A decade and a half has gone by since the first episode of One Tree Hill aired on September 23, 2003, but it still remains one of the best teen dramas to ever come to television. The series managed to turn actors who were still fumbling through their careers into major stars in its nine-season run. Till date, a good number of the cast of One Tree Hill are yet to surpass the glory and fame they achieved on the show.
The highly-rated series started out as a tale of rivalry between two estranged brothers who are forced to play alongside each other on the basketball team in their high school. One Tree Hill superbly navigated the world of high school drama, following the characters into adulthood as they tried to come to terms with the realities of life. The final episode might have premiered in 2012, but One Tree Hill remains relevant today.
More than just discussing the cast members of this fine drama, you will find facts you probably haven’t heard about them, alongside every other detail that is worth knowing about the guys who made this television drama created by Mark Schwahn a successful endeavor.
Who Are the Cast of One Tree Hill?
Chad Michael Murray as Lucas Scott
As one half of the Scott brother’s basketball rivalry, Lucas was the certified heartthrob of the show until he left at the end of season six. The actor has gone on to star in A Cinderella Story, Outlaws and Angels, Freaky Friday, and A Madea Christmas.
Bethany Joy Lenz as Hayley Scott
Lenz played the character Hayley, Lucas’ best friend who later married Nathan. She was an overachiever who was academically gifted but ended up pursuing careers as a teacher and singer. Lenz is also a successful musician in real life.
James Lafferty as Nathan Scott
Lafferty dazzled audiences with his role as Nathan Scott – the resident bad boy and star of the school’s basketball team who is determined to outdo his half-brother in any way. As the show progresses, he evolves into a kind and emotionally secure character. Without a doubt, he is one of the favorite characters of One Tree Hill.
Sophia Bush as Brooke Davis
Bush is the lovely actress who gives life to the eccentric Brooke Davis. She starts her journey in the show as a childish, party-loving cheerleader, but by the end, she has lost her immature airs and owns her own clothing label. Her character is one of the most interesting to watch.
Paul Johansson as Dan Scott
Dan Scott is the father of Lucas and Nathan. He impregnated his high school girlfriend Karen and college sweetheart Deb in the space of a few months. He ended up choosing to be a present father to one son (Nathan) and abandoning the other (Lucas).
Hilarie Burton as Peyton Sawyer
Cheerleader turned record label owner, Peyton was one of the integral cast members of One Tree Hill. Since leaving the show at the end of the sixth season, Hilarie has starred in White Collar, Extant, Grey’s Anatomy, Lethal Weapon, Forever, and a string of Christmas movies.
Antwon Tanner as Antwon “Skills” Taylor
Skills was introduced as one of Lucas’ friends from childhood who was also a talented football player. After spending years playing at River Court, he eventually joined the school’s basketball team.
Barbara Alyn Woods as Deb Scott
Deb is Nathan’s mother. She was also Dan’s wife until they got divorced. Her other on-screen appearances include roles in Death Clique, The Goldbergs, and Taste It: A Comedy About Recession.
Lee Norris as Marvin “Mouth” McFadden
Norris played Mouth, a close friend of Lucas who later became entangled with other characters after Lucas found a spot on the school’s basketball team. He served as a game announcer before becoming a sports journalist many years after high school. Many would agree that he’s one of the important characters of One Tree Hill.
Danneel Ackles as Rachel Gatina
The actress played Rachel, a cheerleader who was widely disliked by most of her peers with the exception of Mouth and Brooke.
Stephen Colletti as Chase Adams
Colletti’s character was originally introduced as a student at Tree Hill High School who is a member of the school’s celibacy club—Clean Teens.
Jana Kramer as Alex Dupre
Alex Dupre is a bit of a drama queen. She relocated to Tree Hill to serve as the face of Brooke’s clothing line. She is the reason Julian and Brooke’s relationship hit the rocks.
Barry Corbin as Coach Whitey Durham
The actor portrayed Whitey Durham, coach of the school’s basketball team. He appears tough as nails on the surface but is really a man with a big heart.
Moira Kelly as Karen Roe
Kelly was cast as Karen, Lucas’ mother who brought him up by herself after they were abandoned by Dan. She was the owner of two of the favorite hangout spots in town: Tric Nightclub and Karen’s Cafe.
Robert Buckley as Clay Evans
Robert played Clay Evans -Nathan’s friend and sports agent. He is a chronic womanizer, but soon falls for Quinn and gives up his rakish ways.
Austin Nichols as Julian Barker
Peyton’s ex-boyfriend who found his way to Tree Hill to work on adapting a novel written by Lucas into a screenplay. Although his second reason for coming to the fictional town is to get Peyton to take him back, he ends up falling for Brooke instead and ends up marrying her after a rollercoaster-ey relationship.
Shantel VanSanten as Quinn James
Introduced as Hayley’s older sister who gets divorced and decides to move back home, Shantel’s character lives by her own rules. A quality that attracts Clay to her and lays the foundation for their epic love story.
Craig Sheffer as Keith Scott
Keith is Dan’s brother and uncle to Nathan and Lucas. He was the prominent father figure in the latter’s life. He ended up being killed by his own brother.
Lisa Goldstein Kirsch as Millicent Huxtable
Lisa played Millie, a woman who moved to Tree Hill to work as Brooke’s assistant. She also kindled a romantic relationship with Mouth that takes them to Nebraska and back.
7 Things You Didn’t Know About The Cast of One Tree Hill
1. Chad Michael Murray was Actually a Terrible Basketball Player
He might have been a basketball prodigy in One Tree Hill, but in real life, the actor was so bad at the sport that the show had to hire a coach to help him suck a little less. Despite the coaching, he still had to reshoot scenes over and over before he finally got a play right.
2. Hilarie Burton Almost Lost all her Hair Because of the Show
In order to play Peyton, Hilarie’s hair had to die several times over and styles constantly. By the third season of One Tree Hill, her hair became damaged prompting her to cut it off or risk going bald permanently.
3. Sophia Bush Auditioned for her role as Brooke Three Times
You might not be able to imagine anyone else playing Brooke, but it almost happened. At first, Sophia was considered not sexy enough for the role, then two sexy, but the third audition ended up being the charm.
4. None of the Cast of One Tree Hill Appeared in Every Single Episode
In all the 187 episodes of the show, no single cast member was featured in everyone. Sophia Bush almost made the cut, but she missed out on the pilot episode.
5. James Lafferty was the Only Main Cast Member who was a Teenager on the Show
Sure, One Tree Hill was billed as a teen drama, but the actors who portrayed the characters were well into their 20s. Lafferty was the only one who was 18 when the show began.
6. Paul Johansson was Harassed in Real Life Because his Character was too Mean
Dan Scott is easily the most disliked character on One Tree Hill and Paul Johansson often had to pay the price for portraying him.
7. Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush were Involved in a Real-Life Love Drama
After falling in love on the set of One Tree Hill, they got married in 2005, only to get separated a few months later following rumors of affairs. By 2006, the once happy couple were divorced.
Bonus Fact: Among the other accomplishments of the show which spewed 187 episodes that spanned through nine seasons, it won Chad Michael Murray two Teen Choice Awards. The first was in 2004 when he was awarded the accolade under the Choice Breakout TV Star category. He received the award again in 2008 as a Choice TV Actor. More recently (in 2017) the show won the Teen Choice Awards again as the Choice Throwback TV Show.