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Mischa Barton (born January 24, 1986) is an English-born American actress and fashion model, best known for her role as Marissa Cooper on the former Fox television teen drama series The O.C. She is one of the most sought-after actresses of her generation, Entertainment Weekly has labeled her one of the decade's "It" girls, designating her among the most creative people in the entertainment industry.
"I've had fellow actors tell me... You have to throw more tantrums!" -Mischa Barton
Mischa Anne Barton was born in London, England, on January 24th, 1986, to an English father and Irish mother. By the time she was 4 years old, the family moved to New York City, where her father continued to work in the world of finance.
This allowed Mischa to have a privileged upbringing, which consisted of traveling across the globe and sampling the best things in life. She grew up with American values that often made her clash with her parents; they hadn't yet adjusted to the culture shock. Nevertheless, the Bartons were always a tight family.
Early Acting Career
At the age of 8, Mischa and one of her two sisters were sent to summer camp. One of the activities involved the children writing their own monologues and performing them for their parents. Mischa wrote a piece about turtles and her delivery was so impressive that an agent who was scouting for talent told her parents they had a star on their hands.
Her parents were thrilled of course, but at the same time wondered if it was an appropriate path for their daughter. When she was 9 and in the fifth grade, Mischa decided that it was something she definitely wanted to try.
She got her start after auditioning for the lead role in Tony Kushner's play, Slavs!. Since the part required her to have a Russian accent, she got herself an acting coach to master it. Not only did she get the role but she also got to share the stage with future Oscar winner Marisa Tomei.
Mischa's rave reviews led to other theatrical productions such as James Lapine's Twelve Dreams, which was produced at the celebrated Lincoln Center, and Where the Truth Lies and One Flea Spare, which were both part of the New York Shakespeare Festival.
Sexy Mischa Barton
On Her Way
Doing theater was rewarding but Barton was hungry for more. In 1994, she became a recurring character on the long-running ABC soap opera All My Children, a job she held for a year. But in the meantime, her beauty was also attracting interest.
Before she had entered her teens, Barton was signed to the Ford Modeling Agency. In that capacity, she modeled in a Calvin Klein campaign and worked for the likes of Gitano and Vogue. Mischa admits that the work is difficult but very rewarding, since "it's every teenager's dream."
But it was Barton's acting skills that gave her the most recognition. One of her first feature film roles was in 1997's Lawn Dogs, opposite Sam Rockwell. In 1999, she appeared in Pups, a modern take on Bonnie & Clyde; the summer hit Notting Hill, with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant; and the international Bruce Willis blockbuster The Sixth Sense, in which she played a young ghost seeking reparation.
For the next couple of years, Barton appeared with Jennifer Jason Leigh and Drew Barrymore in Skipped Parts (2000), co-starred with Jessica Alba in Paranoid (2000), starred alongside Melanie Griffith and Dominique Swain in Tart (2001), appeared with Courtney Love and Lili Taylor in Julie Johnson (2001), and starred in Lost and Delirious (2001), a film that explored lesbianism at a private boarding school.
Barton demonstrated her talents once more as she returned to television with a recurring role in the critically-acclaimed ABC show Once and Again during its 2001-2002 season. In 2003, she acted with Madeleine Stowe in the horror thriller, Octane.
But what is sure to make her popular to millions for years to come, is her role in the new FOX television show, The O.C. In this primetime melodrama geared toward young adults -- a Beverly Hills, 90210 clone as some have branded it -- Mischa portrays a wealthy and popular Orange County high school student who has difficulty adjusting to her surroundings.
TRIVIA - Mischa is sick of dating celebrities.
She said: "I've dated actors and I have to say it's a very odd experience. It's a little unsettling to be with someone who cares about how they look as much as you do."
The former 'The O.C.' star is now on the look out for someone who can make her laugh.
She explained: "I am looking for a guy with a sense of humour and a sense that they are comfortable with themselves."
Meanwhile, Mischa - who was born in London but moved to New York when she was five - has revealed she loves English food.
She said: "I love all the mashed potatoes, the mushy peas and the Brussels sprouts. And oh my God, Cadbury's chocolate! It is so much better than Hershey's which we have in America."
The 20-year-old spent last summer in London training at the famous acting school RADA.
Finding t.A.T.u. (2007) (in production)
St Trinian's (2007 film) (2007) (in production)
Malice in Sunderland (2007) (pre-production)
Don't Fade Away (2007) (now completed)
Virgin Territory (2007) (now completed)
Closing the Ring (2007) (completed)
The OH in Ohio (2006)
Lost and Delirious (2001)
Julie Johnson (2001)
Skipped Parts (2000)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Notting Hill (1999)
Lawn Dogs (1997)
Polio Water (1995)
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