Barton began acting at the age of eight, co-starring in the Off-Broadway premiere of the 1994 play, Slavs!, written by Tony Kushner. Vincent Canby of The New York Times praised Barton's "so fine" and "chillingly authoritative" performance. New York magazine also praised her as "a darling little girl, [that] exhibits consummate charm". She appeared in several other Off-Broadway productions, taking a lead role in James Lapine's Twelve Dreams alongside Marisa Tomei at Lincoln Center. Canby again praised Barton, noting that she "has a sweet gravity as the doomed Emma". In 1996 Barton had a supporting role in Catherine Butterfield's Where the Truth Lies which opened at New York's Irish Repertory Theatre. The New York Times also remarked that "the winning child actresses Brittany Boyd and Mischa Barton are already smart enough not to overplay the naivete and precocity of their respective characters. " In 1997, she appeared alongside Diane Wiest at The Public Theater in Naomi Wallace's One Flea Spare. The New York production went on to win the OBIE Award for Best Play.
Barton later appeared in the independent drama, Lost and Delirious (2001) and guest-starred as Evan Rachel Wood 's girlfriend on ABC 's Once and Again (2001–02). She is known for her role as Marissa Cooper in the Fox television series The O.C. (2003–06), for which she received two Teen Choice Awards . The role catapulted Barton into mainstream fame, and Entertainment Weekly named her the " It Girl " of 2003.
Not only did this teen soap opera make every adolescent want to flee their homes and escape to the sandy dunes of Southern California, but it's cultural impact still lives on. (Only now, in a lesser form we know as reality TV .)
From Christopher Meloni on “Law & Order: SVU” to Nina Dobrev on “The Vampire Diaries,” these series have had varying success following high profile exits
Whenever I think of Mischa, I always think of her OC days. In these pictures, She doesn’t even look like the same person hardly (granted, hair and makeup play a part too).
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