Sunday, 10 March 2013

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Mischa Anne Marsden Barton (born 24 January 1986) is an English and American film, television, and stage actress, and occasional fashion model. She began her acting career on the stage, appearing in Tony Kushner's Slavs! and took the lead in James Lapine's Twelve Dreams at New York's Lincoln Center. She made her screen debut, making a guest appearance on the American soap opera All My Children (1996). She then voiced a character on the Nickelodeon cartoon series KaBlam! (1996–1997). Her first major film role was as the protagonist of Lawn Dogs (1997), an acclaimed drama co-starring Sam Rockwell. She continued acting, appearing in major box office pictures such as the romantic comedy, Notting Hill (1999) and M. Night Shyamalan's psychological thriller, The Sixth Sense (1999). She also starred in the critically acclaimed indie crime drama Pups (1999).
She later appeared in the independent drama, Lost and Delirious (2001) and played Evan Rachel Wood's girlfriend during a guest-arc on ABC's Once and Again (2001–2002). She is best known for her role as Marissa Cooper in the Fox television series The O.C. (2003–2006), for which she received two Teen Choice Awards and a Prism Award nomination. The role catapulted Barton into mainstream fame, and Entertainment Weekly named her the "It Girl" of 2003.
She has since appeared in the comedy remake St Trinian's (2007), the Richard Attenborough-directed drama Closing the Ring (2007) and Assassination of a High School President (2008). She returned to television, starring in the short-lived Ashton Kutcher-produced CW series, The Beautiful Life: TBL (2009). In 2012, she returned to the stage, performing in the Irish production of Steel Magnolias.Mischa Barton was born in Hammersmith,[1] West London,[2][3] to an Irish mother,[4] Nuala (née Quinn),[5] a photographer, and an English father, Paul Marsden Barton,[5] a foreign exchange broker from Manchester.[1] Barton's grandfather on her mother's side was a Gaelic language professor at the University of Belfast.[6] She has two sisters, younger Hania and elder Zoe, a barrister in London.[7][8] Barton briefly attended St. Paul's Girls' School in Hammersmith,[9] but her father's work took the family to New York City when Barton was six years old. In 2006, ten days after her twentieth birthday,[1] she became a naturalised citizen of the United States. She has retained her British citizenship and, in reference to her English roots, states "I actually feel more comfortable in England a lot of the time",[10] yet stresses that, "I like people to discern that I'm an English-Irish girl who grew up in New York."[1]
Barton graduated from the Professional Children's School in Manhattan in 2004, and took a summer short course called Acting Shakespeare at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, in June and July 2006,[11] at Sir Richard Attenborough's urging,[12][13] after he directed her in Closing the Ring.Barton began acting at the age of eight, co-starring in the Off-Broadway premiere of the 1994 play, Slavs!, written by Tony Kushner. Vincent Canby of The New York Times praised Barton's "so fine"[14] and "chillingly authoritative"[15] performance. New York magazine also praised her as "a darling little girl, [that] exhibits consummate charm".[16] She appeared in several other Off-Broadway productions, taking a lead role in James Lapine's Twelve Dreams alongside Marisa Tomei at Lincoln Center. Canby again praised Barton, noting that she "has a sweet gravity as the doomed Emma".[14] In 1996 Barton had a supporting role in Catherine Butterfield's Where the Truth Lies which opened at New York's Irish Repertory Theatre. The New York Times also remarked that "the winning child actresses Brittany Boyd and Mischa Barton are already smart enough not to overplay the naivete and precocity of their respective characters."[17] In 1997, she appeared alongside Diane Wiest at the The Public Theater in Naomi Wallace's One Flea Spare. The New York production went on to win the OBIE Award for Best Play.She made her film debut in Lawn Dogs, which won awards at film festivals around the world. Barton won critical favour for her role, with Janet Maslin of The New York Times praising her "poised" performance[18] and Empire celebrating her "hypnotic central performance".[19] Barton then appeared in Notting Hill (1999) and The Sixth Sense (1999). Both films were critically and commercially successful, respectively earning $363,889,700 and $672,806,292. She also starred in Pups, a "Bonnie and Clyde for the MTV generation",[20] alongside Burt Reynolds; along with her co-star Cameron Van Hoy, film critic Roger Ebert called their work in the film "two of the most natural and freed performances I have seen by actors of any age."[21]
Barton first appeared on television in 1996, as young Lily Montgomery in the soap opera All My Children. She guest-starred in eight episodes of the television series Once and Again as Jessie Sammler's (Evan Rachel Wood's) girlfriend, Katie Singer. In 2001, she returned to film and starred in the independent Canadian drama, Lost and Delirious, based on the novel The Wives of Bath by Susan Swan; she also starred in Julie Johnson (2001) alongside Lili Taylor and Courtney Love, playing the daughter of a woman in a lesbian relationship. Barton also had a supporting role in the independent teen drama Tart (2001) with Brad Renfro and Dominique Swain.
Other television appearances include an episode of the Fox series Fastlane. She also appears as the love interest in James Blunt's music video "Goodbye My Lover" (2005)[22] and in Enrique Iglesias' music video "Addicted" (2003).In August 2003, Fox premiered the television series The O.C., about affluent teenagers with stormy personal lives who reside in scenic Orange County, California. The show became an overnight success due to its large fanbase,[24] and resulted in Barton's fame being increased through her role as Marissa Cooper. Barton departed from the show in the third-season finale in May 2006. During her time on the show, Barton garnered several Teen Choice Awards. She was also celebrated by Glamour as the "Next Big Thing"[25] and as Entertainment Weekly's "It Girl 2003" in the magazine's "It List" for top Creative People in Entertainment.[26] The O.C. dropped in ratings dramatically during its third and fourth seasons, and ended in early 2007.In July 2006, Barton appeared on the British comedy variety show The Friday Night Project as a guest host.[28] In 2007, Barton appeared in the films The Oh in Ohio and the comedy film Virgin Territory with Hayden Christensen. She also joined Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer in Richard Attenborough's war drama Closing the Ring. Attenborough praised her, saying "her ability to convey pain and sadness, hopefulness and fear, is riveting".[29] The Independent also noted that "she lends her character a beguiling vulnerability."[29]
She also appeared in the British comedy St Trinians (2007), appearing as a former head girl of that school advising current senior pupils on fashion and style.[29] Later in 2007, Barton was cast in the international film produced by the Russian band t.A.T.u., called You and I. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2008 and was released theatrically in Russia in 2011. She appeared in Assassination of a High School President (2008), co-starring Bruce Willis, which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter praised Barton's "captivating" performance.[30]
She also starred in the horror film Walled In, which was released straight-to-DVD in March 2009. It received mixed reviews, but her performance was praised, with IGN calling her performance "terrific".[31] Her next horror project, Homecoming, received a limited release in July 2009. Barton did not attend the premiere of the psychological thriller due to a medical issue.[32] She also starred in the 2009 film Don't Fade Away. In early 2009 she began filming alongside Martin Sheen in Bhopal: Prayer for Rain a biopic of the Bhopal gas tragedy. The title is currently in post-production and slated for a 2012 release.
In a December 2007 interview, she indicated that she would return to television for the right project; "It's not that I dislike doing television at all. It would be interesting having more creative control over where the storylines go or the characters. But for the right thing, of course."[29] In 2009 she starred as one of the main characters on The Beautiful Life a new series on The CW.[33][34] The series was subsequently cancelled on 25 September 2009 after televising 2 episodes.[35] In December 2009, the technology company HP became the show's sponsor and began airing the show's five episodes on YouTube.[36][37]
She guest starred on a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, played an endangered prostitute in an episode that aired on 3 March 2010.[38] She has since mainly filmed horror and thriller projects, taking roles in The Sibling,[39] Cyberstalker, a Lifetime television film[40] and Apartment 1303 3D, the English-language remake of the Japanese horror film, Apartment 1303.[41] Barton's most recent film appearance was as the protagonist in Mark Edwin Robinson's supernatural romance thriller, Into the Dark.[42]
In May 2012, Barton discussed her recent preference for the horror genre, following roles in Homecoming, Apartment 1303 and Sibling "I literally became obsessed with that genre. I can’t tell you. Because I never watched it when I was younger; it used to be way too terrifying for me." However Barton added that, "I think I’ve gone through my little phase, for the moment."[43] In June, Barton appeared in the new music video of Noel Gallagher's Everybody's on the Run.[44]
In July 2012, it was revealed that Barton would make her stage return in an Irish production of Steel Magnolias. Barton will play Shelby in the production, which will premiere at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin in September and will be followed by a nationwide tour.[45][46] After the premiere on 12 September, Barton received praise for her performance. The Evening Herald wrote "Barton sparkles from the moment she steps on stage...Barton's Shelby is instantly magnetic".[47]
She recently filmed a supporting role in the upcoming action thriller, Homefront. She stars alongside James Franco, Winona Ryder and Jason Statham.[48] In 2013, she was cast in the British drama, Tomorrow, which will be executive-produced by Martin Scorsese.

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