Rachel Sarah Bilson (born August 25, 1981) is an American actress.
Born to a California show business family, Bilson made her television debut in 2003, and then landed the role of Summer Roberts on the prime-time drama series The O.C. Bilson made her movie debut in The Last Kiss (2006) and starred in the science-fiction-action film Jumper (2008). From 2011 to 2015, she starred as Dr. Zoe Hart on The CW series Hart of Dixie.
Bilson attended Grossmont College, a community college in a suburb of San Diego, but dropped out after one year, taking her father’s advice to pursue a professional acting career. She then made several appearances in commercials, including advertisements for Subway restaurants, Raisin Bran and Pepto-Bismol.
She made her screen acting debut in early 2003, appearing in one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. Bilson was subsequently cast in The O.C., which debuted in August 2003. Her character, Summer Roberts, was initially intended to appear in only a few episodes, but became a series regular after a successful run, as Bilson’s on-screen romance with Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) became a noted aspect of the series.
At the 2005 Teen Choice Awards, she collected three awards: “Choice Hottie Female”, “Choice TV Actress (Drama)” and “Best Onscreen TV Chemistry” (jointly won with Adam Brody). In 2005, Maxim magazine named her sixth in their annual “Hot 100 List”; in 2006, the publication awarded her #14. The UK edition of FHM Magazine named her 28th in the 2006 100 Sexiest Women in the World list, while the US Edition Ranked her 77th in 2005. Bilson was also named one of People magazine’s “100 Most Beautiful People” in 2006. Before appearing in Maxim, Bilson had turned down requests to appear seminude in men’s magazines, specifying that she feels that her body “is sacred” and “not there for the whole world to see.” Bilson’s first film role was in The Last Kiss, a romantic comedy-drama also starring Zach Braff in 2006. She played a college student who seduces Braff’s character. It was reported that she called for a body double during the sex scenes because she was uncomfortable being nude in front of the camera. One review of the film noted that Bilson played the role with “surprising depth”, although another critic described her role as “Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction as an airhead valley girl with a hot bod”. In September 2006, Bilson refuted rumors she had been cast to star in a film version of the comic book character Wonder Woman; In late 2006, Bilson was cast in the film Doug Liman’s thriller Jumper, as the replacement for actress Teresa Palmer; the film was released on February 14, 2008. She appeared in a two-episode arc on The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz’s NBC comedy, Chuck, and in the film New York, I Love You. She appeared in the 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother (“Girls Versus Suits”) as Ted Mosby’s latest love interest. In September 2008, she started shooting the indie romantic film Waiting for Forever, directed by James Keach. In September 2009 Rachel appeared as a celebrity guest judge in the third episode of Project Runway (season 6). Bilson starred in the 2011 indie film L!fe Happens. In 2011, Bilson began starring in The CW series Hart of Dixie, executive produced by The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz. On May 7, 2015, the CW officially canceled the show after four seasons. In 2017, Bilson joined the cast of CMT’s Nashville which reunites her with her former The O.C. co-star Chris Carmack. In November 2017, it was announced that Bilson will be starring in the upcoming ABC drama series Take Two. The show was given a straight-to-series order.