We miss the original "Gossip Girl," the soapy CW show filled with prep-school scandal, juicy relationship drama and, of course, killer fashion! In celebration of star Penn Badgley's 35th birthday on Nov. 1, 2021, Wonderwall.com is checking up on the actors who played the posh Upper East Side elite on the original — from Penn, Taylor Momsen, Jessica Szohr and Leighton Meester to Ed Westwick, Chace Crawford, Blake and more — to find out what they're doing and what they look like these days.
Keep reading for more…
Penn Badgley starred on "Gossip Girl" as Dan Humphrey, the down-to-earth Brooklyn writer-type who never quite fit in with all of the Upper East Siders — although dating Serena van der Woodsen certainly upped his status a bit. Spoiler alert: At the end of the series, "Lonely Boy" Dan revealed himself to be the elusive Gossip Girl blogger who'd been exposing everyone's secrets for years.
Much to "Gossip Girl" fans' joy, Penn Badgley dated co-star Blake Lively off-screen for a few years until 2010. He then had an on-off romance with Zoe Kravitz before linking up with Domino Kirke in 2014. The couple married in 2017 and in 2020 welcomed their first child together, a boy. Aside from continuing to act, Penn has showed off his music skills as the lead singer of the band MOTHXR, who released their debut album in 2016. As for his latest acting work? Penn has been starring as the creepy yet captivating Joe on the thriller series "You." The Netflix show debuted its third season in October 2021 and has been renewed for a fourth.
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Blake Lively starred on "Gossip Girl" as Serena van der Woodsen, a popular and pretty Constance Billard School socialite who tried to hide her mysterious past after returning from a stint away at boarding school.
Blake Lively tied the knot with Ryan Reynolds just before "Gossip Girl" wrapped its final season in late 2012. The hot Hollywood couple welcomed their first child, daughter James, in 2014. Their second daughter, Inez, arrived in 2016 and their third little girl, Betty, was born in 2019. Though Blake in 2015 shut down Preserve, the lifestyle and e-commerce website she unveiled in 2014, she launched another business venture in 2021: Betty Buzz, a refreshing non-alcoholic mixer beverage with only clean ingredients. She's also, of course, kept busy with acting work. In recent years she's starred in 2015's "The Age of Adaline," 2016's "Cafe Society" and "The Shallows," 2017's "All I See Is You," 2018's "A Simple Favor" and 2020's "The Rhythm Section." Next up, she'll star in the thriller "The Husband's Secret."
Leighton Meester starred on "Gossip Girl" as super-snobby Blair Waldorf, the perfectionist teen who held the highest social rank at the all-girls Constance Billard School. She was also Serena van der Woodsen's BFF.
Leighton Meester married actor Adam Brody and starred in the film "Life Partners" with him in 2014. That same year, she tried her hand at the music biz with the release of her very first album, "Heartstrings." More recently, she starred on ABC's "Single Parents." In September 2015, Leighton and Adam welcomed their first child together, daughter Arlo Day, and in 2020, they added a baby boy to their family.
Chace Crawford starred on "Gossip Girl" as hunky lacrosse player Nate Archibald, the object of both Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf's affections.
Chace Crawford appeared on the ABC primetime soap opera "Blood and Oil" in 2015 but the show ended after only 10 episodes. He then found a hit show on Amazon Prime: He's been starring on "The Boys" since 2019. Chace, who will next appear in the action-crime flick "Riptide," made fans laugh when he guest starred on Kim Kardashian West's episode of "Saturday Night Live" in October 2021 in a "The Bachelorette"-inspired skit. He and "Blood and Oil" co-star Rebecca Rittenhouse split in 2019 after several years of dating.
Ed Westwick starred on "Gossip Girl" as Chuck Bass, the not-to-be-trusted schemer who was often lacking in the morals department though loved Blair Waldorf desperately.
Ed Westwick took the plunge and moved from New York City to Los Angeles after "Gossip Girl" ended. The British actor famously dated co-star Jessica Szohr until 2010 and split from model Jessica Serfaty in 2018 after more than a year together. He's been linked to model Tamara Francesconi since 2019. He's continued to act since hanging up his Chuck Bass scarves — he starred on the BBC's "White Gold" from 2017 to 2019 and more recently appeared in the 2021 film "Me, You, Madness." Since 2021, he's been starring on the crime-comedy series "The Bystanders."
Taylor Momsen starred on "Gossip Girl" as Jenny Humphrey, Dan Humphrey's younger sister.
It's been all about the music for Taylor Momsen since she left "Gossip Girl." In 2014, the rocker released her second album, "Going to Hell," with her band The Pretty Reckless. She made history the same year when they became the first female-fronted band to reach No. 1 on the rock radio charts with their first two singles. The Pretty Reckless released third album "Who You Selling For" in 2016 and their fourth, "Death by Rock and Roll" in February 2021. Taylor opened up to People magazine the same month to explain the delay in releasing new music. "Before [coronavirus] quarantine started, I'd intentionally spent the past few years isolated," Taylor said, explaining that she took a big step back from the spotlight after Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell's 2017 death — her band was opening for his at the time — and descended further into grief after learning her longtime producer and friend Kato Khandwala had died after a motorcycle accident less than a year later. "I went into this hole of just utter depression and substance abuse. I was in a very unhealthy space." Working on her band's latest album pulled her out of it. "I'd given up on life, but then I turned to music," she told People. "It saved me."
Jessica Szohr starred on "Gossip Girl" as edgy Brooklynite Vanessa Abrams, Dan Humphrey's aspiring-filmmaker ex-girlfriend.
After "Gossip Girl," Jessica Szohr starred on "Complications" for one season before it was canceled. She's since gone on to appear on a few episodes of "Kingdom" and did a stint on "Shameless" from 2017 until 2018. More recently, Jessica joined the cast of the sci-fi FOX show "The Orville." She has two films on the way: "The Best Worst Christmas Ever" and "All-Star Weekend." In January 2021, the actress gave birth to her first child with her boyfriend, Nashville Predators hockey star Brad Richardson.
Michelle Trachtenberg starred on "Gossip Girl" as manipulative Georgina Sparks, who was always stirring up trouble among the group.
Michelle Trachtenberg's career has cooled down a bit since "Gossip Girl," though she starred in "The Scribbler" in 2014. More recently, she voiced a character on Facebook Watch's "Human Kind Of" in 2018. Little is known about her personal life and romantic relationships these days, but in February 2021, she made headlines when she stood in solidarity with former "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" co-star Charisma Carpenter after the "Angel" actress publicly accused the show's creator, Joss Whedon, of abuse and creating a toxic work environment. Michelle also spoke out, publicly accusing Joss of "not appropriate behavior….very. Not. Appropriate" when she was a teen actress on the cult-hit series.
Kelly Rutherford starred on "Gossip Girl" as divorcée Lily van der Woodsen, Serena's socialite mother.
Kelly Rutherford made headlines for years as she battled her ex-husband, German businessman Daniel Giersch, for custody of their kids Hermes and Helena beginning in 2009. After being allowed to spend the summer of 2015 with the children in New York City, Kelly was ordered by a judge to return them to their father in Monaco after she initially refused to let them fly home. In late 2015, a judge awarded Daniel full custody — though Kelly can visit them in France and Monaco. The headline-making case was so expensive for the actress that she filed for bankruptcy in 2013. On the work front, she's taken on a few guest roles in recent years on shows including "Reckless," "The Mysteries of Laura" and "Quantico." In 2018, she landed a role on the reboot of "Dynasty," on which she starred through 2019.
Connor Paolo starred on "Gossip Girl" as Eric van der Woodsen, Serena's sweet, level-headed younger brother.
Connor Paolo went straight from "Gossip Girl" to another hit TV series, "Revenge," on which he starred until 2013. The seemingly single star appeared in the 2016 horror film "Friend Request" and more recently popped up on a 2020 episode of the FOX series "The Resident." He has several projects on the way including the films "Viral," "Fire Island" and "Ambush."
Matthew Settle starred on "Gossip Girl" as Rufus Humphrey, Dan Humphrey's former rock star dad who eventually ends up marrying old flame Lily van der Woodsen.
Matthew Settle and girlfriend Maria Alfonsin had their first child, daughter Nalu, in 2015. He also has a daughter, Aven, from his first marriage to model Naama Nativ (Aven is seen here with Matthew and Maria). As for his acting? He starred in the 2014 horror movie "Ouija" and in 2016 guest starred on "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders." His last credit was in 2017's "Valentine."