Cast Members Celebrate 20 Years of ‘The O.C.’

The O.C. turns 20!

On August 5, 2003, The O.C. premiered on FOX, shocking and thrilling audiences with its twisty high school drama. Gaining a long-lasting following, the show aired for four seasons — and The O.C. fever still lives on 20 years later. 

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, some of the series’ original stars shared tributes for the beloved show on social media Saturday.

Ben McKenzie and Mischa Barton on “The O.C.”.

Warner Bros Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

Ben McKenzie skyrocketed to fame for his role as the show’s leading troubled teen Ryan, who was forced to reconcile his humble roots with a newly privileged life upon moving to Orange County, California.

“’The OC’ premiered 20 years ago today. I keep showing my kids pics to prove how cool I used to be, but for some reason they don’t seem to get it. ♥️ #theoc,” the actor, 44, wrote in a tribute on Instagram. 

Meanwhile, the dramatic plots of The O.C. live on for actors Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke, who have recapped the series through their podcast, Welcome to the OC, Bitches!.  The pair played Summer Roberts, an enchanting young socialite, and Julie Cooper, mom to Mischa Barton’s Marissa Cooper, respectively. 

On Instagram, Bilson, 41, shared an image of her character, simply captioning the post: “Twenty.”

Clarke, 54, meanwhile, wrote alongside her own post on the social media platform, “Wait Whut?! We’re how old? #20yearstoday #foreveryoung.”

Ben McKenzie, Mischa Barton, and Peter Gallagher.

Warner Bros Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock 

While The O.C. may have wrapped in 2007, much of the cast remains in contact.

Recently, Barton, 37, joined Bilson and Clarke to relive her character’s final moments on an episode of their podcast.

While Barton has had a fraught relationship with the show, claiming that on-set bullying led to her abrupt departure, the reunion was still a highly emotional venture. 

“I couldn’t do it, Mischa, I couldn’t do it. But I’m going to do it if you’re going to do it,” said Bilson, as Barton responded, “I don’t particularly want to, but I will.”

The cast of ‘The O.C.’.

Warner Brothers/Courtesy Everett Collection

Adam Brody has also appeared on the podcast, which Bilson reflected on in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE ahead of the episode. Being Bilson’s ex of three years, Brody’s appearance was a big deal. 

“Originally they were like, ‘Maybe he can come on for the episode where you guys lose your virginity.’ And I was like, ‘Eh, maybe a little awkward to talk about,’ ” Bilson said with a laugh. “So we didn’t do that, but he did say yes to a very fun episode, and we could not have been more happy and excited to have him on and to catch up.”

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