Who can forget bad boy Ryan Atwood (played by Benjamin McKenize) in the popular teen drama The O.C.? We sure can’t! The mid-2000s heartthrob is officially turning 40 years old, and we can’t help but to look back on his early days as an actor in the teen drama, in which he played Seth Cohen’s bestie and Marissa Cooper’s (sometimes) boyfriend.
Let’s face it, TV viewers (including us) became infatuated with the Southern California teen lifestyle after being introduced to The O.C. Within its four-season airing, teenagers everywhere were introduced to Chrismukkah. We followed the tumultuous relationship between Ryan and Marissa. We cheered on Seth when he finally got the girl. And, we cried hysterically at Marissa’s untimely demise, and that the show continued into Season 4 without the starlet.
So, after 15 years since the show’s premiere, and with Ben turning the big 4-0, we decided to get sentimental and take a look at where the main cast is today.
Ben McKenzie (Ryan Atwood)
Ben was certainly known for his heartthrob status in the mid-2000s, and after leaving the show, he definitely didn’t give up that title. The actor stars as the lead, Detective Jim Gordon, in the hit Fox show, Gotham. He also welcomed a child with his co-star Morena Baccarin, and the two tied the knot in 2017.
Mischa Barton (Marissa Cooper)
Mischa crushed fans’ hearts when her character was killed off, and she left the show in Season 3, making it impossible for her to return. As for her next project, Mischa is starring in The Toy Box alongside Denise Richards, set to release Sept. 18.
Adam Brody (Seth Cohen)
Adam Brody was everyone’s favorite fun-loving nerd, who happened to be totally hot. After his stint in the Southern California-based show, he went on to land a few minor television spots. He’s currently filming a new series called Curfew. Besides TV, Adam married a fellow mid-2000s teen drama hottie, Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester. The two have a daughter named Arlo.
Rachel Bilson (Summer Roberts)
This popular girl maintained her status off the show and starred in several series since The O.C. Rachel Bilson was the title character in the CW’s hit show, Hart of Dixie, for four years. With a stint on Nashville, and a few movies roles, she now stars in the ABC series, Take Two. Rachel split from actor Hayden Christensen after 10 years of dating, and the couple are currently co-parenting their daughter, Briar Rose.
Melinda Clarke (Julie Cooper)
Though we hold anguish towards Julie Cooper for her selfish and egotistical ways, we definitely don’t feel that way about actress Melinda Clarke. After the show, Melinda continued her TV success by appearing on popular series such as Nikita and The Vampire Diaries. For any Gotham (and Ben fans), you may have seen her recognized her on the show as Grace Van Dahl.
Peter Gallagher (Sandy Cohen)
The longtime actor, Peter Gallagher, had a busy schedule post O.C. life. With roles in series such as New Girl and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, we have definitely seen a lot of Peter since he was everyone’s “voice of reason” TV dad. You can currently catch him on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie.
Kelly Rowan (Kirsten Cohen)
Since appearing on The O.C., Kelly Rowan has seemingly stepped away from the acting biz. Her last IMDB credit was in 2016 in the TV movie Tulips in Spring. Prior to that, she was in a few television shows and made-for-TV movies.
Tate Donovan (Jimmy Cooper)
Tate Donovan has certainly been in a lot of recognizable series and films since his time on the former Fox show. With credits in Argo, Manchester by the Sea, and The Man in the High Castle, it’s safe to say Jimmy Cooper came out on top.