Whatever Happened To Chad Michael Murray?

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During the heyday of WB teen TV, Chad Michael Murray was one of the most crushable actors. He had stints as bad boys on "Gilmore Girls" and "Dawson's Creek" before starring for six seasons as a high school basketball player in the small-town teen soap "One Tree Hill." But after leaving "One Tree Hill," Murray seemed to withdraw from the spotlight a bit.

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Despite taking on a lower profile in his post-teen heartthrob era, Chad Michael Murray has been consistently working in the decade-plus since leaving his biggest role behind. What's he been up to since then? Here's what happened to Chad Michael Murray.

He was briefly married to One Tree Hill co-star Sophia Bush

When they were 24 and 23 years old, Chad Michael Murray and "One Tree Hill" co-star Sophia Bush got married. According to People, the pair had a Santa Monica oceanside wedding in April 2005. The marriage didn't last, however, and the two separated just five months later. 

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Bush avoided discussing the marriage as much as possible over the next 10 years, but she then wrote an essay for Cosmopolitan in 2017 detailing the difficult experience. She wrote, "In my 20s, when I was starting out my career as an actor, I wasn't looking for a relationship, but one found me and became serious, even though I hadn't planned to settle down until my 30s. But when the person you're with asks you to marry him, you think: This must be happening because it's supposed to." 

She explained that while the period was traumatic for her, she now has moved on and realized "that relationships often serve a specific purpose at a certain point in time."

He was engaged to a One Tree Hill extra for seven years

Soon after splitting from "One Tree Hill" co-star Sophia Bush, Chad Michael Murray got involved with (and planned to marry) a second actress from the show. In 2006, Murray got engaged to Kenzie Dalton, a cheerleading extra on "OTH," who was then a high school senior. He proposed to Dalton before his divorce with Bush was even finalized. 

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They stayed together for seven years, but they never ended up getting married and ultimately broke up in 2013. Before they parted ways, Murray told Us Weekly, "She is a little stunner. She is a sweetheart. She is my best friend and we have been together a long time."

He joined the Marvel universe as Jack Thompson on Agent Carter

These days, every actor dreams of nabbing an alter ego in the world of Marvel, but Chad Michael Murray was one of the lucky few to nab an identity in the Marvel universe: Jack Thompson. But unfortunately for him, the part came along with one of the few Marvel properties that didn't have the success or lasting power of most movies and TV shows from the cinematic universe.

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From 2015 to 2016, Murray appeared as Thompson in 14 out of the 18 total episodes of the ABC series "Agent Carter," which focused on secret agent Peggy Carter from the "Captain America" franchise. Murray played Agent Carter's office nemesis, who later became her boss, and even later appeared to possibly die in a cliffhanger that was never resolved when the show was canceled after two seasons.

He married actress Sarah Roemer in 2015

After two high-profile relationships that didn't work out, it makes sense that Murray married his next love completely under the radar. In 2015, Murray's rep announced and Us Weekly reported taht he had married actress Sarah Roemer, his co-star from the Crackle TV show "Chosen," in a secret ceremony. 

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When discussing the surprise marriage, Murray explained why they kept their relationship details on down low to E! News: "I'm a romantic. I'm a family guy. I want that core. I tend to keep everything quiet. I love my life. That's the part that I keep for myself." And, after some unforgettable public romance drama, it seems that the actor has kept to his word about the sanctity of his relationship and family with Roemer. 

He and Sarah Roemer have two kids

Murray and wife Sarah Roemer are parents to two children, a son born in 2015 and a daughter born in 2017. In 2016, Murray raved about how happy he is to be a dad to Entertainment Tonight, saying, "For me, it was the greatest thing that's ever happened to me. Having kids is a game changer and I think you're always walking around with the mentality that you want to make sure that they're proud and you want to represent them well and just be a great leader." 

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On his social media, you can often spot glimpses of Murray's fathering in action, whether he's tweeting a photo of himself having a staring contest with his son's stuffed "bun bun" or sharing an Instagram photo of his newborn daughter's tiny hand holding his own with the caption "Don't worry little girl you can hold on as tight as you want for as long as you want, I'm already yours & I'll never let go."  

He still pays tribute to One Tree Hill fans

Even though Murray decided to leave One Tree Hill three years before the show concluded in 2012, he still appreciates the show's fans. In 2017, he attended the sixth annual Return to Tree Hill fan convention in Wilmington, North Carolina (where the show was filmed). 

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As reported by Us Weekly, he took a photo in front of the bridge featured in the "One Tree Hill" opening credits and shared it on Instagram, where he wrote, "Who's [sic] bridge? OUR BRIDGE! Wonder how many [basketball emoji] have accidentally bounced off & are living down below... #OTH"

He co-wrote a thriller, American Drifter, with bestselling author Heather Graham

Yes, your celebrity crush from 2002 is now a novelist. In November 2017, Chad Michael Murray's debut book was released. Murray teamed up with author Heather Graham (not the actress, the prolific bestselling writer) to pen "American Drifter," a romantic thriller about a young army veteran and a free-spirited journalist on the run from drug lords in Brazil. 

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Murray even reads the audiobook if you want to experience his writing and performing at the same time. After an event to celebrate the book's release, Murray wrote on Instagram, "So humbled by all your support & love for this book. It's an honor to bring it to you."

He's starred in the Hallmark movie The Beach House in 2018

In May 2018, the actor made his debut on the Hallmark Channel in their original movie "The Beach House" alongside "Friday Night Lights" star Minka Kelly and "Groundhog Day" actress Andie MacDowell. 

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The movie, which is adapted from a Mary Alice Monroe novel, is about a woman who returns to her family's beach house where she reconnects with her mother and saves hundreds of sea turtles during a bad storm.  

He publicly supports the OTH cast in speaking out against harassment from the showrunner

In November 2017, a number of women who worked on "One Tree Hill" publicly accused showrunner Mark Schwahn of inappropriate behavior. First, writer Audrey Wauchope wrote a series of tweets recounting Schwahn's invasive touching and comments. She wrote in of her tweets: "The staff sat on couches. Female writers would try to get the spot where the showrunner wouldn't sit as to not be touched. Often men would help out by sitting next to him, thus protecting the women." 

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Soon after, 18 other women who worked on the show released a joint letter (via Variety) in support of Wauchope. The letter said in part, "Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally. More than one of us is still in treatment for post-traumatic stress." 

Murray said he was "proud" of these women in a note he tweeted out. His message said, "The women of OTH have always been strong and incredible. Today they've made us all even more proud by standing as a beacon of what is right, and continuing to lead & change the atmosphere of society."

He pushed back when Sophia Bush said she felt pressured to marry him

The marriage between "One Tree Hill" costars Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush lasted for a brief five months. The young celebrity couple finalized their divorce in 2006, but years later, Sophia Bush felt more comfortable coming forward about some of the "pressure" she felt at the time.

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During an Andy Cohen interview in 2018, Bush said marrying Murray wasn't something she "really wanted to do." When Murray and Bush married, she was 22, and he was 23. According to Bush, she felt a lot of pressure to maintain their relationship from her "bosses," presumably the creators of "One Tree Hill." Bush said she thought ending the relationship would let everybody down.

After the interview, which did not paint Murray in the best light, his team came forward with a statement pushing back against Bush's narrative. "Chad conducts himself in a completely professional manner and would never marry for any reason but love," a representative told People. They went on to say that it had been thirteen years since the divorce, implying that his past with Bush was far from Murray's mind. "He has completely moved on and doesn't feel the need to engage in this type of behavior," the representative added.

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He played a cult leader on Riverdale

One of Chad Michael Murray's most recent noteworthy parts was as a recurring character on the hit CW show "Riverdale." Murray appeared in the series for eight episodes as Edgar Evernever in 2019. In the role, Murray had the chance to play a charismatic cult leader, which is a character he told Vanity Fair he thought most actors would jump at the chance to play, and one that seems perfect for someone as charming as Murray.

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Although "Riverdale" is a teen drama, it differs from the shows that made Murray famous. Unlike "One Tree Hill" and "Gilmore Girls," "Riverdale" delves into darker themes and follows more surreal plots. Murray said he enjoyed the freedom being on a show like "Riverdale" gave him. "It's fun because it may fall into the same teen culture, but at the same time, I'm not stuck in a box. There's opportunity to really create a character and have a little bit more fun," he said.

Taking the part of Edgar Evernever was also a no-brainer for Murray because his wife, Sarah Roemer, is a big fan of the show. As soon as he heard about the role, Roemer told him he had to do it. And it seems that was great advice as Murray clearly enjoyed the role and working with the "Riverdale" cast.

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He's picky with his roles due to religious beliefs

After making a name for himself as a teen heartthrob on "One Tree Hill," Chad Michael Murray's star seemed to be on the rise at an unstoppable rate. So, it came as a surprise to many that his career didn't take off as they expected. Though Murray has had several TV and movie roles since the early 2000s, none have given him the same level of notoriety as playing Lucas on "One Tree Hill." If you're wondering why that is, the answer may be partly because the actor is quite picky about his gigs.

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Speaking to Fox News Digital, Murray opened up about turning down many roles over the years because they don't align with his values. Murray is a devout Christian, and he prioritizes his faith when navigating what projects he wants to be part of. "I stick to the things I believe in," the actor explained, saying that this is better for him and everyone on the project. He added later that he feels more comfortable and confident in projects that align with his religious views. Saying he feels "stronger and safer walking onto my sets every day knowing that I have God with me every day."

He's in a new drama series, Sullivan's Crossing

In March 2023, Chad Michael Murray's new drama series, "Sullivan's Crossing," premiered on CTV. Murray plays Cal Jones in the 10-episode series. Speaking to CTV Atlantic, the actor described his new role as "the mystery man." He stars alongside Maggie Sullivan, who plays a woman returning to the town she grew up in to reconnect with her estranged father. The father is played by Murray's former "Gilmore Girls" costar, Scott Patterson, making the series a bit of a reunion. 

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For the small town setting, they filmed the series in the Maritimes region of Canada, where the actor and his family quickly felt right at home. Murray's wife and two children moved up to the Halifax area while he was filming, and they lived as much like locals as they could. His children even joined local dance and football teams. Murray seemed enchanted by the area and said he would even consider moving there. "We just got as immersed and as involved in the community as we could ... We all love it, I mean, genuinely. We would love to call Halifax home, we would, it's one of those places that you'll never forget. The kids miss it," he said. And it seems they'll get to return, as the series was renewed for a second season.

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Hilarie Burton shared how Murray defended her against OTH creator

Since "One Tree Hill" ended, many actresses and other women who worked on the series have come forward about the inappropriate behavior of the show's creator, Mark Schwahn. Murray has shown public support for them speaking out. And recently, one of his costars, Hilarie Burton, revealed that Murray also stuck up for her while they were still filming the series.

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Burton shared her experience during an episode of "Drama Queens," a podcast that she cohosts with fellow "One Tree Hill" stars Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz. During the episode, Burton recalled how she was assaulted by Schwahn. She said that Schwahn was very obvious about the way he treated her in public because he didn't think anyone would say anything to him. However, Chad Michael Murray did confront Schwahn about his behavior at the time. "Chad walked up and goes, 'What are you doing?' He said that to our boss in the bar." Explaining the situation more, Burton said a lot of others didn't speak up because they had more to lose than Murray. On the other hand, Murray wasn't as worried because, according to Burton, "he knew our boss hated him anyway."

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If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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