Mischa Barton turns 28 years old today, and life hasn’t gone too bad for the former star of the old The O.C. television series–even if that show’s most enduring legacy is people referring to California’s swank Orange County as “The O.C.” Some people will still tell you that Mischa’s supposed to be a movie star by now. She sure made her first big impression on the big screen, playing a teen ghost who (accidentally) torments Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense.
It wasn’t a particularly sexy role, though, and Mischa went on to the small screen in the acclaimed (but soon canceled) Once and Again. Mischa got her first real chance to be a sex bomb with a guest turn on the hipster cop show Fastlane with Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. Then along came The O.C. and Mischa’s chance to charm the world as a rich teen with all the problems of a rich teen.
Mischa won over lots of guys as Marissa Cooper, and the show was kind enough to toss in a lesbian storyline before she became the first cast member to bail from the troubled show. Yeah, The O.C. was one of those shows with a splashy first season followed by sinking ratings. Unfortunately, Mischa didn’t really benefit from striking out on her own.
Her first big project was a cool indie film called Assassination of a High School President, but the movie barely got released. A lack of other offers had Mischa returning to television in a show for The CW called The Beautiful Life, which was canceled after two episodes. The good news is that Mischa then briefly became a Scream Queen–including 2012’s Apartment 1303, which played NYC theaters in 3D and got our eyes poppin’ over both Mischa and Rebecca De Mornay as her mom.
Now we’re going into this new year with nine Mischa movies in the pipeline, so her fans are going to be happy. (Fortunately, you can keep up with all that via Mischa’s Twitter.) Even if you have a more nostalgic view toward the perpetual starlet, you’re going to be very happy looking at this overview of her fine body of work…