Cue Phantom Planets’ “California”! The O.C.’s series finale aired 10 years ago today, February 22, which means that Seth Cohen has likely read piles of comic books and played The Shins on vinyl countless times since tying the knot with his high school crush, Summer Roberts.
The O.C., which ran for four seasons from 2003 to 2007 on Fox, told the story of a not-so-bad boy from Chino who is taken in by a rich family in a gated community in Orange County. The beloved teen series featured love triangles, fist fights and one of the best TV soundtracks ever.
In honor of its anniversary, Us Weekly is taking a look at where the original lead stars — Ben McKenzie, Adam Brody, Mischa Barton and Rachel Bilson — are now.
The then-Hollywood newcomer played misunderstood Ryan Atwood, the kid from the wrong side of the tracks. Ryan was taken in by the Cohens, became best buds with Seth and had a thing for choker necklaces and white tank tops. He was used to getting the occasional black eye, worked as a busboy at the Crab Shack and fell for the most popular girl in school — Marissa Cooper.
Now 38, McKenzie has left Ryan in the past and plays James Gordon in Fox’s Gotham. He also previously had a starring role in the cop drama Southland. Us Weekly exclusively confirmed in November 2016 that he and his Gotham costar Morena Baccarin were engaged, eight months after they welcomed daughter Frances Laiz Setta Schenkkan.
Bagels, video games, Chrismukkah, oh my! Brody was often the comic relief in the series as the nerdy boy-next-door Seth Cohen. Sandy and Kirsten’s son briefly worked at The Bait Shop (to watch the free concerts), memorably sailed away into the open sea after Ryan returned to Chino in season 1 (Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah,” anyone?) and finally ended up with the girl of his dreams, Summer. In a flash forward sequence, the couple exchanged vows outside his childhood home.
Like McKenzie, Brody, 37, is now a dad. Us Weekly broke the news in September 2015 that he and Gossip Girl alum Leighton Meester welcomed a daughter, Arlo. In February 2014, Us exclusively revealed that the couple had secretly tied the knot. Brody, whose credits include Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Yoga Hosers, The Oranges and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, previously dated O.C. costar Rachel Bilson from 2003 to 2006.
Barton was a child actress before she scored the lead role of Marissa Cooper on the Josh Schwartz–created hit. Marissa’s luxurious life was filled with weekend parties and boozing — before and after Ryan came to town. The debutante overdosed in Tijuana, shot Ryan’s brother Trey (Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” on repeat, please!) and was killed off in the season 3 finale when Barton wanted to exit the show.
Barton has had a rough go since saying goodbye to The O.C. The Sixth Sense star was arrested for DUI in December 2007, suffered a breakdown in 2009 and had a rocky stint on season 22 of Dancing With the Stars last year. In January 2017, she was reportedly hospitalized for a mental evaluation and later claimed that she was drugged while celebrating her 31st birthday. In 2009, she starred in the short-lived CW series The Beautiful Life: TBL.
“Chino, ew!” Bilson’s Summer Roberts, who was initially supposed to be a small supporting character, was Marissa’s BFF. Summer went from snobby to fan favorite after she got together with Seth. She had the best style, owned the toy horse Princess Sparkle and became an environmentalist while attending Brown University.
After The O.C., Bilson, now 35, went on to star in the CW’s The Hart of Dixie from 2011 to 2015. She also had roles in Chuck and How I Met Your Mother, and starred opposite Hayden Christensen in 2008’s action sci-fi film Jumper. The costars have been dating since meeting on set and welcomed daughter Briar Rose in November 2014.
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