Sophie Cohen

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Sophie Cohen
Linda Lavin as Sophie Cohen
The O.C. character
Portrayed by Linda Lavin
First appearance "The Nana"
(episode 1.23)
Last appearance "The Return of the Nana"
(episode 2.21)
Created by Josh Schwartz
Occupation Social worker (retired)
Residence Miami, Florida
New York City, New York

Sophie Cohen is a fictional character on the FOX television series The O.C., played by Linda Lavin.

Character development[edit]


Sophie has three children, Sandy Cohen, and a younger son and daughter who are unknown. She also has three known grandchildren Ryan Atwood (adoptive grandson), Seth Cohen and Sophie Rose Cohen. It is also mentioned that one of her two other children has a son although his name is never mentioned. Her family refer to her as "The Nana" and are somewhat scared of her.[1] She is a social worker from The Bronx and resents all rich people in Orange County. Although she tolerates Kirsten for her son's sake, she despises Kirsten's father Caleb, who "represents everything I have fought against my entire life".

A single mother, Sophie was a social worker who had to juggle her job with raising three children after her husband abandoned them and eventually divorced her. Sandy left home at sixteen for college on a scholarship and it is implied that he still harbored some resentment over the fact that she was too "busy raising other people's children".[1]


Season 1[edit]

During a Passover Seder visit, the family's negative views about her change as she informs them that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer. She does not want chemotherapy, but the family persuades her to seek treatment. She then leaves for New York.

Season 2[edit]

She appears once again in the second season, living in southern Florida (and appears to be illness-free) and presenting a new fiancé during a visit from Sandy, Seth and Ryan. Ever protective of his mother's well-being, Sandy is suspicious of the background of Sophie's new love, eventually discovering a foundation for his mistrust. He drives away the suitor, who apparently sought to profit from Sophie's retirement savings. Though Sophie is not quick to agree with her son's actions or his rationale for them, the two eventually reconcile before the end of the visit.

Season 3[edit]

In The Chrismukkah Bar-Mitzvahkkah when Seth is watching a video tape of his Bar Mitzvah when he was 12 or 13, Sophie's voice is briefly heard on the tape.


Sophie continues to live in Florida, remaining away from the hardships Sandy's family and others would face during the third and fourth seasons. In the series finale, her granddaughter Sophie is named after her. This made some believe that Sophie died from her illness, as Jews name their children after deceased relatives. Her fate was never addressed in the flashforward of the Season 4 finale but Josh Schwartz revealed in the DVD commentary for the finale that Sophie is still alive and well.


  1. ^ a b "The Nana". The O.C. Season 1. Episode 11. March 31, 2004. Fox.