It's been 20 years since The O.C. aired. Here's what the cast are up to now.

It’s been 20 whole years since we watched Ryan Atwood first roll into Orange Country and spot Marissa Cooper standing out the front of her parents' McMansion. And in other news, we officially feel old

What followed on The O.C was four seasons of angsty teen romance, Death Cab for Cutie soundtracks and, well, ridiculous storylines.

Then it was all over.

Since the show wrapped up, the cast has gone on to do some pretty weird and wonderful things.

Here’s what all your favourite Orange County kids are up to now:

Ben McKenzie/Ryan Atwood


McKenzie played Ryan Atwood, the bad boy of The O.C.

Since leaving the show McKenzie has gone on to star in a bunch of TV shows and movies.

In 2014, he landed the lead role in Gotham, a TV series based on the Batman story. He also scored a wife out of the show, marrying his co-star Morena Baccarin in 2017. The couple has daughter, Frances, and son Arthur. 


McKenzie recently revealed on former co-stars Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke’s podcast, Welcome to the O.C., Bitches, that he had mistakenly let his seven-year-old daughter watch some old episodes of the teen show.

“[Frances] of course loves it. Like, absolutely loves it," the actor said. "I had to cut it off after two episodes because I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I forgot about the smoking.’ I remembered the drinking. And there’s cocaine!”

Mischa Barton/Marissa Cooper


She, erm, dramatically died in the last season.

After leaving The O.C, Barton had a steady stream of work in modelling and acting but she didn't have another standout acting role for years. 

In January 2017 she was admitted to hospital for a psychiatric assessment after her neighbours found her acting bizarrely in her backyard. Since then she’s been on the mend, and earlier this year, she headed to Australia to join the cast of the revived soap Neighbours. Barton played Reece, a mysterious American who turns up in Erinsborough with a hidden agenda.

Adam Brody/Seth Cohen

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Ah, Seth.

He sneakily stole the limelight – and our hearts – from bad boy Atwood.

Since finishing up on the show, Brody has starred in a bunch of TV shows and movies.

He made an appearance in The New Girl a while back, before moving onto a role in TV series, StartUp. In recent years, he's had a notable cameo in 2020 film Promising Young Woman and a role in show Fleishman is in Trouble, playing another character called Seth!

Brody has also been happily married to Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester since 2014, and they share a daughter and a son.

Rachel Bilson/Summer Roberts

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At first we hated Summer Roberts, then we bloody loved her.

Remember when Seth dressed up as Spiderman and they had that iconic kiss? Yeah, that.

After leaving The O.C, Bilson landed the lead role in The CW’s Hart of Dixie.

Her role as Dr Zoe Hart landed her a Teen Choice Award nomination and a whole bunch of new fans.

She went on to appear in Nashville and star in the crime-comedy series, Take Two.


In late 2017, she broke up with her Star Wars actor partner, Hayden Christensen, with whom she shares daughter Briar. The actress has since turned her talents to podcasts, hosting the Broad Ideas pod with her best friend Olivia Allen, and taking a trip down memory lane with former co-star Melinda Clarke for the rewatch podcast, Welcome to The OC, Bitches!

Samaire Armstrong/Anna Stern


Armstrong’s character, Anna Stern, was only ever meant to be in one episode of The O.C.

But the fans loved her so much, she scored a reoccurring role. She would turn up randomly and drive a wedge between Seth and Summer and then disappear again.

Since finishing up as Anna, Armstrong has had guest roles in a bunch of TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Dirty Sexy Money, and Resurrection.

Luke Ward/Chris Carmack


Luke Ward was the king jock of The O.C. He dated Marissa at the start of the series, then cheated on her with her mum.

Since leaving the show, Carmack had a reoccurring role in Nashville as Will, a country music singer who was struggling with his sexuality. The actor went from Nashville to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, where he played Dr Atticus Lincoln for five years on Grey's Anatomy

Also, he seems to have gotten even hotter with age.

Shailene Woodley/Kaitlin Cooper


Yep, Shailene Woodley was in The O.C. The young actress played Marissa Cooper’s younger sister, Kaitlin, in the first few seasons of the show.

Since wrapping up, Woodley has really made a name for herself in Hollywood.

She’s starred in The Fault in Our Stars, The Divergent franchise, and HBO’s award-winning series, Big Little Lies.

Peter Gallagher/Sandy Cohen


Old man Cohen, or as I liked to call him, ‘Hot Dad’, was the heart and soul of The O.C.

He took in Ryan Atwood, raised the beautiful creature that is Seth Cohen, and was just your typical cool but caring TV dad.

Over the years he's had starring roles on Broadway in both Spring Awakening and On the Twentieth Century, and worked consistently in TV, in shows like New Girl and Grace and Frankie. Like Carmack, Gallagher also did his time on Grey's Anatomy, playing a doctor!

The article was originally published in 2018 and has since been updated with new information.

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