3Autumn Reeser – Taylor Townsend
Autumn Reeser only joined The O.C. cast in the third season, but made an instant impression as an annoyingly perky do-gooder often compared with Reese Witherspoon’s character, Tracy Flick, in Election. Upgraded to the second female lead in season 4 following Barton’s departure, Taylor then forged an unlikely romance with Ryan which helped to give the show’s finale it's bittersweet taste.
Reeser went on to bag regular gigs on Valentine, Entourage (we're sensing a pattern here), No Ordinary Family, Hawaii Five-0, Last Resort and Necessary Roughness, guest on Pushing Daisies, Royal Pains and Hart of Dixie, and appear alongside superstars Miley Cyrus in So Undercover and Tom Hanks in Sully. Suffice to say, she's stayed busy.
2Willa Holland – Kaitlin Cooper
Originally played by Shailene Woodley (the Divergent Series) in the first season, Marissa’s sister Kaitlin had a brand new face when she returned from boarding school in year three. That face belonged to Willa Holland, the stepdaughter of director Brian De Palma, who had to deal with a rather bizarre storyline which involved framing her mother’s new boyfriend for possessing clown porn, and being paired up with a character played by Chris Brown.
A five-episode stint in Gossip Girl suggested Holland wasn’t too concerned about distancing herself from the teen drama genre. But subsequent parts in apocalyptic action film Legion and the remake of Straw Dogs, as well as a leading role in Judy Blume adaptation Tiger Eyes showed she had more to offer. However, Holland’s most famous post-The O.C. role arrived in the shape of resurrected superhero Thea Queen/Speedy in Arrow.
1Chris Carmack – Luke Ward
Water polo team captain Luke Ward was barely seen again outside of the first season, but his "Welcome to the O.C., bitch" line in the opening episode remains the most quoted of the whole show. Former Abercrombie and Fitch model Chris Carmack was the perfect choice to play The O.C.’s resident jock, and his career has continued to capitalize on his good looks.
Roles in ocean-based action sequel Into the Blue 2 and beachside horror Shark Night gave the star plenty of opportunity to show off his washboard abs, while Desperate Housewives and Drop Dead Diva have both cast him as the resident hunk for one-off episodes. But Carmack’s portrayal of Will Lexington — an emerging country singer struggling to accept his sexuality — in Nashville has shown there’s more to him than just a pretty face.
Which O.C. cast member do you want to see more of? Let us know in the comments section.