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‘The O.C.’ Cast: Find Out Where the Orange County Teens Are Today

From fabulous beach parties to tragic endings, this group had a wild ride


If you were growing up in the late 1990s or early 2000s, there’s a good chance weekly episodes of teen dramas like Beverly Hills, 90210 and One Tree Hill were filling up your DVR. But in the midst of all those crazy storylines, The O.C. cast was rising to stardom as well.

The O.C., which ran from 2003 to 2007, was a cultural phenomenon. Not only did it take place on the wealthy beachfront of Orange County, California, but it followed the absurdly adult lives of four teens.

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four teens leaning on car; the o.c. cast
Cast of The O.C. (2003)

From near-fatal drug overdoses to tragic fires and deadly car accidents (that one still hurts), The O.C. cast experienced all of the crazy storylines that teen dramas loved to portray. Although ratings started to decline as the series went on and audiences lost a fan-favorite character, its early seasons drew in a massive fan base.

Between on and off-screen love connections and drama on set, The O.C. cast experienced quite a wild ride throughout the show’s run. Catch up with the Newport teens and see where they have been since 2007.

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Mischa Barton

mischa barton

Character Played: Marissa Cooper

Born: January 24, 1986 (Age 38) in Hammersmith, London, UK

Best Known For: Films such as The Sixth Sense (1999), Notting Hill (1999), Lost and Delirious (2001) and the Australian Soap Opera, Neighbours (2023)

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Personal: After a rough personal journey in Hollywood, Mischa Barton is on the road to healing. She is unmarried and does not have any children. The actress did, however, have an off-screen romance with her on-screen love, Ben McKenzie.

Thoughts on The O.C.: “I really love that she had this epic death and that it ended like that, because it’s memorable and it’s not just another flash in the pan … I think that that’s cool that people actually took something away from it. There were lessons to be learned from Marissa, for better or for worse.”

Ben McKenzie: The O.C. cast

Ben mckenzie; the o.c. cast

Character Played: Ryan Atwood

Born: September 12, 1978 (Age 45) in Austin, Texas

Best Known For: TV series such as Southland (2009-2013) and Gotham (2014-2019), as well as films like 88 Minutes (2007), Decoding Annie Parker (2013) and Some Kind of Beautiful (2014)

Personal: Ben is married to Morena Baccarin and has three children

Thoughts on The O.C.: “Most actors who have the luxury of even getting a hit show have done many, many years of work prior to that… [I kept asking myself] Is this normal? This seems like it’s going well, but I have nothing to compare it to. Is it going to be okay? … It was a rocket ship and I think we all kind of hung on for dear life.”

Rachel Bilson

Rachel Bilson

Character Played: Summer Roberts

Born: August 25, 1981 (Age 42) in Los Angeles, California

Best Known For: Films such as The Last Kiss (2006), Jumper (2008) and The To Do List (2013). Bilson was also a star on the TV series Hart of Dixie (2011-2015)

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Personal: Previously with Hayden Christensen, with whom she has one daughter

Thoughts on The O.C.: “I feel proud of her,” she says, speaking of her character. “The main thread that kind of goes through the whole series is how strong she is, and I love that. Just to see how far she goes, I feel proud. You know, I have a daughter, and I’m, like, okay, if she watches [The O.C.] someday, she can see the arc and the growth you can have as a human, which is cool.”

Adam Brody: The O.C. cast

adam brody; the o.c. cast

Character Played: Seth Cohen

Born: December 15, 1979 (Age 44) in San Diego, California

Best Known For: Films like Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005), Jennifer’s Body (2009) and Ready or Not (2019). Brody is also known for TV series such as Gilmore Girls (2002-2003) and Single Parents (2019-2020).

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Personal: Married to Leighton Meester and has two children

Thoughts on The O.C.: “If I have any fans, [The O.C.] is the biggest part of that, and I’m thankful for it. And in any way that it garners goodwill towards me, now or in the future, I’m thankful. It’s an honor to have been part of the culture and pop culture in such a distinct way. I think people have good memories of it and have warm thoughts of it, and that’s nice.”

Peter Gallagher

peter gallagher

Character Played: Sandy Cohen

Born: August 19, 1955 in New York City

Best Known For: Films such as While You Were Sleeping (1995), American Beauty (1999) and Mr. Deeds (2002). Gallagher is also known for television series Covert Affairs (2010-2014) and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (2020-2021).

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Personal: Married to Paula Harwood and has two children

Thoughts on The O.C.: “That whole first season was very special. Everybody was tight, there was a great sense of shared excitement.”

Kelly Rowan: The O.C. cast

Kelly Rowan ; the o.c. cast

Character Played: Kirsten Cohen

Born: October 26, 1965 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Best Known For: Films such as Hook (1991), Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995) and One Eight Seven (1997). Rowan was also on the TV series Perception (2012-2015).

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Personal: One child

Thoughts on The O.C.: “My manager at the time read the script and he said, “You know, this is a really good part,” but I don’t think I made any lasting impressions on my first reading … they weren’t going to cast me … But the rest is history.”

Melinda Clarke

melinda clarke

Character Played: Julie Cooper

Born: April 24, 1969 in Dana Point, California

Best Known For: Days of Our Lives (1989-1990), Spawn (1997) and Nikita (2010-2013).

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Personal: Previously married to Ernie Mirich, whom she has one child with. Currently married to Adam Farmer.

Thoughts on The O.C.: “Julie started as this very superficial woman, but ultimately we find that she’s not one-dimensional. She’s a human being on a journey of discovery, which takes her through so many different aspects of what’s important in life. When she loses a child, we really do end up seeing the humanity in her. The character was super rewarding.”

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