Apr. 9th, 1986
Marco Island, Florida, USA
Leighton Meester's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
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Leighton Marissa Meester (born April 9, 1986) is an American actress and singer-songwriter, best known for her role as Blair Waldorf in the TV show Gossip Girl.
Born while her mother was serving a federal prison sentence in Fort Worth, Texas. Although her mother, Constance, was serving time in prison for her involvement in a drug ring that smuggled marijuana from Jamaica to the United States, she was able to give birth to Meester in a hospital and nurse her for three months in a halfway house before returning to prison to complete her sentence.
Meester maintained that her parents gave her a normal upbringing and, despite their criminal past, are good people with experience that has only made Meester more open-minded and non-judgmental, "It made me realize that you can't judge anyone—especially your parents—for what they've done in their past, because people change." Meester jokes, "Look, I could've turned out a lot worse".
Meester grew up in Marco Island, Florida, where she participated in productions at a local playhouse. When she was 11 years old, Meester and her mother moved to New York. Meester attended the Professional Children's School and also began working as a model with Wilhemina, booking a Ralph Lauren campaign shot by Bruce Weber and working with then photographer (now film maker) Sofia Coppola. Meester made her television acting debut as a murder victim's friend on an episode of Law & Order. At 14, Meester moved to Los Angeles, California, wanting more stable work and attended Hollywood High School and Beverly Hills High School. She then transferred to a small private school and graduated a year early.
After her television debut in 1999 playing Alyssa Turner in Law & Order, Meester appeared as a guest in two more series before landing her big role in the movie Hangman's Curse, based on the best-selling book by Frank Peretti. Meester also appeared in Tarzan, which ran for only eight episodes. Meester started to land guest roles in other series such as Crossing Jordan, 7th Heaven, Veronica Mars, 24, and Entourage.
In 2005, Meester began a regular role in the series Surface as Savannah Bennet. Meester appeared in two more 2006 movies, Flourish and Inside. She also guest appeared in Numb3rs and in two episodes of House M.D. as Ali, an underage girl who has a crush on House.
After guest roles on CSI: Miami, Shark, and playing the female lead in the horror film Drive-Thru, Meester was cast in CW's Gossip Girl as Blair Waldorf. The show is based on the book series by Cecily von Ziegesar about the lives of New York's privileged Upper East Side young adults. Her performance has been met with critical acclaim.
In 2007 Meester appeared on the television film the The Haunting of Sorority Row, and played a part in the ensemble comedy/drama Remember the Daze. She also appeared in the horror/thriller film Killer Movie in 2008.
Meester will play Rebecca in the upcoming film The Roommate. She has a small role in the upcoming comedy, Date Night, alongside 'Steve Carell' and 'Tina Fey'. It was announced that Meester will star in a pre-menopausal version of Thelma & Louise called Cowgirl Bandits, she will star next to Pineapple Express and Remember The Daze co-star actress 'Amber Heard'. She was also cast in Screen Gems' upcoming drama Love Don't Let Me Down; next to 'Gwyneth Paltrow',' Tim McGraw' and 'Garrett Hedlund'.
In April 2009, Meester signed a recording contract with Universal Republic. The album will have an "electro-pop edge", and will be produced by several producers such as RedOne, J.R. Rotem and Kara Dioguardi. Her first single "Somebody To Love" featuring R&B singer Robin Thicke hit radio on October 13 and went available for digital download on October 14, 2009. The album is tentatively slated for early 2010.
Meester is featured in the Cobra Starship song "Good Girls Go Bad", which reached the Top 10 on Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #7. She also made a cover of the song "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" for the compilation album A Very Special Christmas 7, released November 24, 2009.
Meester previously appeared in Clearasil commercials and in 2009 ads for Reebok. She has been a spokesperson for Sunsilk's "Life Can't Wait" campaign. In June 2009, she and Ed Westwick were named the new faces for the Korean clothing line ASK Enquired. She has also been a spokesperson for Safe Horizon to raise awareness about and prevent domestic violence.
- Ranked #48 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2008 list.
- Ranked #1 on FHM Online's Fall 2008 TV's Hottest Stars.
- She is naturally blonde but dyed her hair brown for the role of "Blair Waldorf" for her TV series _"Gossip Girl" (2007)_ (qv).
- She has worked with famous photographer 'Sofia Coppola' (qv).
- Her surname "Meester" is Dutch for "master" or "teacher".
- Enjoys creative writing.
- She also speaks fluent French.
- Named one of People Magazines' 100 Most Beautiful in 2008.