Mischa Barton DOA on "O.C."

Barton's Marissa Cooper killed in a car crash in the last moments of The O.C. season finale Thursday; the actress said in a TV interview earlier in the week that her character was on her way out

By Natalie Finn May 19, 2006 5:20 AMTags

If fans are angry that Mischa Barton spilled the beans earlier this week about her character Marissa's fate on The O.C. season finale, well, there's not much they can do about it.

Just as Barton said, Marissa Cooper didn't make it out of Southern California alive Thursday night.

Sometimes-boyfriend Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie) was driving her in his new Land Cruiser to the airport so she could meet her dad in Greece, where they would do some big-time bonding working on a yacht together all summer. Kevin Volchok (Cam Gigandet), drunk and ticked off that Marissa broke up with him, pursues them in his car, swerving all the way.

Sadly, Ryan loses control of the SUV and crashes. He is able to get Marissa out of the flipped-over vehicle before it catches fire, but she dies in his arms along the side of the road.

Despite Fox's previews for The O.C.'s season-three finale that intone "someone won't survive the night," it had been reported for some time that Barton was ready to change zip codes.

And Barton didn't seem to care who knew it. "My character has been through so, so much, and there's really nothing more left for her to do," she told Access Hollywood.

To quickly recap: Marissa has gone from riches to rags (albeit really nice, designer rags), caught more than one boyfriend cheating on her, struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and depression, was blackmailed by her mother, shot a guy and got expelled--temporarily.

Any of which could be pretty overwhelming for a teenager in real life, but for a primetime soap? That's nothing!

Even though that sort of onscreen trauma is enough to give any young lovely a host of frown lines, Barton has kept her complexion intact and is currently a spokesmodel for Neutrogena and Bebe.

And now that the deed is done, Barton has shown the opposite of hard feelings, telling Newsweek that she's glad her character died.

"Well, I was really excited that I get to die, to be honest," she said. "I've done pretty much everything else with the character. It was better than one of those lame farewells."

To keep herself busy now that life's no longer a beach, the 20-year-old actress is mulling a trip to London to study acting. But in the meantime she has several big-screen projects in the work, including Guilty Pleasures with Hayden Christiansen, due next year; the romantic drama Closing the Ring with Shirley MacLaine and Neve Campbell; and the supernatural thriller Hexxx.

It's also possible Barton escaped The O.C. just in time. Next season, the drama goes up Thursdays at 9 p.m. against CBS' CSI, ABC's Grey's Anatomy and NBC's pet project Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Someone might get burned.