Gossip Girl Cast: What They Did Before Fame (& Now)

Gossip Girl is a teen drama that was based on a book series and ran from 2007 to 2012. It focused on an attractive and affluent group of friends living in the Upper East Side of New York, and every single episode was filled with drama and thrills.

Years later, Blake Lively may still be known to some as Serena van der Woodsen, and Leighton Meester may still be considered Blair Waldorf to a few. However, before and after this TV show, these actors and actresses have been seen in many other works. A few switched gears, a couple had their only big roles in this series, and several have become huge names in the industry.

So what exactly did these people do before Gossip Girl was on the air? Perhaps there are other things we need to watch, which starred a few of them... And where are they all now? We wonder if fans know who is married, who has kids, who is still acting, and who has moved on to singing…

Let’s find out all of these details and more, as we take a deep and dramatic dive into the lives of 20 stars from this exciting television show.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

20 Blake Lively As Serena Van Der Woodsen


Blake Lively took acting classes as a child, and in 1998, she was in a film directed by her father called Sandman. She did not really want to act, though, as she was a class president, cheerleader, and choir member who had her eyes on Stanford. However, she landed the role of Bridget in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and filmed in between her junior and senior years.

After this came Gossip Girl, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, and bigger movies like A Simple Favor, The Age of Adaline, and Green Lantern, which is where she met Ryan Reynolds. These two were married 2012, they have daughters named James and Inez, and news just broke that they are expecting their third child.

19 Leighton Meester As Blair Waldorf

Monsters and Critics

Leighton Meester moved to New York when she was 11 and started attending the Professional Children's School and working as a model. Her first acting role was in Law & Order in 1999. She went on to appear in shows like Entourage, Veronica Mars, 8 Simple Rules, 7th Heaven, House, CSI: Miami and, of course, Gossip Girl.

She’s been on Broadway, she makes music (like Cobra Starship's song "Good Girls Go Bad," her single "Somebody to Love," and her album Heartstrings), and she was in movies like Date Night, Country Strong, and The Roommate. Meester was also in a movie called The Oranges, which Adam Brody was also in, and these two were engaged in 2013, married in 2014, and welcomed a daughter into the world in 2015.

18 Penn Badgley As Dan Humphrey

TV Guide

Penn Badgley’s first credit was actually providing his voice for the video games Mario Golf 64 and Mario Tennis 64. He then was in Will & Grace, What I Like About You, and The Young and the Restless, and then came John Tucker Must Die, Gossip Girl, and Easy A.

Most recently, this actor has starred as Joe Goldberg in the thrilling series You. In 2014, Badgley and his band MOTHXR put out a song called "Easy" and then released a debut album in 2016. Also in 2014, he started dating singer Domino Kirke, and these two have been married since 2017.

17 Ed Westwick As Chuck Bass


Ed Westwick was in movies like Breaking and Entering, Children of Men, and Son of Rambow and in television series called Doctors, Casualty, and Afterlife before becoming Chuck Bass. He went on to be featured in films such as J. Edgar and in shows like White Gold. He was also in a band, and two of their songs were featured in Gossip Girl.

Ed has had a bit of a rough time with some court issues coming up since his role as Chuck, but most recently, all charges were dropped, and it seems like the actor may still go on to pursue the profession.

16 Chace Crawford As Nate Archibald


Chace Crawford appeared in the supernatural thriller The Covenant in 2006, and the next year, he earned his role on Gossip Girl. This actor has also been seen in The Haunting of Molly Hartley. What to Expect When You're Expecting, I Do... Until I Don't, and Glee.

Right now, Crawford is working on The Boys, an Amazon Studios adaptation of a comic book of the same name that will premiere in July 2019, and he has three movies that are in the post-production phase: Nighthawks and Riptide, which are set to release this year, and Inheritance, which will come out in 2020.

15 Taylor Momsen As Jenny Humphrey


Taylor Momsen signed with Ford Models when she was just two years old, and in 1997, she did a national commercial for Shake 'n Bake. She also went to the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan, where her costar Connor Paolo attended as well. In 2000, she became Cindy Lou Who in Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

She was also in Hansel and Gretel and Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, and she auditioned to be Hannah Montana. Momsen was one of the top three choices for the role, but she said she was glad she didn’t end up getting it. Next up came Gossip Girl, which she eventually left in order to focus on her music, as she is the lead singer and frontwoman of Pretty Reckless.

14 Jessica Szohr As Vanessa Abrams

USA Network

As a child, Jessica Szohr modeled for brands like Quaker Oats, Kohl's, Crate & Barrel, Mountain Dew, Sears, and JanSport before graduating early and moving to Los Angeles for acting. Her first role came in 2003 on My Wife and Kids. This led to other guest spots on shows such as That's So Raven, Drake & Josh, What I Like About You, and CSI: Miami before she ended up on Gossip Girl.

She has been in films, as well, such as Piranha 3D, I Don't Know How She Does It, The Internship, and Ted 2. Last year, Szohr became a regular cast member on season two of The Orville.

13 Michelle Trachtenberg As Georgina Sparks

SU Walls

Michelle Trachtenberg has been in over 100 more commercials, and her first acting role was on the Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete. From there, she was in All My Children, Harriet the Spy, Inspector Gadget, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, EuroTrip, Ice Princess, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Black Christmas and, eventually, Gossip Girl.

Her last movie was in 2014 (The Scribbler), and her last TV appearances were in 2016 (as a judge on Chopped Junior, in a television film called Sister Cities and as a guest on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver). She also provided her voice to Robot Chicken off and on from 2006 to 2018, and to a television show called Human Kind Of.

12 Sebastian Stan As Carter Baizen


Sebastian Stan was on Law & Order in 2003, which led to film appearances in movies like The Architect and The Covenant before leading to Gossip Girl. Since then, Stan has been seen in Black Swan, Hot Tub Time Machine and, of course, Marvel movies as Bucky Barnes.

He is set to star in The Last Full Measure and set to be in Monday, which both come out this year. He will also be in a Marvel television show with Anthony Mackie, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier; this will be on the Disney+ streaming service, which should launch in November of 2019.

11 Connor Paolo As Eric Van Der Woodsen

TV Guide

Connor Paolo got his start on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and then was in Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, shows like One Life to Live, films like World Trade Center, the Broadway musical The Full Monty, and then Gossip Girl. In 2011, he started appearing on the TV show Revenge, meaning Eric van der Woodsen was no longer (except for in the series finale, which he showed up for).

His role on Revenge ended in 2013, and since then, he has been in a few more series and flicks, according to his IMDb page, like the thriller Friend Request from 2016.

10 Zuzanna Szadkowski As Dorota Kishlovsky


Zuzanna Szadkowski is from Poland, which helped her with her accent in Gossip Girl, but she moved here when she was three. She went to the Barnard College at Columbia University, got a Master of Fine Arts in acting from Harvard, and helped open the Sam Weisman Studio in 2010.

Szadkowski has also been in two episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, two episodes of The Sopranos, three episodes of Guiding Light, three episodes of Girls, and an episode of The Good Wife. After Gossip Girl, there was a spin-off web series, which lasted for just six episodes, that was called Chasing Dorota.

9 Kelly Rutherford As Lily Van Der Woodsen

Monsters and Critics

Before Gossip Girl, Kelly Rutherford was on soap operas like Loving, Generations, and Melrose Place. She has been in several Lifetime movies, as well as series such as Quantico, Dynasty and, most recently, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists. Rutherford’s personal life has also made headlines over the past few years; she was briefly married to a banker then married businessman Daniel Giersch in 2006. They had a son in 2006, and when Rutherford was pregnant with her daughter in 2008, she filed for divorce.

After this came a custody battle and a temporary restraining order against Giersch, whose visa was revoked. There had been joint custody, but after her ex-husband moved to France/Monaco, the court ultimately decided California had no jurisdiction over the case and returned the children to their father.

8 Matthew Settle As Rufus Humphrey


Matthew Settle appeared in the film I Still Know What You Did Last Summer in 1998, then went on to be seen in movies like Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Ouija and in shows like ER, CSI: Miami, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.

Besides being on TV as Rufus Humphrey, he was also Captain Ronald Speirs in HBO’s Band of Brothers, and he was on Broadway in Chicago: The Musical in 2010. In 2007, news came out that Settle had eloped with actress and model Naama Nativ in 2006. The two had a daughter in 2009, then divorced in 2011.

7 Desmond Harrington As Jack Bass

Those Kinds of Things

Desmond Harrington may not have as many acting credits as some of these other stars, but he has been in some well-known works. For instance, people may have seen him in movies like The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, The Hole, Ghost Ship, Wrong Turn, and in television shows such as Dragnet, Rescue Me, Dexter, Justified, The Astronaut Wives Club, Limitless, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Elementary.

He also played a police officer in The Dark Knight Rises, and he will play Jack Kerouac in Butterfly in the Typewriter, a film that is currently in its pre-production phase but which we're pretty excited to see!

6 Katie Cassidy As Juliet Sharp

Comic Book

Katie Cassidy was first seen on TV in 2003, on Lifetime’s The Division. From there, she was in Celebrity Apprentice 4, New Girl, 7th Heaven, When a Stranger Calls, and Supernatural, as well as Monte Carlo with Leighton Meester and Black Christmas and The Scribbler with Michelle Trachtenberg. Recently, she has appeared on CW shows Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow.

She recorded a version of "I Think I Love You" in 2002, which was originally sung by her father’s group, The Partridge Family! Cassidy also dated Jesse McCartney for four years, and after a couple of other relationships, she started one with Matthew Rodgers in 2016, and they got married in 2018.

5 Elizabeth Hurley As Diana Payne


Liz Hurley is a pretty known name, and some people here may have forgotten that she played Diana Payne on this teen drama series. This actress and model, who got her start through Estée Lauder, has also been seen in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and one of the sequels.

Furthermore, in 2015, she took on a lead role in The Royals, a TV show on E! Hurley has a son whose father is businessman Steve Bing and whose godfather is Hugh Grant, Hurley’s ex. She was also married to Arun Nayar in 2007, and after their split, she was engaged to Shane Warne, but they broke up in 2013.

4 Amanda Setton As Penelope Shafai

Celeb Wiki

Amanda Setton used to be on One Life to Live, The Mindy Project, and Hawaii Five-0 - three popular shows that came after Gossip Girl. Before portraying Penelope Shafai, she was in the movie What Happens in Vegas with a small part and in the Sex and the City movie as "Girl Slapping Guy."

Her last credit that is listed out on IMDb is a short from 2018 called Birth of a Poet, which is about writer Stephen Dobyns. She also doesn’t appear to be on social media really, but a fun fact is that she briefly dated Maroon 5’s Adam Levine!

3 Kaylee DeFer As Ivy Dickens

USA Today

Kaylee DeFer’s first role was in 2004, on Drake & Josh, and then she was in the short-lived show The Mountain with Penn Badgley and starred in the film Flicka. She had small parts on series such as Family Guy, Ghost Whisperer, Bones, CSI: Miami, and How I Met Your Mother, too. DeFer auditioned to be Raina Thorpe on Gossip Girl but ended up playing Ivy Dickens for 30 episodes.

She had been dating and engaged to jewelry designer Michael Raymond Pereira since 2002, but they broke up in 2012. She then started dating Fitz and the Tantrums’ Michael Fitzpatrick; they had a son in 2013, were married in 2015, and had a second son in 2017. After having her first child, she said she was taking a break from acting.

2 Margaret Colin As Eleanor Waldorf


Margaret Colin got her start on soap operas like The Edge of Night and As the World Turns, but she has also appeared in series such as Magnum, P.I., Chicago Hope, Law & Order, Blue Bloods, Gotham, and Veep and in movies like Independence Day, Three Men and a Baby, and Pretty in Pink.

While on As the World Turns, she met Justin Deas, and they have been married since 1988. She has two sons and a step-daughter. She has also been in plays, and her part in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg was quite memorable; she smoked all through the second part, going up against New York’s ban on smoking, and after that, she gave up cigarettes!

1 Robert John Burke As Bart Bass

Us Weekly

Robert John Burke most notable film roles come from movies such as RoboCop 3, Thinner, Hide and Seek, Limitless and last year's BlacKkKlansman. On TV, he has appeared in several shows like Law & Order, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Rescue Me, Blue Bloods, White Collar, Person of Interest, Army Wives, Nurse Jackie, and this year's Project Blue Book.

According to his Wikipedia page, he also has a second-degree black belt in Matsubayashi, Shorin-ryu Okinawa karate, which is an interesting piece of info, especially when thinking about his character here, Bart Bass! Burke is also a New York State firefighter!

Sources: IMDb, People, Yahoo, Daily Mail, Us Weekly, W Magazine, The Guardian

More in Pop Culture