The Law And Order: SVU Episode You Forgot Starred Mischa Barton

Per IMDb, Mischa Barton was a successful child star, appearing in "All My Children," "Notting Hill," and "The Sixth Sense" — though her biggest role to date came as doomed popular girl Marissa Cooper in "The O.C." Though the hit teen show wrapped in 2007, and Barton's character was killed off at the end of Season 2, she has found it hard ever since to establish herself as a serious actor. It also didn't help matters that she was a tabloid staple alongside the likes of Lindsay Lohan in the early-to-mid 2000's.

E! News chronicles how the talented, theater-trained actor went from being the "It" Girl of the moment to falling from grace. Per the outlet, Barton was receiving invites to attend some of the biggest star-studded events in Hollywood, when a series of incidents with drugs and alcohol halted her ascent to stardom. Today, she has cultivated a dodgy reputation for confusing and often dangerous behavior, whether it's her frequent hospitalizations or her DUI arrest. In 2009, Barton attempted to make a comeback with a leading role in the TV series "The Beautiful Life," which was cancelled after just a few episodes. The following year, the actor made another bid for mainstream success with a role on "Law & Order: SVU."

Mischa Barton embraced a grittier role on "Law & Order: SVU"

Per InStyle, Mischa Barton left Marissa Cooper firmly in the rearview when she popped up on "Law & Order: SVU," in a Season 11 episode titled "Savior." In it, Barton played a pregnant ex-prostitute named Gladys Dalton, who became integral to the central investigation after witnessing the murder of two call girls. Gladys ultimately agreed to testify against the killer, an evil minister who left behind prayer cards at the scene of every crime. However, Gladys ended up giving birth prematurely and left Benson (Mariska Hargitay) quite literally holding the severely ill baby.

It was a gritty role, the kind that Barton was eager to take on after leaving "The O.C." — especially since she didn't have the easiest time on the show, as she told E! News. These days, Barton is looking to the future and remaining optimistic about all the projects she's done thus far, as well as everything she still has left to achieve. As the "Hills: New Beginnings" star told The Guardian, "I've had every opportunity to walk away from the industry and come back to it. Have there been huge interruptions in the middle? Yes. But I think there's plenty of time to see. I'm positive that I can find the right thing for me." Thanks to her years of experience in the industry, the "O.C." alum finally understands "what my strengths are and I know the type of people I like to work with."