Throwback Thursday: Nashville's Chris Carmack Goes Shirtless for the Cover

4.3.2014

By Stacy Lambe

When Chris was still known as Luke from The O.C.

It's been over a decade since Luke Ward sneered, "Welcome to the O.C., bitch." Those five words would become the most quotable line from The O.C., FOX's teen drama, and of Chris Carmack's career.

Then an Abercrombie & Fitch model turn actor, Carmack became the show's resident bad boy resembling the bushy-haired blond villains of the late '80s. Luckily for Carmack, the show allowed Luke to develop into a fully-fleshed character with his own set of problems, including discovering his father was gay and sleeping with his girlfriend's mother to satisfy his loneliness. 

After leaving the show, Carmack modeled for the cover of Out magazine, showcasing the abs and square jaw that made fans swoon in the first place. (We're fairly certain no swimsuits were actually remembered, just the eye candy.) 

In the years since, Carmack has appeared in a number of shows before finding a new a home on ABC's country music soap, Nashville. On the show he plays the closeted aspiring country singer Will Lexington, which in some ways, is a call back to his O.C. days.

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"I think Will might have a mild case of sexual Asperger’s," Carmack said of his character last fall. "He doesn’t know better — all he knows is how to go to a bar and take home whatever drunk girl comes on to him. With Gunner he stopped pushing everything down; he let himself get swept up."

While Lexington continues to discover who he is, we can enjoy who Carmack once was: The sun-kissed bad boy of California. 

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