Leighton Marissa Meester (born April 9, 1986) is an American actress and singer. Meester starred as Blair Waldorf on The CW's teen drama series Gossip Girl. She has also appeared in the 2010 country drama film Country Strong, the 2011 thriller The Roommate, the 2011 romantic-comedy Monte Carlo, and the comedies The Oranges (2011) and That's My Boy (2012). Meester also went into Broadway in 2014, starring as Curley's wife alongside James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.
In addition to her acting career, Meester has also ventured into music. She released two singles, recorded songs for various soundtracks and collaborated with several artists, being notably featured on Cobra Starship's "Good Girls Go Bad" (2009). Her musical style has since shifted from pop to folk. In 2012, she embarked on a mini tour with folk band Check in the Dark, whom she had been working with since 2010.
Meester was born in Fort Worth, Texas, to Constance (née Haas) and Douglas Meester, and lived most of her life in New York City and Los Angeles. Her ancestry includes German, Dutch, English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh. At the time of her birth, her mother was serving time in a federal prison for her involvement in a drug ring that smuggled marijuana from Jamaica to the USA. She was able to give birth to Leighton in a hospital and nurse her for three months in a halfway house, before returning to prison to complete her sentence, after which Leighton's grandmother cared for her. She has a brother, Alexander, who is eight years younger. Meester has 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." Though later in life Leighton would soon regret saying that, after a lawsuit with her mother in 2011, and the many things that were said which both parties are unable to take back. Meester has joked, "Look, I could've turned out a lot worse." She has cited her mother as her style icon. Her father works for an internet company and her mother is a writer...
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