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Leighton Meester Biography

Born: April 9, 1986
Where: Texas but grew up in Marco Island, Florida


Leighton Meester is best known for her role as the spoiled yet sweet Blair Waldorf on the hit tv show, Gossip Girl, but Leighton doesn’t share the same cushy upbringing as the wealthy character she plays.


Born a Jailbird?

Leighton’s mother was convicted for drug smuggling and it was while serving time in a federal prison in Texas that she gave birth to Leighton. Her mother has since reformed her ways—she’s now a screenwriter—and Leighton’s complicated past and dysfunctional family are just fuel for the acting fire. Leighton has said her upbringing makes her very nonjudgmental and open-minded and says, “I think it just makes me appreciate the things that I have now.”


A Model Lifestyle

Leighton moved to New York to live with her aunt and begin a modeling career when she was just eleven years old. She modeled for Ralph Lauren and was photographed by Sofia Coppola, who’s since gone on to become a major director of movies like Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette. Two years later, Leighton landed her first acting gig on Law & Order then scored a starring role in her first movie, Hangman’s Curse, but her big break came in 2005 when she starred as an annoying teen named Savannah Bennet in the tv series, Surface. The show only lasted one season, but it scored her enough experience to land the role of a lifetime as Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl.


Fun Facts

  • Leighton is a natural blonde—she dyes her hair dark to play Blair.
  • She guest starred on Entourage as Justine Chapin, a chaste pop star who struggles to resist the charm of the main character, movie A-lister Vincent Chase.
  • That’s Leighton singing on the new Cobra Starship song, Good Girls Go Bad!
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