Mischa Barton Killed Off ‘The O.C.’

LOS ANGELES (May 19, 2006) — Fox’s “The O.C.” closed its third season Thursday with a deadly twist.

Marissa Cooper, played by Mischa Barton, was killed in a car crash, as Access Hollywood learned earlier in the week.

When Access asked Mischa about rumors and reports that her character dies on the season finale, Mischa told us, “It’s true, it’s true. My character dies.”

“I think the show is moving in a new direction,” Mischa told Access. “This was a great opportunity for everyone. I was just really excited about giving everybody a good finale.”

Mischa’s character was central to the show, which follows four wealthy Newport Beach teens through the emotional ups and downs of high-school life.

“You know, they needed a big season finale at the end of this year and we’ve had three great years and my character has been through so, so much and there’s really nothing more left for her to do,” Mischa told us. “So, I hope this fulfills everything that the fans want and everything that the people wanted for our characters.”

Mischa was already a familiar face when she began starring on “The O.C.” in 2003. She worked as a model and appeared in several films, including “The Sixth Sense,” and TV’s “Once and Again.”

She is also a spokesmodel for Neutrogena and the Collection Bebe clothing line.

Rumors flew in recent months that she was ready to leave “The O.C.”

Mischa, 20, has a film arriving in 2007, “Guilty Pleasures,” and other projects in the works.

Mischa also talked to Access about the future plans of the show saying, “I’m also excited for them to go on next year and do another season. They’ve got some young actors coming in and I think it’s going to be great for the fans.”

Marissa’s death came at the end of an otherwise upbeat episode.

The class of 2006, which includes Marissa, Ryan, Seth and Summer, graduated from Harbor High School. Seth and Summer are going to different colleges. Ryan was reunited with his mother, who gave him a Land Cruiser as a graduation gift. Marissa’s mom gave her a pearl necklace, while her dad gave her an opportunity to work with him on a yacht set to sail around the Greek islands.

Ryan was taking Marissa to the airport in his new SUV when they were antagonized at high speed by a drunken and vengeful Volchok, who they both had a history with. Volchok swigged from a flask as he chased the pair in his car.

Ryan lost control of the Land Cruiser and crashed, the vehicle rolling off the road. He pulled Marissa from the wreckage just before the vehicle caught fire.

There, on the side of the road, she died in his arms.

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