Where is the cast of ’One Tree Hill’ now?

Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

Some television shows are so iconic that you can watch them repeatedly, reigniting feelings you had when you first tuned in and sparking new ones. 

One Tree Hill is almost a pop culture facet of its own; airing from 2003 to 2012, it was a love letter to basketball, relationships, and the life-altering friendships we all hope to carry in our hearts forever. 

What started as a show about a group of friends and frenemies in high school turned into a show where gratitude, dreams coming true, and heartache were all rolled into one. When the final episode aired, fans weren’t quite ready to say goodbye, so we revisit Tree Hill often, listening to our favorite stories told by our favorite characters.

A heartbreaking revelation came in the years after the conclusion of the series in that creator Mark Schwahn made working conditions for the women on set unsafe, unfavorable, and unfair. Hilarie Burton alleged that misconduct happened at the hands of Schwahn, and she wasn’t the only one. 

There’s a quote in an episode of One Tree Hill, lyrics from a song that says, “Somebody told me that this is the place, where everything’s better and everything’s safe.” It’s the quote fans think of when they think of the series, and it’s something that stars Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, and Sophia Bush have reclaimed over the last year. 

Hosting a podcast called Drama Queens, the actresses who played Peyton, Haley, and Brooke are doing a rewatch of the series and telling fans their favorite behind-the-scenes stories as they go along. As they take back the story that brought them together two decades ago, fans are rewatching the series alongside them and returning to the river court, Tree Hill High School, and all the places that made it feel like home.

The show was such a fan favorite because of the cast who breathed life into the characters: viewers related to the Brookes and the Peytons or the Haleys and the Nathans. They saw themselves in Lucas and Skills, in Jake and Bevin — they had a home in Tree Hill because of the actors’ dedication to their characters. 

So just where is the cast of One Tree Hill now? What are they doing since the show aired its final episode? Let’s take a look. 

Sophia Bush

Sophia Bush has continued her career in entertainment, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. In addition to her passion for her craft, she also dedicates her time, talent, and platform to various causes, social initiatives, and anyone who needs a safe space. 

Bush portrayed Brooke Davis on One Tree Hill, and her character underwent one of the most transformative growth sequences throughout the entire series. She started as someone who felt defined by what she had, focusing on her social status, money, and body — Brooke thought she was only the sum of what she could offer others. 

As she grew up and saw her actual value and worth, Brooke grew in confidence and made her dreams come true. Her happily ever after wasn’t achieved without struggles and deep lows, but she made it through and built a life that she truly loved. 

Since her time on One Tree Hill, she’s taken on roles in projects such as Partners, Chicago P.D., Love, Victor, and most recently, The Good Sam. She’s also had starring roles in films like Incredibles 2, Hard Luck Love Song, and False Positive. 

She also hosts the Drama Queens podcast with Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz, and it’s a must-listen for anyone who has ever metaphorically spent time in Tree Hill.

Hilarie Burton

Hilarie Burton brought Peyton Sawyer to life on One Tree Hill and gave us all someone to relate to. Yes, her storyline had some heartbreaking lows, but she also had some beautiful high points. She found love, despite believing for so long that people always leave. Her story taught us all that sometimes, they come back. 

As Peyton grew, she stepped more into the compassionate, vulnerable, and kind friend you hope to have. She fought her demons and won, and she looked fear in the face and told it to be quiet. Peyton was a warrior, and that is also true of Burton.

Burton has been open about personal struggles in her life, and she has always pushed through them. She recently wrote a book, The Rural Diaries, which includes life lessons from the Mischief Farm, where she lives with her children and husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. 

Burton has also continued to work in entertainment, continuing a relationship with MTV even after her time on One Tree Hill — Burton was a co-host on TRL between 2000 and 2009. She worked on White Collar soon after she left Tree Hill and had roles in Grey’s Anatomy, Lethal Weapon, Council of Dads, and an essential guest-starring part in The Walking Dead as Negan’s wife, Lucille. Burton also hosts a true-crime series titled, It Couldn’t Happen Here, and you can watch season 1 on Amazon Video now. 

Fans of Drama Queens know that Burton also joined Bush and Lenz in a special episode of Good Sam

She also starred in several television films, including holiday favorites like Christmas on the Bayou, Summer Villa, and A Christmas Wish. 

Bethany Joy Lenz

Bethany Joy Lenz played Haley James Scott in One Tree Hill, and her character was also as relatable as she was brilliant. Haley wasn’t aware of her greatness until she stepped into it, and that decision changed things in a significant way. 

She grew from a “tutor girl” to a total rockstar, a persona that would stick with her throughout the series. She was brave, challenging, and self-sufficient, and at the same time, she was vulnerable, open, and very much a lover. 

Lenz has continued to work in entertainment since One Tree Hill saw its final Raven’s basketball game. Before OTH, she starred in Guiding Light and had roles in Dexter, Pearson, American Gothic, and Colony. Of course, she also joined her Tree Hill sisters for an episode of Good Sam

Starring in several television films like Snowed-Inn ChristmasPoinsettias for Christmas, Just My Type, and Five Star Christmas, Lenz also lends her talent to roles fans get to revisit every holiday season. 

Her talents don’t stop there; Lenz has also performed in the theater and created beautiful albums and EPs full of songs that’ll undeniably get stuck in your head. Her latest, Snow, is full of holiday tunes that bring you back to your best Christmas memories. 

James Lafferty

James Lafferty played the infamous Nathan Scott in One Tree Hill and, much like Brooke Davis, had a major character arc. Nathan started as a bit of a — well, a jerk. He was the top basketball player at Tree Hill High, had a hot cheerleader girlfriend, and was the kind of guy everyone else wanted to be.

Nathan was also miserable on the inside, that is until he met Haley. Of course, the unlikely pair didn’t immediately click, but they did enjoy the process of getting to know one another and all of the ways it changed them. Slowly at first, then all at once. 

Nathan grew into an incredible man, husband, father, and mentor. He chased his dreams, worked hard to return from heartache and pain, and lived as a hero for his son. 

Where can you see Lafferty now? Since his time on One Tree Hill, he’s had roles in Crisis, Underground, The Haunting of Hill House, and most recently — Everyone is Doing Great and The Right Stuff. He had roles in films like Oculus, Waffle Street, and Small Town Crime. 

Chad Michael Murray

Lucas Scott came to life thanks to Chad Michael Murray, and the “other Scott brother” quickly became the heart and soul of the series. Dan Scott had two sons with two different women in a relatively close timeframe, but they certainly didn’t grow up together in a happily blended family unit. Lucas joined the Ravens varsity basketball team, where Nathan was team captain, and things between them were volatile from day one.

Brothers with nothing in common, or so they thought — different in every sense of the word. Nathan (seemingly) had it all, while Lucas and his mom had faced more struggles. It was a painful set of circumstances, but Lucas made the best of it, and eventually, the two became friends before truly bonding as brothers. Lucas was part of the most epic love triangle in the series, a friend to many, and a character we all adored.

Murray kept acting after One Tree Hill, having enjoyed a career in the business before his time on the series too. Starring in Gilmore Girls and Dawson’s Creek before OTH, he took on roles in Agent Carter, Sun Records, and Riverdale.

He’s also acted in several films, from made-for-television movies like The Beach House, Sand Dollar Cove, and Write Before Christmas to horror movies like House of Wax, Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman, and Camp Coldbrook. Fans might also remember Murray from romantic comedies like Freaky Friday and A Cinderella Story.

Judging by Murray’s social media account, he’s been hard at work this year, so fans should anticipate seeing him in more projects soon.

Lee Norris

Marvin “Mouth” McFadden was a staple to One Tree Hill and a favorite of fans worldwide. He was everyone’s biggest cheerleader, a relentless good guy, and someone who focused on doing the right thing. Mouth wasn’t the “dream” guy of every girl in Tree Hill, but he was the only guy who treated them all fairly and without judgment.

Mouth, of course, went through phases where being everyone’s good guy/friend didn’t exactly spark joy within him, but other than a few rants (usually after a drink or two), he remained the type of person we all hope to know. Mouth also had big dreams and wanted to do sports reporting with honesty. He didn’t wish to give in to the theatrics or focus on the drama, which would play a unique role in the story as the seasons progressed.

Lee Norris was the perfect guy to play Mouth, and he’s often a fan favorite at conventions and someone the cast still raves about anytime they’re asked. While we all love him as Mouth, many first met Norris as Stuart Minkus in Boy Meets World.

Norris continued to act after One Tree Hill, taking on roles in Girl Meets World, The Walking Dead, and films like Gone Girl and Greyhound.

Craig Sheffer

Craig Sheffer brought Uncle Keith to life and played the role with intelligence, compassion, and wisdom that touched everyone in the town of Tree Hill. Brother to the infamous Dan Scott, Keith was the other side of the coin, strong where Dan was weak, kind where he was coldhearted, and loving where he was cold. It was the other brotherly relationship in One Tree Hill — and a significant one.

Uncle Keith treated all the kids in Lucas’ life like one of his own, sharing a fatherly love with a sense of friendship. He also played an essential part in Karen’s life. As Lucas’ uncle and a life-long friend to Karen, he was their closest person, and we would also see him fall in love with Karen (or maybe finally admit it after years and years).

Keith’s time was cut short in the most heart-wrenching way, but his legacy long surpassed his untimely death, and he was never a forgotten figure in Tree Hill. Sheffer brought so much heart and talent to the role that it would have been impossible to lose his impact entirely.

So what has Sheffer been up to since his time on One Tree Hill? Still in the entertainment business and having had a lengthy career before his time on the series, you can see him in American Horror Story: Double Feature, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Mark, and Widow’s Point, to name a few.

Andy Warhol also photographed Scheffer, and that’s a point of discussion in one of the episodes of the One Tree Hill podcast, Drama Queens.

Moira Kelly

Playing Karen Roe in One Tree Hill, Moira Kelly is a phenomenal actress with a penchant for playing roles that viewers are immediately drawn to. Her entertainment career began far before her time in Tree Hill, and she’s even got ties to the wonderful world of Disney with her role as (adult) Nala in The Lion King.

Kelly also played in everything from Changing Habits and Two Tickets to Paradise to The Resident, Heroes, and Christmas in Louisiana.

Kelly as Roe was a phenomenal addition to the cast of One Tree Hill and, like Uncle Keith, gave loving advice to the teenagers in her son’s life. She ran the local cafe and was a well-loved character, but that doesn’t mean that she didn’t have times of strife. In fact, when she tried to be involved with something happening at Tree Hill High, a group of mothers quickly attempted to bully her out of it.

Several times within the series, she was subjected to heartache far beyond what she felt equipped to handle, and fans found themselves crying alongside her, but Karen quickly gained strength for Lucas and to live a life she could be proud of. She was one of the most “involved” parents in Tree Hill and one that audiences will always be fans of.

Antwon Tanner

One Tree Hill wouldn’t have been the same without Antwon Tanner as Skills Taylor. Skills was a close friend of Lucas Scott and Mouth McFadden and was a constant at the river court. He saw basketball as something fun, something he loved, but not something Skills took seriously until he was picked up for the Ravens’ varsity team.

Fans saw Skills as he grew up, and he quickly became a fan favorite. We all hoped to have a best friend like Skills, someone who would support us but call us out just as quickly. He had pearls of wisdom far beyond his years, and he frequently reminded those around him to remember what was most important.

We also saw Skills as he had a very interesting relationship later in the show, but it reminded us that he genuinely believed in love. He wanted happiness, and he had a soft heart underneath that exterior. Skills never tried to be anyone but himself, and we’re lucky for it.

Tanner has remained in the business after his time in One Tree Hill and can be seen in several other movies and tv shows such as A Christmas Wish, Divided We Fall, Brutally Normal to Bronzeville, Get Shorty, and Lucifer. He’s also a frequent guest on the Tree Hill convention circuit.

Jackson Brundage

Jackson Brundage played Jamie Scott in One Tree Hill, son of Nathan and Haley and everyone’s favorite kid. Nathan and Haley found out they were expecting during their senior year, and fans saw a baby Jamie at the end of season 4 and a toddler after the time jump. During Jamie’s early childhood, we also noticed that several things changed for the family unit.

A sweet, soft-hearted, and determined kid, Jamie grew up alongside his parent’s close friends in Tree Hill. He had uncles and aunts in all of Haley and Nathan’s friends, giving him a great support system. Following in his dad’s footsteps, Jamie loved basketball, and he loved to make people laugh.

Brundage grew up on the set of One Tree Hill, but that wasn’t his only acting role. He also starred in See Dad Run and Harvey Beaks, with guest spots in NCIS and Friends with Better Lives. Brundage’s last acting role was in 2015, and it looks like he’s left the spotlight for a more normal ride.

Danneel Ackles

Danneel Ackles played Rachel Gatina, the girl we all loved to hate, when she showed up for her first day at Tree Hill High. Viewers had already formed bonds with our favorite characters, and Rachel certainly didn’t have any plans on becoming one of them, but there was always another layer to what she brought to the table.

Rachel frequently fought with the characters we loved so much, and she is the reason behind quite a few tragedies in Tree Hill. Still, when she shared her vulnerable side — most specifically with Brooke — we understood some of the madness behind her motives.

A deeply lonely character, Rachel seemed to have it all, but she always wanted more. When she eventually got the picture-perfect life she thought would bring her joy, she once again realized it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Rachel had one of the hardest lessons to learn in OTH, realizing that the constant fight for perfection is unending and usually fruitless.

Ackles had a career before One Tree Hill and has continued it after. Starring in One Life to Live, Friends with Benefits, and Supernatural, Ackles has been a staple of various sitcoms. She’s also had roles in film projects like The Roommate, Naughty or Nice, and The Christmas Contract. She’s married to Jensen Ackles and a close friend to our favorite ‘Drama Queens’ of One Tree Hill.

Paul Johansson

Describing Dan Scott is something that requires a range of adjectives, and not many of them are very positive. Father to both Nathan and Lucas, he was the definition of living vicariously through his son. He wanted Nathan to be the all-star basketball star, to dominate the court and the school — he wanted his son to live out his own dreams.

Scott did terrible things throughout the series but also had moments of redemption and clarity. The question most often posed regarding Scott was whether his road to redemption was enough. Did a life saved make up for a life lost — or taken?

While he was an easy character to hate, Johansson is an easy guy to love, and the cast of One Tree Hill frequently sings his praises. He’s a well-decorated actor and treated the cast respectfully during their time together.

Johansson plays a role in movies like The Notebook, John Q, Dear Eleanor, and the upcoming film God Is a Bullet, as well as shows like Lonesome Dove, Highlander: The Raven, and Van Helsing.

Robbie Jones

Robbie Jones breathed life into one of the most beloved characters in One Tree Hill history, with a storyline so prominent that it still breaks our hearts to think about. Q didn’t join the cast until after the time jump, but the impact of his character is almost hard to explain.

Viewers first met Q as a hyperfocused basketball star who didn’t care as much for the academics and educational side of things. He didn’t think he was smart enough, not worth the effort, so he focused on what he was good at and didn’t apply himself to anything else. Only after Hayley became his teacher did Q find the drive to push forward and apply himself.

As he grew, he also became more open and shared a softer side of himself. Lucas and Skills coached him in basketball and in life alongside Nathan and Haley. Q soon became a mentor to Jamie too, and the two became best friends. Their bond was a favorite of viewers everywhere, and their goodbye was the most tragic. Q’s time on OTH was cut short, but his legacy lived through all those who loved him.

Q was such a loveable character because of the level of talent that Jones brought to the table. He’s continued a career in entertainment since he took on the mantle of Q in Hellcats, American Dreamer, Titans, and the recent horror film Fantasy Island.

Barry Corbin

Barry Corbin was the backbone of One Tree Hill as Coach Whitey Durham and a mentor to the kids at Tree Hill High. Having been a Tree Hill Raven himself, he knew how important the team was for various reasons. Sports and athletics were a part of the experience for high schoolers — but he also built a group of young men who knew what mattered on and off the court.

Whitey went above and beyond what a teacher and coach usually are, and most viewers who have had that one stand-out coach in their lives truly loved Durham. He was always ready to hand out wisdom, not afraid to be honest with the kids, and he realized what was important in life — embracing what you love.

Barry Corbin is a phenomenal actor; it’s almost hard to summarize his career. He’s had a lengthy career in the business, spanning years before and after his time as Durham. His first role was in 1976 as Waldo in Movin’ On, and from there, he would star in Dallas, Northern Exposure, The Big Easy, Anger Management, The Ranch, and most recently — Yellowstone.

He’s also starred in films like The Fanatics, Urban Cowboy, No Country for Old Men, and Stir Crazy. A multifaceted actor — being a fan of Corbin is easy.

If you feel like binge-watching One Tree Hill now, you’re not alone — and you can catch the series in its entirety on HBO Max. It’s always a good time to go back to Tree Hill.