Mischa Anne Marsden Barrton, born 24 January 1986, is a British-American actress who has appeared on television, film, and stage. Her stage career began with Tony Kushner’s Slavs! She was the lead in James Lapine’s Twelve Dreams at New York City’s Lincoln Center. Her screen debut was made with an appearance on American soap opera All My Children (1996) and as a Nickelodeon cartoon character, KaBlam! (1996-97). She was the protagonist in Lawn Dogs (1997), a drama starring Sam Rockwell. This was her first major film role. Her major roles included Notting Hill (1999), a romantic comedy, and M. Night Shyamalan’s psychological thriller The Sixth Sense (1999). She also starred as Pups (1999), an indie crime drama.
Barton also appeared in Lost and Delirious (2001), and was a guest star on ABC’s Once and Again (20201-022). In the Fox television series The O.C., she played Marissa Cooper. She was awarded two Teen Choice Awards for her role as Marissa Cooper in Fox’s television series The O.C. (2003-2006). Barton’s role in the movie brought her mainstream fame. Entertainment Weekly called her the “It Girl of 2003”.
Barton was the son of Nuala Quinn Barton, an Irish producer and Paul Marsden Barton (an English foreign exchange broker, originally from Manchester), and Barton at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospitals in Hammersmith, London.
Her maternal grandfather, an Irish language professor at Queen’s University Belfast, was her maternal grandfather. Hania (younger), and Zoe (older) are her two sisters. The latter is a London barrister. Barton stated that she attended St. Paul’s Girls’ school in Hammersmith but was redirected to New York City by her father’s work when Barton turned five. She became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 2006, but she retained her British citizenship. Her mother also qualifies her for Irish citizenship.
Barton graduated in 2004 from the Professional Children’s School, Manhattan. She also took a short course in Acting Shakespeare at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London in June and July 2006. Sir Richard Attenborough encouraged her to take the course after she had directed Closing the Ring.
Career , 1994-1997: Stage roles
Barton started acting when he was eight years old. He starred in the Off-Broadway premier of Tony Kushner’s 1994 play, Slavs! Vincent Canby, The New York Times’ writer, praised Barton for her “so fine” and authoritative performance. New York Magazine also called her “a charming little girl who exhibits consummate charm”. She was also featured in many other Off-Broadway productions. She played the lead role in James Lapine’s Twelve Dreams with Marisa Tomei at Lincoln Center. Canby praised Barton again, noting that she has “a sweet gravity” as the doomed Emma. Barton was a supporting actor in Catherine Butterfield’s 1996 play Where the Truth Lies, which premiered at New York’s Irish Repertory Theatre. The New York Times noted that Brittany Boyd (winning child actress) and Mischa Barton (winning child actor) are smart enough to not overplay the intelligence and precocity their characters. She was seen at The Public Theater with Dianne Wiest in Naomi Wallace’s One Flea Spare in 1997. The New York production won the Obie Award for Best Production.
Barton, then nineteen years old, bought a Beverly Hills home and sold it in 2016. Barton was able to stop Jon Zacharias from selling her sex tape by winning a porn suit against her ex-boyfriend.
Harper’s Bazaar published a 2021 guest essay by Barton in which she revealed that she felt “sexualized” in previous roles in films, and that she was even a “strange symbol of sex” when she was 13 in Asia, where her film Pups received significant attention. Barton also said that she felt pressured to give up her virginity when she was 18, when her character in The OC was sexually active. Barton revealed that she suffered from PTSD due to constant press attention and intrusions by paparazzi.