Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the FOX Television Network and, as we told you yesterday, we will be looking back on some of its most iconic shows. Ask any teenager in the mid-2000s what the most popular show on television was, and they will absolutely remember The O.C.
The story of a teenage boy adopted into a wealthy California household made big names out of its young cast. Benjamin Mckenzie, Mischa Barton, Adam Brody, and Rachel Bilson were mostly unknowns when the show started, but with the show's success, they quickly became household names.
However, they were not the only big stars to come out of the show. Another set of relative unknowns appeared on the series before they found their own success, and many of them have gone on to have bigger careers than the main cast!
So who are these big stars? Some you may remember, others not so much (since they had only a few seconds of screen time).
Celebrities who appeared on The O.C. before we knew who they were:
1. AnnaLynne McCord
After The O.C., she played the role of a wealthy queen bee in another TV series about wealthy teenagers: 90210. AnnaLynne seemed to have done a trial run for the part when she appeared as a hot Harbor high school girl in the episode "The Party Favor." Her appearance was brief but memorable, as she seemed to be trying to seduce Seth. Perhaps she just wanted a joint...
2. Wilson Bethel
Now this is pretty amusing since Wilson went on to appear as Rachel Bilson's leading man in Hart of Dixie, and, in The O.C., he was kind of seeing Summer.
Wilson made his cameo in one of the most iconic scene of the series: when Seth climbed on top of the coffee counter to proclaim his love for Summer. Bethel played Brad, the guy who was was sitting besides Summer. You know, the one who asked her, "Wait you're dating this emo geek?!" Seth replied with his usual sarcasm saying, "Yes Brad, she's dating this emo geek." If you don't remember that scene, you are not a real fan of The O.C.
3. Travis Van Winkle
Before he was Lt. Danny Green in The Last Ship, Travis played an Abercrombie drug dealer in The O.C. He was the main antagonist in the episode "The O.C. Confidential" wherein Ryan and Marissa are seeking to entrap him for giving drugs to Jess, the girl who overdosed in the Julie Cooper-Caleb Nichol mansion during a party thrown for Trey.
And speaking of Trey...
4. Logan Marshall-Green
The star of hit the TV series Quarry and science fiction film Prometheus, Logan is, of course, remembered for playing Atwood's big brother, Trey. He was not the original Trey, but he is the one who carried on the role as a recurring guest star from the middle of Season 2 to the early part of Season 3.
5. Jeffrey Dean Morgan
No, he did not die in The O.C., but the circumstances of his character are tragic nonetheless. He appeared as Joe Zukowski in the episode "The Accomplice," a protester who is in prison for accidentally killing a man. Sandy Cohen came to see him to know the whereabouts of his former law professor's daughter, Rebecca.
6. Lucy Hale
The Pretty Little Liars star made a very brief appearance answering the door of her dorm room when Marissa came knocking. She played Hadley Hawthorne, the roommate of "Mini Cooper," Marissa's sister Caitlyn.
And now, as for Caitlyn...
7. Shailene Woodley
It is hard to miss YA fiction queen Shailene these days. She made us cry playing Hazel Grace in The Fault of Our Stars and then went on to being kick-ass in the Divergent franchise.
But back in her O.C. days, she was hardly memorable as Caitlyn Cooper before Willa Holland took over the role in Season 3. Yes, she was that little girl, the one who loved a hairless pony and had a crush on Luke.
8. Max Greenfield
We all know and love him as Schmidt in New Girl, but did you know that he also played the younger Sandy Cohen? Honestly, they probably cast him because of his eyebrows.
9. Amber Heard
She is set to play Mera, the Queen of Atlantis and the wife of Aquaman in the DC cinematic universe. In The O.C., though, she is the Queen of the mall storage room.
She had a small part in the "Mallpisode," as the salesgirl who showed the core four the place where the mall stocks its clothes. She is also the reason why they were trapped inside and ended up hanging out in the shopping center after closing hours.
10. Paul Wesley
Paul Wesley's one-episode appearance in the show would create one of tinseltown's most prominent bromance. Like his character Donnie to Ryan, he and co-star Ben Mckenzie were able to hit it right off.
But Donnie had to leave Ryan behind because he accidentally shot Luke at Holly's beach house. He and Ben eventually became best friends and are still close up to this day, so much so that he even babysits Ben's dog, Oscar.
11. Jackson Rathbone
Twilight and Finding Carter star, Jackson Rathbone played Caitlyn's (the older Willa Holland version) boyfriend Justin, who Ryan mistook as as a stalker when he came looking for her.
But as it turns out, he was just a nice guy looking out for her because she was in a whole lot of trouble. He appeared in a couple of episodes on Season 3.
12. Morena Baccarin
Who knew back then that little known guest star, Morena Baccarin would end up having a kid with Ryan Atwood/Benjamin Mckenzie? Yes, the two Gotham stars have a kid now, and they fully intend to get married.
Morena had little screen time with Ben, though. Back then, she played Maya Griffin, whose story arc was more involved with Sandy Cohen's subordinate, Matt Cohen. She was mostly in the adult part of the teen drama.
13. Olivia Wilde
Now this is a big one! Olivia was one of the new kids brought in for Season 2, and she had a big story arc. We remember her for playing Alex, who dated both Seth Cohen and Marissa Cooper. She was the show's most prominent LGBT character, but, unfortunately, she was removed. Things did turn out better for Olivia (in real life), as she became a big movie star and was (for a time) married to an actual prince!
14. Cam Gigandet
Another one of those new kids, this time brought in for Season 3, Cam's character, Volchok, was the next phase of Marissa's rebellious behavior, which would ultimately lead to her death.
This made him the mortal enemy of almost everyone on the show, and it seems that life imitated art since, despite going on to a good film career, Cam does not really have nice things to say about his co-stars.
15. Chris Pratt
Remember Che? The hippie-activist that Summer met at Brown, the one who helped her get free pancakes? That was Chris Pratt! They really messed up his storyline when they did not pursue his infatuation with Seth -- that would have been an amusing foil to Summer, plus we can look back at seeing Star Lord go gaga over Orange County's resident comic book geek.
There you go! Did we miss anyone on the list? Were you able to spot other big stars in The O.C.? Tell us in the comments below!