Born in London but raised in New York, Mischa Barton was discovered while performing at a summer camp and made her professional acting debut at 9 in Tony Kushner's off-Broadway show Slavs!, starring opposite Marisa Tomei. Broadway appearances followed (Twelve Dreams, Where the Truth Lies), as well as a stint on the popular soap All My Children. Barton made her big-screen debut in the Sundance favorite Lawn Dogs and subsequently appeared in a smattering of movies both big (The Sixth Sense, Notting Hill) and small (Skipped Parts, Lost and Delirious). But it was her sexy turn as troubled beach beauty Marissa Cooper on The O.C. that catapulted Barton to stardom at 17. It also landed the star in the tabloids, where she has been a staple ever since. Barton exited The O.C. after her character was killed off on the third-season finale. As is the case with many former child stars, the transition to more adult roles has proved difficult, with parts in mostly forgettable films (Assassination of a High School President, Homecoming), and a short-lived return to TV with the CW fashion drama The Beautiful Life: TBL, which was cancelled after two low-rated episodes in 2009.
Moved from England to New York with her family when she was a child.
A onetime child model with the Ford Agency.
Made her acting debut in the Off-Broadway play Slavs!, written by Tony Kushner and starring Marisa Tomei, in 1994.
Named It Girl 2003 on Entertainment Weekly magazine's It List.
Appeared in commercials for Neutrogena facial-care products.
Took a two month Shakespeare course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2006.
Designs handbags and launched her own collection in 2008.
Appeared in Steel Magnolias as Shelby at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin in 2012, and subsequently toured Ireland with the show.
Opened her own boutique in Spitalfields Market in London in 2012.
Has worked as an ambassador for Save the Children and the One Water campaign.