The O.C. Cast: Then & Now
The O.C. CAST
It's been just more than 10 years since the words "Welcome to the O.C., b––h" unleashed the otherwise untouchable world of the West Coast elite, where barely there designer bikinis were the dress code and drama was always on the guest list. After years hanging by the shore – Crab Shack and lifeguard tower included – see how the personal and professional lives of the series' biggest stars have changed since the show's run from Aug. 5, 2003, until Feb. 22, 2007.
Then: The girl next door wore Chanel on The O.C., where Barton played SoCal sweetheart-meets-damsel in distress Marissa Cooper until her character's tragic death in season 3.
Now: When It girl Barton left The O.C., her career took a backseat to her partying ways, leading to a 2007 DUI arrest and a 2009 suicide threat. "It was a full-on breakdown," she tells this week's PEOPLE. Today, she's staying positive and focusing on her upcoming roles in the supernatural thriller I Will Follow You Into the Dark and TV pilot Gutsy Frog.
Then: Bilson sported bikini after bikini as Summer Roberts, the popular girl who – you called it! – fell for the video game nerd (Adam Brody's Seth Cohen). Off camera, Bilson and Brody took their relationship beyond the Newport Beach, dating from 2003 until 2006.
Now: She's moved from Orange County to Bluebell, Ala., where she plays displaced New Yorker Dr. Zoe Hart on The CW's Hart of Dixie. Although Bilson never reunited with her Summer love, she's found her own personal lifeguard in beau Hayden Christensen.
Then: Brody's chic geek alter ego loved all things comic books, Chrismukkah and, of course, Summer Roberts. Besides taking his love for leading lady Bilson off-screen, he also introduced the show's tween fan base to indie bands like Death Cab for Cutie.
Now: Since finishing his comic books, Brody's taken on a variety of roles ranging from a lethal lead singer in the 2009 dark comedy Jennifer's Body to a porn star in this year's Lovelace. Though he didn't sail off into the sunset with Bilson on the Summer Breeze, he's currently linked to fellow teen soap alum/former Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester.
Then: Good-looking bad boy Ryan Atwood brought as much drama as the Newport housewives when he navigated his post-Chino life and tidal wave-like relationship with Barton's Marissa Cooper – all while wearing a white tank top.
Now: Two years after leaving his pool house residence, McKenzie joined the LAPD as Officer Ben Sherman on Southland, which aired until April 2013.
Then: Who got Wilde's kiss of approval on The O.C.? As bisexual vixen Alex Kelly, she hooked up with both Seth Cohen (Brody) and Marissa Cooper (Barton), while also helping to run local hot spot the Bait Shop.
Now: Wilde only has lips for fiancé Jason Sudeikis, who popped the question shortly after the holidays, a source told PEOPLE in January. She's also tackled a range of big- and small-screen roles, including a 5-year stint on House M.D., Tron: Legacy and, more recently, Spike Jonze's New York Film Festival darling, Her.
Then: The Sandy Cohen actor always knew best as the lawyer father of Seth and adopted son Ryan Atwood.
Now: It's no secret: Gallagher's still suiting up, these days as CIA Director of the National Clandestine Service on the USA drama Covert Affairs.
Then: Barton's on-screen mom, the ever-conniving (but always comedic!) Julie Cooper, had it going on – even when she had to trade in her mansion for a trailer park.
Now: Clarke hasn't completely abandoned her antagonizing ways, and on her current show, The CW's Nikita, she plays Amanda Collins, the master manipulator of a hush-hush government-funded organization.