Actress Mischa Barton on "psych hold" in L.A

Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:54pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Mischa Barton, whose career cooled following her exit from the hit television show "The O.C.," has been hospitalized in Los Angeles for psychiatric observation, a news report said on Thursday.

Barton, 23, was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Wednesday, after police placed her under an involuntary psychiatric hold, the TV gossip show "Access Hollywood" said.

Barton's spokesman said the actress was "safely transferred to medical treatment for which she remains hospitalized, as per the recommendation of her doctor." He declined further comment.

"Access Hollywood" quoted an unidentified source as saying Barton was placed under Section 5150 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code by police and transported to Cedars-Sinai. Pop star Britney Spears was also placed on a 5150 hold twice in 2008 during her highly public meltdown.

The London-born, New York-raised actress made her breakthrough in the teen soap "The O.C.," playing a troubled, bi-curious socialite. But her character was killed off at the end of the third season in 2006, and the show was canceled the following year. The actress has appeared in a strong of low-profile features since then.

Last year, she pleaded no contest to drunken driving in Los Angeles and was sentenced to three years probation. In 2007, she was briefly hospitalized for what a spokesperson described as a bad reaction to medication.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; editing by Todd Eastham)