List of The O.C. characters
- 1 Main characters
- 2 Recurring characters
- 3 Summaries
- 3.1 Taryn Baker
- 3.2 Rachel Hoffman
- 3.3 Caleb Nichol
- 3.4 Dr. Kim
- 3.5 Carson Ward
- 3.6 Brad and Eric Ward
- 3.7 Cindy
- 3.8 D.J.
- 3.9 Renee Wheeler
- 3.10 Rebecca Bloom
- 3.11 Carter Buckley
- 3.12 Lance Baldwin
- 3.13 Jess Sathers
- 3.14 Charlotte Morgan
- 3.15 Reed Carlson
- 3.16 Jack Hess
- 3.17 Dennis Childress
- 3.18 Heather
- 3.19 Casey
- 3.20 Matt Ramsey
- 3.21 Sadie Campbell
- 3.22 Henry Griffin
- 3.23 Che Cook
- 3.24 Gordon Bullit
- 3.25 Spencer Bullit
- 3.26 Frank Atwood
- 4 Other characters
- 5 Special cameo appearance
- 6 References
|Actor or actress||Name||Starring seasons||Episode count|
|Gallagher, PeterPeter Gallagher||Cohen, SandySandy Cohen||Seasons 1-4||92|
|Rowan, KellyKelly Rowan||Cohen, KirstenKirsten Cohen||Seasons 1-4||92|
|Brody, AdamAdam Brody||Cohen, SethSeth Cohen||Seasons 1-4||92|
|Bilson, RachelRachel Bilson||Roberts, SummerSummer Roberts||Seasons 1-4||92|
|McKenzie, BenjaminBenjamin McKenzie||Atwood, RyanRyan Atwood||Seasons 1-4||92|
|Clarke, MelindaMelinda Clarke||Cooper, JulieJulie Cooper||Seasons 1-4||90|
|Barton, MischaMischa Barton||Cooper, MarissaMarissa Cooper||Seasons 1-3||76|
|Donovan, TateTate Donovan||Cooper, JimmyJimmy Cooper||Seasons 1-4||36|
|Reeser, AutumnAutumn Reeser||Townsend, TaylorTaylor Townsend||Seasons 3-4||31|
|Woodley, ShaileneShailene Woodley||Cooper# 1, KaitlinKaitlin Cooper# 1||Season 1||2|
|Holland, WillaWilla Holland||Cooper #2, KaitlinKaitlin Cooper #2||Seasons 3-4||28|
|Carmack, ChrisChris Carmack||Ward, LukeLuke Ward||Seasons 1-2||29|
|Dale, AlanAlan Dale||Nichol, CalebCaleb Nichol||Seasons 1-2||35|
- #^ : Additional to the episode count Veronica Townsend also appears as an uncredited extra in the first episodes fashion show pre-party.
- V^ : Additional to the episode count Sophie "Nana" Cohen and Caleb Nichol are also heard, though they do not appear, in The Chrismukkah Bar-Mitzvahkkah, and as such are not credited for the episode. The voices are not those of Linda Lavin and Alan Dale.
- F^ : Episode count includes the characters flashback appearance in The Case of the Franks. In the flashback Ellen Hollman, Max Greenfield, Graham Miller, Samantha Figura, Chelsea Smith, Bella Thorne, Tristan Price, Conner Webb and Kerby Moore appear as young versions of Kirsten, Sandy, Jimmy, Taryn, Summer, Taylor, Seth, Luke and Holly respectively.
Taryn Baker is one of the "Newpsies;" wealthy, bored women who live in Newport Beach and spend their days lunching, shopping and gossiping. Many of her appearances centered on her sexually adventurous side. In the first season episode ("The Countdown"), she attended a swingers' party, claiming that such events had "saved [her] marriage." Later, she helped spread the rumour that Luke Ward's father had been having an affair with his male business partner ("The Secret"), and that this was why he had turned her down when she propositioned him. In the fourth season, it was revealed that swinging eventually didn't save her marriage, which ended in divorce. Since her divorce, she had been sleeping with as many young men as possible. She also appeared in flashback, in the fourth season episode ("The Case of the Franks"), where it was revealed that she attended high school with Kirsten Cohen and Jimmy Cooper.
Rachel Hoffman is a former colleague of Sandy Cohen in the District Attorney's office. She invites him to work with her in a private firm called Partridge, Savage and Kahn. Sandy takes the offer, and later Sandy's wife, Kirsten, finds Rachel and Sandy enjoying a drink, causing tension between Sandy and Kirsten. Rachel shares the case of Balboa Heights with Sandy, because the plaintiff is Caleb Nichol's company. While negotiating with Caleb, Caleb accuses Sandy and Rachel of having an affair. Some time afterwards, when Sandy and Rachel work until late in Rachel's apartment, Rachel flirts with Sandy but he rejects her advances. When the chemistry between the two fizzles out, Sandy and Kirsten attempt to set her up with Jimmy Cooper, but fail.
Caleb Nichol, portrayed by Alan Dale, was the widower father of Kirsten Cohen, Hailey Nichol and Lindsay Gardner. A self-made man, he is the owner of The Newport Group, one of the biggest real estate companies in the area, and said to "basically own Newport". His wife Rose, Kirsten and Hailey's mother, died many years ago from cancer. He is generally portrayed as a dry, gruff, sarcastic, hard-hearted and calculating businessman who loves his family but shows minimal affection (other than a greeting hug) and frequently appears insincere and antagonistic against everyone and everything.
Being a lawyer, his son-in-law Sandy becomes suspicious of how Caleb's business is holding up when he receives word of repeated calls from the police and SEC. In the episode "The Way We Were" Caleb is arrested at Sandy and Kirsten's home while they were having dinner and led away by the police in front of everyone, including Seth and Ryan. Sandy, despite his dislike of Caleb, volunteers to represent him as his attorney.
Since Rose's death, Caleb was implied to have dated a number of much younger women as "trophy girlfriends", including a 24-year-old young woman named Gabrielle as part of a "deal", but never really settled with one since most of them were either grifters or gold-diggers. At the end of season 1, he marries Julie Cooper, who had recently divorced her husband Jimmy due to his financial troubles and the disintegration of their marriage. Her daughters, especially Marissa (Kaitlin was away at boarding school), refuse to accept him as their new stepfather and generally ignore him or avoid having any contact with him. He has a love-hate relationship with Kirsten and her family, largely because of his son-in-law Sandy's working-class background. As such, throughout the show, Sandy frequent directs sarcastic remarks at his father-in-law and generally does not hide his distaste for the latter, even in front Kirsten.
When Caleb meets Ryan Atwood for the first time after he moves in with the Cohens, he treats Ryan with contempt and suspision. Since Caleb has a condecending attitude towards all people of lower classes, he became skeptical about Ryan since the teenager grew up in the tough streets of Chino and Caleb often insinuated that Ryan is taking advantage of the Cohens' kindness and money. Kirsten would then call him out on it in Ryan's defense, leading to a period of frosty silence between father and daughter.
In Season 2, it is revealed over Christmukkah lunch that Caleb had an affair with a woman named Renee Wheeler while still married to Rose and has a biological illegitimate daughter, Lindsay Gardner, much to the fury of both Kirsten and Julie. He suggests that Lindsay was after his money, prompting an angry Kirsten to call him at his office to demand a reconciliation over dinner. However, during the dinner, he suffers a heart attack which was aggravated by his anger at Ryan standing up to his subtle insults. Julie becomes bitter over their marriage as she realizes that she was being treated as a mere band-aid for his deceased wife Rose and tries to kill him but couldn't go through with it. Caleb later dies of a heart attack while swimming in the pool before their divorce goes through. It is revealed that he was bankrupt and left neither Julie or his daughters anything. He did write Kirsten a letter, apologizing for being so harsh on her for her entire life.
Dr. Kim is the Dean of the Harbor High School. She gives Ryan Atwood a chance to enter Harbor if he passes an admission exam, which he does. She persuades Marissa Cooper to continue her role as social chair despite Marissa's tarnished reputation after overdosing on painkillers. She later returns to have a meeting with Kirsten, Sandy and Ryan, after Ryan reads Oliver Trask's files in the file storage room. In 2005, she was confronted by Julie Cooper and Sandy, claiming that she does not have the power to decide to expel Marissa and Ryan, after the gunshot incident. However, she assists in re-admitting Marissa into Harbor by revealing a precedent in 1996, in which a similar incident to Trey's shooting had occurred with a formerly suspended student. Though never confirmed, it is possible she was replaced by Dean Torres in season 4.
Carson Ward, portrayed by Brian McNamara, is the husband of Meredith Ward, and the father of Eric, Brad, and Luke Ward. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in history. He owns three auto dealerships. Carson and his family appeared happy, but in a sad twist, the family was not really "perfect". At one of his auto dealerships, Luke and Ryan discover Carson making out with another man and after realizing his son caught him, Carson decides to tell his wife who then files for divorce shortly after. Luke later admits to Ryan that his father "traveled" a lot and that he felt somewhat resentful of Carson for it when it turns out that the "traveling" was a cover for his affair. Months later, by season 2, Carson and Meredith's divorce has been finalized and Carson moves to Portland with Luke moving with him, but Brad and Eric staying behind in Newport with their mother. Carson later returns in the season 2 episode "The Distance", where Seth was staying at Luke and Carson's house in Portland.
Brad and Eric Ward
Brad and Eric Ward are Luke Ward's younger twin brothers. When they first appeared in season 1, they were around 12. After their parents divorced, Luke decides to live with their father and the twins are not seen; they presumably stayed behind in Newport with their mother. They later returned in season 4 and are classmates and friends with Kaitlin Cooper. Eric resembles Luke more than Brad and both are often seen flirting with female classmates.
D.J. played by Nicholas Gonzalez is described by creator Josh Schwartz as "the yard guy who works at Caleb's mansion". Later, however, it is revealed that Marissa Cooper has struck up a relationship with him after Ryan Atwood left Orange County. Marissa and DJ kept their trysts secret to prevent Marissa's mother Julie from finding out and firing D.J. When Ryan returns to Newport and asks Marissa if she was seeing anyone, Marissa lies to him and says she's single. However, Ryan discovers the truth when he finds Marissa and D.J. kissing. D.J. is angry with Marissa when he finds out about her lie, saying he felt like a back-up she only came to when Ryan was not around. Marissa apologizes and the two reconcile shortly afterward, with Marissa revealing their relationship to her mother by announcing that as he was her boyfriend, D.J. should appear with them in family portrait photographs to be taken with Caleb Nichol. As expected, this enrages Julie, who felt D.J. was socially beneath her daughter. Arranging a secret meeting with him, Julie gives D.J. a check for $5,000 to leave Marissa. D.J. does so, but first gives the check to Marissa, suggesting she goes on a spending spree. He then leaves her, saying he had no regrets about their relationship, but he feels Marissa was with him only to spite her mother.
Renee Wheeler once had an affair with Caleb Nichol which led to her having a child, Lindsay Gardner. Caleb continues to pay her money and the DA misunderstand that, thinking that Caleb is bribing Renee for a building permit, for which Caleb is arrested ("The New Era"). Sandy figures out that the reason Caleb pays Renee is that she is the mother of his illegitimate child ("The SnO.C."). Caleb admits to having had an affair so he will be released from prison but the news angers his daughter, Kirsten Cohen ("The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn't"). Renee later returns, asking Ryan Atwood to help her stop Caleb from adopting Lindsay as Caleb wants a paternity test and Renee isn't sure if Caleb really is Lindsay's father ("The Test"). The test results confirm Caleb's paternity but Lindsay ultimately decides that she doesn't want Caleb to adopt her because of how he treats her and she and her mother leave Newport for Chicago ("The Rainy Day Women").
Rebecca Bloom is an ex-girlfriend of Sandy Cohen, who is described as Sandy's "love of [his] life" by Kirsten Cohen. Twenty years ago, she was accused of burning down a lab and killing a man in the fire. Rebecca denies that and claims that she fled the site because she did not want to testify against her friends. Her father, Max, asks his former student Sandy to find Rebecca, as he is dying and wants to see his only daughter one last time before passing away. Rebecca shows up, and Max asks Sandy to clear her name; soon after this, he dies. Sandy continues to assist Rebecca, thus placing his marriage in jeopardy. Sandy and Rebecca finally realize that their love was a thing of the past, and Rebecca flees yet again.
Carter Buckley is introduced as a new editor of Newport Living. He has edited several magazines before, The Ugly American and GQ being two of them, and self-published Revolution. Carter is in a middle of divorce and becomes lugubrious. Kirsten Cohen puts an issue of Revolution into his mailbox in order to encourage him to restart his life. Carter accepts the job and spends a lot of time working with Kirsten who develops a crush on him. Carter's alcoholism helps develop Kirsten's, as they drink much during work. Carter leaves Orange County when offered a job in New York. At the farewell dinner at the Cohen's house where Kirsten and Carter are alone, they share a kiss. Kirsten is apparently upset about his departure, and her drinking increases.
Lance Baldwin is Julie Cooper's ex-boyfriend. Back in the 1980s, when she was in desperate need of money, she starred in a porn flick he directed, entitled "The Porn Identity". Although the film was never published, a desperate Lance suddenly shows up, and threatens Julie to pay $500,000 or else he would leak the film onto the internet. Julie asks her husband, Caleb Nichol, for help, but instead of paying Lance, Caleb sends two thugs to attack Lance. Furious, he sabotages the launch of Julie's new magazine, "Newport Living", by replacing the promotional video with archive footage from "The Porn Identity." A devastated Julie flees Orange County with Caleb Nichol and later returns after the controversy dies down. After Lance redeems himself, he and Julie reminisce over their past together, and share a kiss which is caught on camera. Caleb subsequently asks Julie for a divorce (and fires her from the newport group), and reveals to his wife that he has had people spy on her since before their marriage.
Jess Sathers was a student at Harbor who overdoses at Trey Atwood's 21st birthday party. She survives and begins a relationship with Trey that leads him to start using drugs. After botching an attempted drug deal, Jess decides to leave town with Trey but remains when he is shot by Marissa Cooper. In the third season, Jess asks Trey's brother Ryan to help her with boyfriend troubles.
Charlotte Morgan is a con-artist, posing as a recovering alcoholic. She met Kirsten in rehab and tried to get money from her. However, this failed and she moved on to Julie. The two planned to throw a fund-raiser, a ploy by Charlotte to steal all the donations, but she gets found out when Julie goes into her handbag at a restaurant and finds numerous credit cards in different names. Charlotte gets Julie in on the scam, however Julie does the right thing and asks people to write checks to the charity so Charlotte could not steal the money. With her plan foiled, she departed from Newport.
In July 2005 it was reported that Jeri Ryan was joining The O.C. in a seven-episode arc as "a mysterious woman Kirsten Cohen (Kelly Rowan) befriends in rehab". Later on Josh Schwartz said that "We were told to add this Jeri Ryan character to the show that we had no idea what to do with. We were just told we had to add an adult female character. It went nowhere, and we had no plan for it, and it just didn't fit the show." Rob Lineberger of DVD Verdict "thought Jeri Ryan made a compelling bad girl". Derek Hanson said that Ryan's addition was meant to get the "14–24 demographic excited", but stated that Charlotte Morgan had "a terrible storyline, that just didn't sit quite right."
Reed Carlson is the Vice President of the graphic novel company Bad Science. She was an assistant of Carter Buckley and he arranges a meeting after getting to know Seth Cohen and Zach Stevens who co-created Atomic County. She likes the comic so she helps them to publish. Seth deliberately misleads Summer Roberts that Reed is a man, infuriating Summer. Later, Reed asks Seth to bring Summer, the real Little Miss Vixen, to a party. Summer does not like the place and asks Seth to leave, but Reed stops Seth from leaving, making Summer even angrier. Reed then threatens to sue Zach when he wants to pull out. Reed offers Summer a chance to be the star of the comic to ensure that Summer will stop convincing Seth and Zach of giving up on it. Summer shows up at the launch party wearing costume, but the party ends with Seth and Zach literally fighting for Summer. Reed is outraged about the debacle so she just let one person to meet George Lucas, who is interested in Atomic County.
Jack Hess who has a master degree in education and who taught six years at boarding schools, is the new Dean of Discipline at Harbor High and is responsible for the measures to be taken after the gunshot incident. He wishes to punish Marissa Cooper but is only able to expel her. When Ryan Atwood punches him in the face, Jack uses that to have expelled Ryan as well. He is also responsible for Summer Roberts losing the social chair to Taylor Townsend by tricking her to admit that she stole a theatrical set. At the Summer Dance, Summer sees Taylor and Jack sharing an intimate tryst and Sandy uses the information to blackmail Jack into leaving Harbor to save his career.
Dennis "Chili" Childress is Johnny Harper's best friend and one of the kids Marissa Cooper befriends at Newport Union. He introduces himself to Marissa as "Chili" and his similarities to Seth Cohen, earned him the short-lived nickname "Bizarro Seth" from Ryan Atwood. Chili is a good friend and aids Johnny, especially when he has to deal with Casey cheating on him and when he is injured by a car accident. Chili lies to Marissa about Johnny, telling her that he got back on the surfing team and will be leaving Newport Union to travel with them, as he and Johnny know that Johnny is the only reason Marissa is staying at Newport Union. Chili wants Johnny to confess to Marissa how he feels about her but when he does, Marissa tells him that she doesn't love him. After Johnny's death, Chili stops going by the name Chili and wants to be called Dennis instead, as Johnny never liked the nickname.
Heather attends Newport Union and disliked Marissa Cooper from the very beginning, harassing her and doing all she can to make Marissa's life as difficult as possible. She is seemingly highly jealous of Marissa assuming she still lives the posh life despite Marissa and Julie got nothing from Caleb's will. She helps Kevin Volchok to kidnap Marissa in order to get Ryan Atwood to fight Volchok. She reappears at a party at Volchok's place where she is given a spiked drink by Volchok's friends and is nearly raped by them before Marissa rescues her. In the third season finale, Heather helps Volchok to leave Newport in a stolen car. She is in the car when Volchok drives into Ryan's car, leading Ryan to drive off a cliff which results in Marissa's death. In "The Cold Turkey" in Season 4, she appears briefly and apologizes to Ryan about the night of Marissa's death but claims to have had no control over Volchok's actions.
Casey attends Newport Union and dates Johnny Harper. She befriends Marissa Cooper when she enrolls at Union. She helps Marissa dodge the insults of Heather, the school bully, but when she notices that Johnny and Marissa are growing closer and closer, she feels jealous and suspicious, finally cheating on Johnny by making out with his rival Kevin Volchok. Johnny walks in on them and breaks up with her. She later explains to Marissa that she's not a bad person, and she could just see Johnny was falling in love with Marissa.
Matt Ramsey is a 26-year old associate of the company that will take over the Newport Group. He convinced Sandy Cohen to keep the company so that they can run it as co-partners and is then named Vice President and Director of Development. In the episode "The Disconnect", he takes Ryan Atwood as an intern due to Ryan's knowledge and experience in construction. He doesn't have any trouble bribing to get green light for projects which are against Sandy's principles. Sandy tries to "do it his way" but has to give in to Matt's way as the latter has most of the board members on his side. Matt has a brief relationship with Maya, daughter of the head of the hospital's board, Henry Griffin, but breaks up with her when Sandy proposes a deal with Henry. Henry asks Sandy to fire Matt because of his relationship to his daughter. Matt warns Sandy about Henry who takes kickbacks from vendors and tries to sell the story to newspapers but stops doing so after being beaten up by goons Henry has hired. Matt asks Henry for compensation as he has evidence that incriminates Henry. The deal is stopped by Sandy who pays Matt for the evidence. Matt then leaves for Chicago.
Sadie Campbell is Johnny Harper's cousin and comes to Orange County to help Johnny's mother Gwen after her son dies ("The Heavy Lifting"). Ryan Atwood befriends Sadie, helping her to decorate the house and get money from Johnny's father ("The Road Warrior"). After some trouble, Sadie and Ryan start dating as Marissa Cooper and Ryan have broken up once again after Johnny's death ("The Undertow"). The relationship is doomed however, as Ryan is soon afterwards accepted to Berkeley and Sadie doesn't want to be the reason Ryan doesn't live his college life as he should and breaks up. She then leaves Newport to restart her jewellery-making business ("The Day After Tomorrow").
It was reported that Nikki Reed would make her television debut in a four-episode arc, which later became six. Reed stated that Sadie became "far from what I was originally pitched", suggesting that "glamming up the bohemian character" was to give the fans "someone who can give Mischa a run for her money." It was also rumoured by Reed herself that Sadie would return for the fourth season.
Henry Griffin is the Head of the Hospital Board. His daughter, Maya, dated Matt Ramsey briefly before breaking up, as Matt agrees Sandy Cohen's request to get Maya's help in giving a proposal to Henry. Henry asks Sandy to fire Matt for Maya which he does. Matt accuses Henry of taking kickbacks from ventures, and tries to sell the story to newspapers. In return, Henry orders three ruffians to vandalise Matt's apartment and beat him. After knowing what Henry did, Sandy threatens Henry to resign to he will "take [him] down". To stop Sandy, Henry bribes Sandy with a recommendation of a revitalising project. Later Matt asks Henry to pay him in exchange of evidence, and Henry brings a goon when they are ready to "make" the deal, but Sandy stops it. Sandy takes the evidence and pays Matt instead. Henry later is investigated by D.A. and banned from the board. Sandy finally gives up the hospital and supports D.A to charge Henry, by giving the documents D.A. needs.
Winchester "Che" Cook, is a friend of Summer Roberts who attends Brown University with her. He was the driving force behind Summer's left wing activism. When he and Summer break into a science lab and are interviewed by the Brown board, he blames all his illegal activities on Summer. As a result of Che's actions, Summer was suspended from Brown. Che later feels guilty and regretful for his actions and travels to Newport to ask her forgiveness. Later it's discovered he is actually extremely rich - his father owns a pharmaceutical company. In "The Chrismukk-huh?", he appears in an alternate universe when Ryan Atwood and Taylor Townsend are in a coma. In this universe, he took what would have been Ryan's spot for admission at Harbor High School, and was engaged to Summer Roberts, and having an affair with Julie Cooper and any woman he could get his hands on. In this universe, he wasn't an activist, as he is in real life. Later, in an attempt to repay Summer for her forgiveness for his misdeeds, Che tries to help Seth feel harmony with himself and takes him to the woods to connect with his spirit animal. During this trip, Che is convinced by a dream that Seth is his soul mate. Che attempts to test this idea in "The Groundhog Day" with mixed results eventually winding up with the pair in prison. His last name, Cook, is revealed as the officer announces his release. However, Che realises that Seth was not his soul mate, it was actually the environmentalist girl who is placed in the cell next to them. Together, Che and his soul mate leave Newport.
Gordon Bullit, who refers to himself as "The Bullit", is a colorful oil merchant from Texas. Although he has been involved in bad deals, he is extremely wealthy. In prison, he met Frank Atwood, who he later hired to be in charge of his finances. He soon after developed a crush on Julie Cooper, and after some intimate e-mails he thought he was sharing with Julie (which was later revealed to be from Kaitlin Cooper pretending to be her mother) he proposed to Julie. She rejects him, as she is already in a relationship with Frank Atwood. She initially breaks up with Frank and dates Bullit when Kaitlin reveals how much she would like Bullit to be her stepfather, but realizes that Frank is the one she wants to be with and reunites with him on Valentine's Day. In the series finale, set six months after the earthquake, Julie is engaged to Bullit after Frank panicked and left her when he discovered she was pregnant. Ultimately, when she has to choose between Frank and Bullit Julie decides to stay single. Despite Julie's decision to not marry Bullit after all, he and the family remain good friends.
Bullit has 12 sons, whom he jokingly introduced to Kaitlin Cooper as "A Buffet of Bullits", all of which are named after cities in Texas where he has oil refinery – Austin, Dallas, Houston, Lubbock, Odessa, El Paso, Amarillo, Texarkana, San Antonio and Corpus Christi – with the exception of Hanoi (named after Vietnam's capital), where he also has a refinery, and Spencer. Hanoi is Asian and presumably adopted. Amarillo is a "doctor for women's private parts" (i.e. gynecologist).
Spencer Bullit is Kaitlin Cooper's tennis instructor and Gordon Bullit's son. Kaitlin develops a crush on Spencer, who refuses to get involved with her as she is jailbait. Instead, he has a brief affair with Julie Cooper, which ends when Kaitlin tricks him into interrupting Julie on a date with his father. Later, he joins Julie's and Kirsten Cohen's agency, New Match, and uses their match-making to work as a gigolo. He has 11 brothers, most named after Texan cities.
Francis "Frank" Atwood initially appears as a business associate of Gordon Bullit, calling himself Frank Perry. He starts working at Kirsten's and Julie's matchmaking agency NewMatch. Frank had met Bullit in jail and Bullit offered him a position in his business. Later, Frank reveals to Julie that he had an ulterior motive for choosing Newport and that he was Ryan's biological father. Meanwhile, Sandy discovers that Frank was in prison for armed robbery. He wants to reunite with Ryan, but Ryan tells Sandy to pass on the message that he does not want to see him. According to Kirsten, Frank was an abusive alcoholic, as shown by Ryan visibly tensing up when hearing about Frank wanting to reunite with him. Frank tells Kirsten that he was dying of cancer and Kirsten invites him over to their home for dinner. However, Sandy, whose experience as a public defender led him to be suspicious of Frank's story, finds out from a physician friend in the prison system that Frank was lying and punches him, sparking a fight, which Ryan quickly breaks up. Ryan asks Frank to leave, saying that he wasn't ready to accept him into his life. In subsequent episodes, Ryan and Frank make amends and appear to be on speaking terms but Ryan has made it clear that even though he addresses Frank as "dad", he considers Sandy to be his father figure.
Later in Season 4, Frank begins a relationship with Julie Cooper which is broken off when she decides to date Bullit for her daughter's sake because she and Gordon develop a close relationship. She later decides that Frank is the one she wants to be with and they begin dating again. Their son Cooper Atwood was born a few months after Kirsten and Sandy's daughter.
In season 1, it was revealed that Frank (he was still unnamed and known simply as "Ryan's father" at that time) and Dawn and their sons Trey and Ryan lived in Fresno, California where Frank worked as a mechanic. Like his ex-wife, he had alcohol problems and was arrested multiple times for alcohol-related offenses (DUI and public intoxication). After he was imprisoned for armed robbery, Dawn and the boys moved south to Chino, California, where the series begins. Ryan rarely mentioned him during the first three seasons, except through vague remarks.
The following is a list of guest stars who have appeared in a single episode, or who have appeared in multiple episodes but held minimal storylines. The characters are listed in alphabetical order.
- Season 1
- Ruth Williamson as Peggy, (1.01, 1.04), a woman who hosts the fashion show and Cotillion.
- Drew Fuller as Norland, (1.01), a friend of Luke's.
- Christopher Cousins as Greg Fischer, (1.04), the father of Holly Fischer. Greg beats up Jimmy and sucker punches Sandy at the debutante ball before he is tackled by Ryan.
- Paul Wesley as Donnie, (1.05), a boy who works with Ryan at The Crab Shack.
- Nichole Hiltz as Gabrielle, (1.06), Caleb's 23 year old, former model girlfriend. She is immediately attracted to Ryan, and Marissa catches the two making out in the pool house, prompting her to lose her virginity to Luke.
- April Grace as Dr. Burke, (1.08), the psychiatrist who talks to Marissa after she tried to kill herself.
- Eric Allan Kramer as Soccer Coach, (1.09), the coach of the soccer team that Ryan joins.
- Gina Gallego as Eva Diaz, (1.11), Theresa Diaz's mother.
- Demetrius Navarro as Arturo Diaz, (1.11), Theresa Diaz's brother.
- Santiago Douglas as Gattas, (1.11)
- Kevin West as Mr. Bendis, (1.12, 1.17)
- Alaina Kalanj as Yvette, (1.14)
- Michael Reilly Burke as Tom Willington, (1.16)
- Bret Harrison as Danny, (1.17), a short term boyfriend of Summer, who is seen as funny by everyone except for Seth.
- Richard Herd as Bill Shaughnessy, (1.20)
- Eric Balfour as Eddie, (1.20, 1.21, 1.23), Theresa Diaz's fiancé.
- Lamont Thompson as Greg Hoades, (1.21), an assistant District Attorney who went up against Sandy numerous times in court.
- Paris Hilton as Kate, (1.22), a nightclubber who catches Seth's attention.
- Al Sapienza as Luna Chicks Club Owner, (1.22), who throws Ryan and Marissa out of his club when they try to save Hailey Nichol.
- Colin Hanks as Grady Bridges, (1.22), star of the fictional meta-soap "The Valley".
- Doug Ballard as Peter Johnson, (1.23, 1.24)
- Cynthia Avila as Eva Diaz, (1.23), Theresa Diaz's mother.
- Kristen Renton as Jenn, (1.26) A student at UNLV and a call girl who tricks Seth into allowing her to invite friends to the penthouse suite at the Hard Rock Casino.
- Kevin Rankin as Lucas, (1.26)
- Todd Sherry as Todd, (1.1),Working as a waiter in the fashion show Marissa Cooper.
- Season 2
- Bruno Amato as Archie, (2.01, 2.02), Sandy and Kirsten's contractor.
- Cynthia Avila as Eva Diaz, (2.01, 2.23), Theresa Diaz's mother.
- Michelle Hurd as Ms. Fisher, (2.02), the guidance counselor at Harbor.
- Perry Anzilotti as Mr. Greenburg, (2.03)
- Gregory Itzin as Stephen Herbert, (2.04)
- Jordan Baker as Elaine Stevens, (2.08, 2.14, 2.17), the mother of Zach Stevens and hist sister Abigail.
- Devin Sidell as Abigail Stevens, (2.08, 2.14), Zach Stevens' sister, who gets married in Italy.
- Emmanuelle Chriqui as Jodie, (2.09, 2.10), the ex-girlfriend of Alex Kelly.
- Michael Simpson as Matt Miller, (2.09)
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Joe Zukowski, (2.10)
- Barry Newman as Max Bloom, (2.10, 2.11, 2.12), the former professor of Sandy and father of Rebecca Bloom.
- T.J. Thyne as Larry Bernstein, (2.12)
- Christopher Lawford as Ross, (2.13)
- Amber Heard as Salesgirl, (2.15)
- Aya Sumika as Erin, (2.19), a friend of Sandy's, who goes on a date with Carter Buckley.
- Travis Van Winkle as Kyle Thompson, (2.20), a senior at Harbor and drug dealer.
- Gary Hershberger as Tom MacGinty, (2.20)
- Grant Thompson as Damon, (2.20)
- Catherine Kresge as Cherilyn Featherbrook, (2.20)
- Tony Denison as Bobby Mills, (2.21)
- Jaime King as Mary-Sue, (2.21), a girl who enters a television competition with Seth in which he has to lick whipped cream of her body.
- Matt McKenzie as Prom Announcer, (2.23), who announces Zach Stevens and Summer as prom king and queen.
- Garrett M. Brown as Dr. Kenneth Woodruff, (2.24), a doctor, who checks Kirsten into rehab.
- Season 3
- Michael Adler as Jeff Frenkel, (3.01)
- Erick Avari as Dr. Overbee, (3.22)
- Morena Baccarin as Maya Griffin, (3.14, 3.15, 3.16), the daughter of Henry Griffin who dates Matt Ramsey briefly.
- Matt Barr as Wes Seifer, (3.22), Ryan's college orientation buddy who developed an attraction for Marissa.
- Garrett Brown as Dr. Kenneth Woodruff, (3.01)
- Rob Brownstein as Kurt Williams, (3.06)
- Justin Chon as Summer's Date, (3.23), the leadsinger in the K-Pop band Big Korea.
- Matthew Cohen as Jim, (3.18)
- Paul Ganus as Sean, (3.05)
- Tiffany Thornton as Ashley, (3.02, 3.09, 3.11).
- Nicole Garza as Chloe, (3.21), a co-worker of Dawn Atwood in Albuquerque. She and Ryan have a one-night stand.
- Lucy Hale as Hadley Hawthorne, (3.24), a friend of Kaitlin's.
- Chase Kim as Seung Ho, (3.16, 3.20, 3.23), presumably Taylor Townsend's ex-boyfriend. He was her date to the prom.
- Michael Mantel as Mercer, (3.11)
- AnnaLynne McCord as A Hot Girl, (3.23), Marissa caught Volchok making out with her at the senior prom, prompting Marissa to slap Volchok and leave him for good.
- Timothy Omundson as Attorney Caldwell, (3.01), the deputy district.
- Andrea Pearson as Lily, (3.09, 3.13)
- Robert Picardo as Bill Meriam, (3.13)
- Jackson Rathbone as Justin, (3.12, 3.15), Kaitlin's ex-boyfriend from boarding school.
- Blake Robbins as Don, (3.02, 3.03)
- Lisa Rotondi as Gwen Harper, (3.09, 3.10), Johnny Harper's mother.
- Rodney Rowland as Jack Harper, (3.16), Johnny Harper's father.
- The Subways as themselves, (3.07)
- Lamont Thompson as Greg Hoades, (3.24, 3.25)
- Lisa Tucker as herself, (3.23)
- Tom Vek as himself, (3.16)
- Richard Voll as Glen Morgan, (3.05, 3.07), the husband of Charlotte Morgan and co-conspirator in her scams.
- Diego Wallraff as Mitchell Davidson, (3.08)
- Tom Wright as Paul Glass, (3.08)
- José Zúñiga as Jason Spitz, (3.25)
- Season 4
- William Abadie as Jean Claude, (4.04), Henri-Michel's French lawyer who comes to Newport to coax Taylor into returning to France to work out her differences with her ex-husband.
- Ashley Benson as Riley, (4.06) a rival of Kaitlin at Harbor whose party is upstaged by the beer bash Kaitlin hosts at Summer's house.
- Bre Blair as Kari Spitz, (4.14)
- Daniel Booko as Connor, (4.06)
- Todd Bosley as Leon, (4.01), a co-worker with Seth at the comic book store He was also in the comic book club at Harbor with Seth and Zach.
- Chris Brown as Will Tutt, (4.09, 4.10, 4.11), a new student at Harbor. The "band geek" pursues a brief relationship with Kaitlin.
- Tia Carrere as Dean Torres, (4.02), whom Kaitlin frequently visits.
- Ben Diskin as Philip, (4.01)
- Chris Dotson as Roger, (4.06), a homosexual whom Taylor bribes to be her date when Ryan rejects her. Ryan catches him in bed with another boy at a party at Summer's house.
- Ryan Dowler as A Pregnant Girl, (4.14)
- Drew Fuller as Norland, (4.01)
- Aaron Fors as Gary, (4.15), a worker at the ice cream shop on the pier who has a crush on Kaitlin.
- Scott Krinsky as Darryl, (4.10, 4.12, 4.15), a hobo.
- Alison LaPlaca as Dr. James, (4.12), Taylor's therapist who encourages her to take time off from Ryan after Henri-Michel returns to France.
- Henri Lubatti as Henri-Michel de Maumaront, (4.10, 4.11), a French author. He is Taylor's ex-husband who comes to Newport to support his new book. He tries to rekindle a relationship with Taylor but is left for Ryan.
- Sandra McCoy as A Hippy Chick, (4.12), she helps Che steal the groundhog Newport Chuck on Grondhog's Day. She and Che discover they are each other's soulmates and leave Newport together, leaving Newport Chuck with Seth and Summer.
- Ricardo Molina as An ER Doctor, (4.15)
- Steve-O as First Marine (4.02). A cameo appearance where he is the Marine that convinces Seth to get a tattoo.
- Patty Onagan as Mima, (4.07), the Roberts' housekeeper.
- Michelle Ongkingco as Amber (4.02, 4.05), a promiscuous former roommate of Summer.
- Janel Parrish as Leah, (4.06)
- Jim Pirri as Patrick, (4.16), a mid-wife who lives in the Cohens' former residence in Berkeley with Todd.
- Lily Rains as A Nurse, (4.07)
- Lorna Scott as Beatrice, (4.15)
- Todd Sherry as Todd, (4.16), a wedding planner who lives in the Cohens' former residence in Berkeley with Patrick. (1.1),Working as a waiter in the fashion show Marissa Cooper.
- Jorg Sirtl as A Personal Trainer, (4.05)
- Elayn Taylor as Dr. Harris, (4.15)
- Kaili Thorne as Olivia, (4.06)
- Jessica Williams as A Pregnant Girl (4.14)
- Jose Zuniga as Jason Spitz, (4.04), (4.14)
Special cameo appearance
- Robert Schwartzman ("The Third Wheel")
- Rooney ("The Third Wheel")
- The Subways ("The Anger Management")
- Modest Mouse ("The Family Ties")
- The Thrills ("The Ex-Factor")
- Rachael Yamagata ("The Second Chance")
- Death Cab for Cutie ("The O.C. Confidential")
- T.I. ("The Return of the Nana")
- George Lucas ("The O.Sea")
- Jem Griffiths ("The Ties That Bind")
- Gisele Bündchen ("The Heavy Lifting")
- Lisa Tucker ("The Party Favor")
- M., Sara. "A Man Walks Into A Bar (Mitzvah)". Television Without Pity. p. 7. Retrieved 2008-07-29.
- "The Girlfriend". The O.C.. Season 1. Episode 6. September 9, 2003. Fox.
- Barker, Lynn (2004-10-25). ""O.C." creator Josh Schwartz: California Dreamin'". TeenHollywood.com. p. 7. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
- IGN FilmForce (2005-07-13). "Jeri Ryan Joins The O.C.". IGN. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- Yuan, Jada (2007-09-19). "Josh Schwartz on 'Gossip Girl' and Avoiding the Mistakes of 'The O.C.'". New York. New York Media. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- Lineberger, Rob (2007-02-05). "The O.C.: The Complete Third Season". DVDVerdict.com. Rob Lineberger. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- Hanson, Derek (2006-05-31). "The OC Season 3 Review - Part 2". DeROK.net. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- "Reed Moves to The O.C.". IGN. 2005-11-18. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- Keck, William (2006-02-08). "'O.C.' girl doesn't back down". USA Today (Gannett Company). Retrieved 2008-07-27.
- Otto, Jeff; Linder, Brian (2006-07-13). "Reed Returning to The O.C.". IGN. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- Nguyen, Hanh (2006-07-13). "Reed Avoids Discussing Possibility of More 'O.C.'". Zap2it. Tribune Media Services. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- Armstrong, Jennifer (2004-06-04). "Paris Glance". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
- Fienberg, Daniel (2007-01-11). "Bring on the 'O.C.' Body-Swap comedy". Retrieved 2008-07-31.
- "CTV's The O.C. Breaks Broadband Barrier". Toronto. 2006-10-30. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
- Fienberg, Daniel (2007-02-15). "Bring on the 'O.C.' Body-Swap comedy". Retrieved 2008-07-31.