’s Creek (2001-2002), Freaky Friday (2003), A Cinderella Story (2004), Riverdale (2019) and multiple Hallmark Christmas movies.

PERSONAL: He was married to One Tree Hill costar Sophia Bush for less than a year. Now, Michael Murray is married to Sarah Roemer. They have two children together.

THOUGHTS ON ONE TREE HILL: We grew up together in a lot of ways, and so you’ll enter a room like this, and I could see Joy, Hilarie, or anyone from across the room, and it’s like, ‘Family!’ You can grab onto each other and feel a little bit safe, because it’s your crew.”

FUN FACT: Michael Murray was the first one to be cast — although he was originally approached to play Nathan.

James Lafferty: One Tree Hill cast

James Lafferty: One Tree Hill cast
2003/2024 Getty

CHARACTER PLAYED: Nathan Scott

BORN: July 25, 1985 in Hemet, California, USA

BEST KNOWN FOR: Boys on the Run (2003), Waffle Street (2015), Small Town Crime (2017), The Haunting of Hill House (2018) and Red Right Hand (2024).

PERSONAL: Lafferty has been married to Alexandra Park since 2022.

THOUGHTS ON ONE TREE HILL: “For me, it’s really endearing, and it’s a testament to the longevity of the impact of that show and that the show made. I’ll always be proud to be known to people as Nathan Scott.”

FUN FACT: Lafferty directed four episodes of One Tree Hill.

Hilarie Burton Morgan

Hilarie Burton Morgan
2003/2024 Getty

CHARACTER PLAYED: Peyton Sawyer

BORN: July 1, 1982, in Sterling, Virginia, USA.

BEST KNOWN FOR: The Secret Life of Bees (2008), White Collar (2010-2013), Lethal Weapon (2016-2017) and Dear Christmas (2020).

PERSONAL: Burton Morgan has been married to Jeffrey Dean Morgan since 2019. They have two children together.

THOUGHTS ON ONE TREE HILL: “I’m such good friends with that whole [One Tree Hill] cast. I’m really good friends with the crew, and I’ve watched their children grow up….Peyton [Sawyer] had a pretty big chip on her shoulder, which was good. When you are in the throes of adolescence, it is good to have a character that has it so much worse.”

FUN FACT: In 2017, Burton announced that she left the show after six seasons due to sexual and emotional abuse from the series creator, Mark Schwahn. She often talks about what went on behind the scenes on her podcast, Drama Queens, which she co-hosts with Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz.

Sophia Bush: One Tree Hill cast

Sophia Bush: One Tree Hill cast
2003/2024 Getty

CHARACTER PLAYED: Brooke Davis

BORN: July 8, 1982, in Pasadena, California.

BEST KNOWN FOR: John Tucker Must Die (2006), Chicago P.D (2014-2017), Incredibles 2 (2018), Good Sam (2022) and Love, Victor (2020-2022).

PERSONAL: Bush was married to Chad Michael Murray from 2005-2006. Then, she married Grant Hughes in 2022, but they have since divorced. She is now dating Ashlyn Harris.

THOUGHTS ON ONE TREE HILL: “You look back at it, and at the time, I didn’t realize how inappropriate it was, but again, this was a long time ago. I remember my boss kept writing scenes for me to be in my underwear. And I was like, ‘I’m not doing this. This is inappropriate. Like, I don’t think this is what we should be teaching 16-year-old girls to be doing, to be seeking validation this way.'”

FUN FACT: Despite being in all nine seasons of One Tree Hill, Bush wasn’t in the pilot.

Bethany Joy Lenz

Bethany Joy Lenz
2003/2024 Getty

CHARACTER PLAYED: Haley James Scott

BORN: April 2, 1981, in Hollywood, Florida.

BEST KNOWN FOR: Guiding Light (1998-2000), Colony (2017) and Extortion (2017). She has also been in many Hallmark Christmas movies.

PERSONAL: She was married to Michael Jacob Galeotti from 2005-2015. They had one child together

THOUGHTS ON ONE TREE HILL: Lenz was in a cult for most of her time on the show, and she believes that starring as Haley was the reason she was able to escape it. “In a lot of ways, One Tree Hill saved my life because I was there nine months out of the year in North Carolina. I had a lot of flying back and forth, a lot of people visiting, and things like that, but my life was really built in North Carolina. And I think that spatial separation made a big difference when it was time for me to wake up.”

FUN FACT: Joy Lenz directed three episodes of One Tree Hill.

Moira Kelly: One Tree Hill cast

Moira Kelly: One Tree Hill cast
2011/2022Getty

CHARACTER PLAYED: Karen Roe

BORN: March 6, 1968, in Queens, New York.

BEST KNOWN FOR: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), The Cutting Edge (1992), The Lion King (1994), The West Wing (1999-2000), Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (2014).

PERSONAL: Kelly has been married to Stephen Eric Hewitt since 2000. They have two children together.

THOUGHTS ON ONE TREE HILL: Karen was everybody’s mom, and that’s what the fans have been telling me when I take pictures with them… I think that as an actress, I do my job and go home. You don’t really don’t consider that what you love to do can have such an impact on people.”

FUN FACT: Kelly was pregnant during season 1, which led to her character being sent away to a culinary school in Italy.

Craig Sheffer

Craig Sheffer
2003/2019 Getty

CHARACTER PLAYED: Keith Scott

BORN: April 23, 1960 in York, Pennsylvania, USA

BEST KNOWN FOR: Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), Blue Dessert (1990), Nightbreed (1990), A River Runs Through It (1992), The Program (1993) and Velocity Girl (2023).

PERSONAL: Sheffer was married to Leigh Taylor-Young from 2003-2004. He also has a daughter.

THOUGHTS ON ONE TREE HILL: Sheffer was fired in season 3 and just recently recalled the phone call he had with show creator Mark Schwahn, saying,” ‘Yeah, so good news and bad news.’ [Schwahn] Tells me all about this great thing, [and says,] ‘And then Paul shoots you.’ I go, ‘Okay, so I’m dead? Does that mean I don’t get paid anymore?’ He was like, ‘Yeah.’ I was like, ‘Dude, you told me.’ Not only was it cheesy, but the way it was handled. You don’t call and talk to me about it?”

FUN FACT: Sheffer was almost fired before that for his appearance on set, because Schwahn reportedly had a problem with it.

Paul Johansson: One Tree Hill cast

Paul Johansson: One Tree Hill cast
2003/2023 Getty

CHARACTER PLAYED: Dan Scott

BORN: January 26, 1964 in Spokane, Washington

BEST KNOWN FOR: Soapdish (1991), Novel Romance (2006), Father Africa (2017) and Muzzle (2023).

PERSONAL: Johansson was married to Gabriela Oltean for four years. They have one child together

THOUGHTS ON ONE TREE HILL: “It was awful. I’ve never spoken about this before. I was deeply depressed, and I was drinking. I was drinking a couple of bottles of wine a night by myself. For about six or seven years, it was really tough.”

FUN FACT: He and costar Bethany Joy Lenz remain close friends to this day despite their characters not getting along.


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