Leighton Marissa Meester (born April 9, 1986) is an American actress and singer. Meester gained fame for playing the role of Blair Waldorf in the CW young-adult television series Gossip Girl. She most recently appeared in the 2010 country drama film Country Strong and the 2011 thriller The Roommate.
Meester was born in Fort Worth, Texas, the daughter of Constance (née Haas) and Douglas Meester. At the time, her mother was serving a federal prison sentence for her involvement in a drug ring that smuggled marijuana from Jamaica to the United States. 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. At this time Leighton's grandmother cared for her.
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." Meester has joked, "Look, I could've turned out a lot worse." She has cited her mother as her style icon.
Leighton Meester On set of 'I Hate You Dad' in Boston