Most nine-years-old kids, without doubt, have not yet seriously thought about what they want to be in the future, but Mischa Anne Marsden Barton amazingly had already started to build a solid acting career at such age. With her talent, skills, and striking look, she afterwards had compiled an impressive resume either on screen or stage, making her one of the most potential actresses of her generation.
Coming from a conservative family of an English father and Irish mother, Mischa shared more liberal attitude which often led to some arguments with her parents. It was likely because of the family's migration to New York City that had been carried out as her father continued his work on Wall Street. Previously raised in London, England, where she was born on January 24, 1986, four-years-old Mischa quickly adopted American values while her parents had not yet adjusted to the culture shock.
She was barely eight when an agent noticed her talent after the girl performed a monologue she had written at a summer camp. Informed about her potentiality by the agent, her parents were at first doubtful whether it was appropriate for their daughter to be involved in acting. Mischa, therefore, tried to push aside their uncertainty and successfully convinced them as she passed an audition for an off-Broadway production of Tony Kushner's "Slavs!" in 1995. Sharing the stage with Marisa Tomei, she brilliantly gained huge praise for her portrayal of Vodya Domik.
This initial achievement at the New York Theatre Workshop certainly opened a wider way for her to be included in other theatrical productions. She soon earned a major role in "Twelve Dreams" at Lincoln Center Theater by 1995, then playing opposite Dianne Wiest in "One Flea Spare" at the New York Shakespeare Festival's Public Theatre two years later. These two performances also received rave reviews from the press, making people began to take notice on her.
Looking for another chance to flourish her career, Mischa then turned her attention to screen production and managed to land her film debut in 1997 through "Lawn Dogs" opposite Sam Rockwell. Not only won several film festival awards around the world, this particular feature also earned positive response at Sundance. During this period, she used some of her time to be a model under Ford Modeling Agency, doing campaigns for Calvin Klein, Gitano, and Vogue, among others.
As Mischa returned to the big screen in 1999 through "Pups," she once again garnered critical acclaim for her excellent performance as a teenage bank robber. Still in the same year, she made her way to appear in two blockbuster movies, "Notting Hill" and "The Sixth Sense." Although only got the minor roles, the youngster managed to display a fabulous acting, especially when she played the ghost of a sickly girl who seeks help from Haley Joel Osment in the latter one.
The next couple years saw Mischa actively involved herself in both film and TV productions while attending Manhattan's Professional Children's School from which she later graduated in 2004. 2000 found her starring alongside Jennifer Jason Leigh and Drew Barrymore in "Skipped Parts" as well as becoming one of the title characters in a TV movie entitled "Frankie and Hazel." However, fame apparently was still beyond her reach by 2001 as she only succeeded in securing supporting roles as seen in "Lost and Delirious", "Julie Johnson", and "Tart."
Finally able to get the top billing like she had before in "Lawn Dogs" and "Pups" through Disney's TV movie, "A Ring of Endless Light" (2002), it was not until the airing of "The O.C." (2003) that Mischa at last came to vast prominence in the industry. Portraying a wealthy, popular, yet problematic high school student named Marissa Cooper, she helped the FOX teen drama series to strive as a popular melodrama in U.S. In the same year, she also began to date Brandon Davis, the oil heir to billionaire Marvin Davis, yet the relationship sadly did not last long as the pair decided to break-up in July 2005.
Easily found a new love in Cisco Adler, the vocalist of rock band Whitestarr, shortly thereafter, Mischa shockingly took her departure from "The O.C." in the third-season finale in May of 2006, which saw her character get killed in a car crash. Following the exit, she completely moved to the big screen, marking the transition with a starring role in 2006 comedic flick "The OH in Ohio." Numerous film stints came afterwards, like those in "St. Trinian's", "Virgin Territory", "The Sophomore", and thriller movie "Walled In", all set for 2008 release. Amidst the success, however, the beauty once again had to face a failure in her love life when she and Adler concluded to part ways in February 2007 after an 18-month togetherness.