In 2003 a 17-year-old Mischa Barton was elevated from "that girl from The Sixth Sense" to a household name -- all thanks to one of the best teen dramas to grace the 00's - The O.C.
The series placed Barton firmly in the spotlight and 13 years later, as she bids a fond farewell to Dancing With The Stars, the young actress has opened up about dealing with intense fame at such a young age.
For a time Barton embodied the cool, aloof, infinitely stylish, party-girl persona of her Orange County counterpart, Marissa Cooper. However, after being killed off the show, the young star look a downward spiral - landing a DUI, threatening to kill herself and being committed to a psych ward in 2009.
Now living in London, Barton appears to be in a good place and talks about her experience of Hollywood with gratitude. She tells People,
"I was 17 years old and fresh out of high school in New York when I got cast on The O.C. It was a huge time in my life and I'm grateful for it. Now, I can embrace it and be happy about it."
She went on to discuss her hiatus from the public eye, explaining,
"I needed that time for myself to really do that self-exploration and get back in touch with my roots. I just got to this place where I needed space. I needed to rediscover what I loved about being an actress because, at a certain point, I was robbed of the fun aspects by being that much under the microscope."
Now happy and healthy, Barton is able to look back over her time on The O.C. fondly -- which I'm sure all fans of her, and Marissa Cooper, are happy to hear.
"I just needed time to be me and be a regular person. That balance is important. I am nothing but happy to have had that time in my life."
Season 22 of Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (at 8 p.m. ET) on ABC.
Who was your favorite character on The O.C?