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Leighton Meester

Meester at the premiere of Killer Movie at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival
Background information
Birth name Leighton Marissa Meester
Born April 9, 1986 (1986-04-09) (age 23)
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
Genres Electropop, dance
Occupations Actress, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1999–present
Labels Universal Motown Republic Group

Leighton Marissa Meester (born April 9, 1986)[1] is an American actress, singer-songwriter, and fashion model best known for her role as Blair Waldorf in the TV show Gossip Girl.[2]

Contents

Early life

Meester was born while her mother was serving a federal prison sentence in Fort Worth, Texas.[3][4] 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.[3][4]

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."[5] Meester jokes, "Look, I could've turned out a lot worse."[6]

Meester grew up in Marco Island, Florida, where she participated in productions at a local playhouse.[7] When she was 11 years old, Meester and her mother moved to New York.[7] 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.[8][7] Meester made her television acting debut as a murder victim's friend on an episode of Law & Order.[7][8] At 14, Meester moved to Los Angeles, California, wanting more stable work and attended Hollywood High School and Beverly Hills High School.[8][9] She then transferred to a small private school and graduated a year early.[10] Her surname Meester, means "master" or "teacher" in Dutch.[11]

Career

Acting

Meester at the 2009 CW Upfront presentation

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.[7]

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.[7]

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.[7] 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.[12][13]

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 has as a small role in the upcoming comedy Date Night, alongside Steve Carell and Tina Fey. She will play Rebecca in the upcoming thriller The Roommate, set for February 4, 2011. [14] 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.[15] She was also cast in Screen Gems' upcoming drama Love Don't Let Me Down; next to Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw and Garrett Hedlund.[16] She will star in indie dramatic comedy The Oranges opposite Hugh Laurie, with Catherine Keener also set to appear. [17]

Music

In April 2009, Meester signed a recording contract with Universal Republic.[18] The album will be produced by several producers such as RedOne, J.R. Rotem and Kara Dioguardi. Meester's first single, "Somebody To Love", featuring R&B singer Robin Thicke, was released for airplay on October 13, 2009 and became available for digital download on October 14, 2009. The album is expected for an early 2010 release.[19]

Meester is featured in the Cobra Starship song "Good Girls Go Bad", which reached the Top 10 on Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #7.[20] She also recorded a cover of the song "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" for the compilation album A Very Special Christmas 7, which was released on November 24, 2009.[21]

Endorsements

Meester previously appeared in Clearasil commercials and in 2009 ads for Reebok.[22][23] She has been a spokesperson for Sunsilk's "Life Can't Wait" campaign.[24] In June 2009, she and Ed Westwick were named the new faces for the Korean clothing line ASK Enquired.[25] She has also been a spokesperson for Safe Horizon to raise awareness about and prevent domestic violence.[26]

Personal life

In June 2008, there were reports accompanied by voyeuristic pictures allegedly from a sex tape, featuring an 18-year old Meester, being shopped around by an old boyfriend for an asking price up to $1 million.[27] Meester counters the allegations in an interview with the September 2009 issue of Harpers Bazaar: "[The tape] is not real, so it makes me sort of sad. It's unfortunate that it got carried as far as it did. I definitely understand the nature of people better now and that the mere allegation of something like that could be headline news. People think it's real because somebody says it is."[28]

Meester is dating Sebastian Stan, the actor who plays Carter Baizen on Gossip Girl.[29]

Meester was number 12 on the Maxim Hot 100 list in 2009, alongside her co-star, Blake Lively, who was number 33.[30]

Filmography

Film
Year Film Role Notes
2003 Hangman's Curse Elisha Springfield
2004 Hollywood Division Michelle Television film
2006 Flourish Lucy Covner
Inside Josie
2007 Drive-Thru Mackenzie Carpenter
Remember the Daze Tori
The Haunting of Sorority Row Samantha Willows Television film
2008 Killer Movie Jaynie Hansen
2010 Date Night Zoey
Love Don't Let Me Down Chiles Stanton Filming
2011 The Roommate Rebecca Daly Post-production
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Law & Order Alyssa Turner Episode: "Disciple"
2001 Boston Public Sarah Breen Episode: "Chapter Twenty-Eight"
2002 Once & Again Amanda Episode: "Gardenia"
Family Affair Irene Episode: "No Small Parts"
2003 Tarzan Nicki Porter 5 episodes
2004 Crossing Jordan Marie Strand Episode: "Missing Pieces"
North Shore Veronica Farrell 1 episode
7th Heaven Kendall 2 episodes
Entourage Justine Chapin 2004-2008 (3 episodes)
2005 24 Debbie Pendleton 4 episodes
8 Simple Rules Nikki Episode: "The After Party"
Veronica Mars Carrie Bishop 2 episodes
Surface Savannah Barnett 2005-2006 (12 episodes)
2006 Numb3rs Karen Camden Episode: "Dark Matter"
House M.D. Ali 2 episodes
CSI: Miami Heather Crowley Episode: "Broken Home"
2007 Shark Megan 3 episodes
2007–Present Gossip Girl Blair Waldorf Regular

Discography

Studio albums

Year Album details
2010 Love Is a Drug

Singles

Year Single Peak positions Album
US
2009 "Somebody to Love" (feat. Robin Thicke) 111 Love Is a Drug

Featured singles

Year Single Artist Peak chart positions Album
US US Pop CAN AUS NZ NL UK
2009 "Good Girls Go Bad" Cobra Starship 7 5 7 5 2 19 17 Hot Mess

Awards

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2008 Teen Choice Award Choice TV Actress Drama Gossip Girl Nominated
Choice TV Breakout Star Female Nominated
2009 Choice TV Actress Drama Won
MTV Video Music Award Best Pop Video "Good Girls Go Bad" (with Cobra Starship) Nominated

References

  1. ^ "Leighton Meester Biography". TV Guide. http://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/leighton-meester/bio/190407. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  2. ^ Marikar, Sheila (2007-09-19). "'Gossip Girl': Teen Drama So Adult, So Aspirational". ABC News. http://media.abcnews.com/print?id=3624894. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  3. ^ a b Kevin O'Leary (October 6 2008). "Her Untold Story". Us Weekly. 
  4. ^ a b Jason Gay (April 2 2009). "Dirty Things". Rolling Stone. p. 44. 
  5. ^ Bartolomeo, Joey (2009-01-28). "Leighton Meester Likes Her Men 'Dark and Bad'". People. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20255207,00.html. 
  6. ^ Fahner, Molly (June 2009). "Leighton Meester: The "Gossip Girl" You Love to Hate". Cosmopolitan. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/celebrity/exclusive/leighton-meester-cover-interview. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Leighton Meester". The CW Television Network. http://cwtv.com/shows/gossip-girl/cast/leighton-meester. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  8. ^ a b c "Gossip Girl’s fairy-tale ascension". Qatar Tribune (Tribune Media Services). 2009-04-08. http://www.qatar-tribune.com/data/20090408/content.asp?section=chillout1_1. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  9. ^ "Gossip Girl Transformations - Leighton Meester". InStyle. http://www.instyle.com/instyle/package/general/photos/0,,20208061_20207867_20473221,00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  10. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (2009-06-15). "'Twilight' Star Cam Gigandet, Leighton Meester, Steve-O Recall High School Graduation". MTV News. http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1613987/story.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  11. ^ "Leighton Meester". younghollywood.com. http://www.younghollywood.com/celebrity/leighton-meester.html. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  12. ^ "Golden Globes 2009: Overlooked TV Shows and Performances". Televisionwithoutpity.com. 2007-05-25. http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/show/golden_globes/golden_globes_2009_overlooked_1.php. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  13. ^ "The Hot List". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/24604682/page/4. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  14. ^ "New Release Dates for 5 Screen Gems Flicks and Universal’s REPO MEN". Collider.com. 2010-02-04. http://www.collider.com/2010/02/04/new-release-dates-for-5-screen-gems-flicks-and-universal-repo-men/. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  15. ^ "Heard & Meester go Cowgirl!". Moviehole.net. 2009-10-15. http://www.moviehole.net/200921097-heard-meester-go-cowgirl. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118015802.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&ref=ssp
  18. ^ Up for DiscussionPost Comment (2009-09-14). "'Gossip Girl' Star Leighton Meester Signs Record Deal". Billboard.com. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/gossip-girl-star-leighton-meester-signs-1003966080.story. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  19. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (2009-12-07). "Leighton Meester Says Album Will Drop In Early 2010". Mtv.com. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1627740/20091207/meester_leighton.jhtml. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  20. ^ "The Hot 100". Billboard.com. http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100#/charts/hot-100?begin=1&order=position. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  21. ^ Conklin, Mike (2009-11-23). "Leighton Meester Covers "Baby Please Come Home"". The L Magazine. http://www.thelmagazine.com/TheMeasure/archives/2009/11/23/leighton-meester-covers-baby-please-come-home. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  22. ^ . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuuwGnMWFLw. 
  23. ^ . http://stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com/2009/03/12/sneak-peek-leighton-meesters-reebok-ad/. 
  24. ^ "Leighton Meester, Kick-off of Sunsilk's Life Can't Wait campaign". In Style. 2008-02-21. http://www.instyle.com/instyle/parties/party/0,,20178980_20410507,00.html. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  25. ^ "극중 블레어와 척 연기 두 배우, 캐주얼 브랜드 모델로 발탁". Korea CBS News. 2009-06-10. http://www.cbs.co.kr/Nocut/Show.asp?IDX=1171937. 
  26. ^ 05:30 PM ET (2008-10-02). "Leighton Meester Walks the Runway to Battle Domestic Violence". Stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com. http://stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com/2008/10/02/leighton-meester-walks-the-runway-to-battle-domestic-violence/. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  27. ^ "Sex Tape Promoter: Alleged Leighton Meester Video Being Shopped For $1 Million". RadarOnline.com. 2009-06-19. http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2009/06/exclusive-interview-sex-tape-promoter-alleged-leighton-meester-video-being. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  28. ^ Laura Brown (September 2009). "The Many Faces of Leighton Meester". Harpers Bazaar. http://www.harpersbazaar.com/magazine/cover/leighton-meester-interview-0909. Retrieved 2009=08=05. 
  29. ^ "How Leighton Meester’s Boyfriend Handles Her Kissing Scenes". Tvwatch.people.com. 2009-07-31. http://tvwatch.people.com/2009/07/31/how-leighton-meesters-boyfriend-handles-her-kissing-scenes/. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  30. ^ "2009 Hot 100". Maxim. May 6, 2009. http://www.maxim.com/girls/articles/79154/2009-hot-100.html. Retrieved November 11, 2009. 

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