• Ottawa native Kelly Rowan deftly portrays Kirsten Cohen, The O.C.'s often saintly and noble heart.
• Adam Brody, who first tried to become a professional surfer, plays Seth Cohen, the nerdy but playful counterpoint to the brooding Ryan Atwood.
• Benjamin McKenzie, hailed as the next Russell Crowe, is Ryan Atwood, the dark soul raging against the polished veneer of Newport Beach.
• Peter Gallagher portrays Sanford Sandy Cohen, the loving patriarch of The O.C. A veteran of film, television and stage, he once pursued a degree in economics before being drawn to acting.
• Art imitates life for Rachel Bilson, who plays the ultimate California party girl Summer Roberts. She made her first feature film at age seven.
• Melinda Clarke, a professionally trained singer, is the Machiavellian matriarch Julie Cooper. Her character tries to stay one step ahead of her aging, wealthy husband and her willful daughter Marissa.
• Tate Donovan combines his boy-next-door good looks and stumbling goofball charm in the character of Jimmy. A triathlete, he once tried to organize a team from The O.C.
• Mischa Barton admits to being painfully shy but excels in her role as beach princess Marissa Cooper, is the youngest star in The O.C.