The OC premiered on Fox 19 years ago today (August 5) and has certainly earned its title as one of the biggest shows in the 2000s, ranking alongside Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill. The Focus takes a look at where the teen idols are now.
A slew of young faces were catapulted to fame in the hit 2003 series, following the lives of affluent teens in the superficial city of Newport Beach as well as newcomer Ryan Atwood, a troubled 16-year-old from Chino.
Core actors Ben McKenzie, Mischa Barton, Adam Brody, and Rachel Bilson have gone on to lead many series and films while expanding into other industries. Let’s find out exactly which huge roles they’ve taken on.
Ben McKenzie (Ryan Atwood)
The OC marked McKenzie’s breakthrough, but it certainly wasn’t his last starring role. The actor was just 24 years old when the show premiered and headed up NBC crime drama Southland two years after The OC wrapped up in 2007.
Now 43, he entered the superhero genre as the voice of Batman in 2011 film Batman: Year One. McKenzie returned to the genre as Jim Gordon in Fox’s Gotham.
Outside of Hollywood, he’s dabbled in journalism with his criticism of cryptocurrency. He also unpacks the discussion in his latest endeavor, a book titled Easy Money.
The actor is now a father of two, sharing his kids with Deadpool star Morena Baccarin. They tied the knot in June 2017.
Mischa Barton (Marissa Cooper)
Barton became a well-known face in the US and UK by becoming the face of multiple global brands, including Herbal Essence, Philipp Plein, and Calvin Klein.
With more than 77 acting credits, the now-36-year-old has appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, British film St Trinian’s and The Hills reboot, New Beginnings.
Adam Brody (Seth Cohen)
After The OC, Adam Brody landed roles in Scream 4, Jennifer’s Body, and Shazam! On the TV front, he’s kept busy with gigs on New Girl, Curfew and StartUp. Catch him on Hulu’s upcoming mini-series, Fleishman Is In Trouble, alongside Now You See Me 2 stars Lizzy Caplan and Jesse Eisenberg.
Brody dated co-star Bilson for three years before splitting ahead of the show’s final season. In March 2010, he moved on to fellow former teen idol Leighton Meester after meeting on the set of The Oranges. They tied the knot in February 2014 and welcomed their daughter, Arlo, in August 2015. Baby number two arrived around September 2020.
Rachel Bilson (Summer Roberts)
40-year-old Bilson continued to make her mark on the TV world by leading The CW’s Hart Of Dixie as Zoe Kinsella and guest appeared as Cindy in four episodes of How I Met Your Mother.
Her acting career has taken a back seat since 2019; her last role was Fox’s TV movie Lovestruck. It marked her return to the network that launched her career. She’s prioritized her podcast, Broad Ideas With Rachel Bilson, which talks all things sex, mental health, and even ghosts. Recent guests include Zooey Deschanel and Aubrey Plaza.
The actress split from former fiancé Hayden Christensen in 2017 after almost one decade together. They now co-parent daughter Briar.
She notes her break-up with Bill Hader, who she dated for less than a year in 2020, was “harder than childbirth.”
Kelly Rowan (Kirsten Cohen)
Rowan portrayed Kirsten, the Cohen family breadwinner thanks to her CFO position in her father’s real estate company Newport Group.
Not much is known about her personal life as she’s inactive on social media, although she was engaged to David Thomson, 3rd Baron Thomson of Fleet, in June 2007. Thomson serves as chairman of media conglomerate Thomson Reuters. He is currently 24th on Forbes’ real-time billionaire list.
Rowan and Thomson’s relationship ended in 2008, shortly before they welcomed a daughter.