11 ‘Gossip Girl’ stars, ranked from least to most successful

Penn badgley january 2020
Penn Badgley in 2020. James Devaney/GC Images
  • Gossip Girl” premiered on the CW in September 2007 and lasted six seasons and 121 episodes.
  • We ranked the cast on factors including their work since the show and social-media followings.
  • GG himself Penn Badgley is the star of one of the most successful Netflix series, “You.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Ed Westwick, who played Chuck Bass, was accused of sexual misconduct in 2017 by three women, though the LAPD declined to charge him with a crime.
Ed westwick
Ed Westwick. Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
Westwick, 34, played Chuck Bass (a controversial character in his own right) for all six seasons of “Gossip Girl,” and was one half of the show’s most iconic relationship with Leighton Meester’s Blair Waldorf.

After the show ended in 2012, Westwick starred in one season of the ABC drama “Wicked City” as a serial killer, four episodes of “Snatch” on Crackle, and two seasons of “White Gold” on BBC Two. Film-wise, he appeared in “Romeo & Juliet,” “Freaks of Nature,” and “Billionaire Ransom,” among other things.

In 2017, he was accused by three women of various degrees of sexual misconduct, which he denied in a statement. By July 2018, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute due to “insufficient evidence.” As a result of the accusations, he was edited out and recast in an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “Ordeal by Innocence.”

Since then, Westwick has appeared in two films, 2020’s “Enemy Lines” and 2021’s “Me, You, Madness.” He also stars in a podcast called “The Bystanders.” He currently has 8.5 million followers on Instagram.

Matthew Settle played Rufus Humphrey, Dan’s dad and one of the two main adult characters.
Matthew settle gossip girl
Matthew Settle. Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images
Settle, 52, played Dan’s dad Rufus — a ’90s rock star who moved his family to Williamsburg and sends his kids to the prestigious private high schools Constance Billard and St. Jude’s. He also had a long relationship with Serena van der Woodsen’s mom, Lily.

Settle had been known before “Gossip Girl” for his role in “Band of Brothers” in 2001. After “GG” ended, he appeared in a few projects including an episode of “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders,” a TV movie called “Paper Angels,” and the 2017 movie “Valentine,” which has been his last on-screen role to date.

Settle has 141,000 followers on Instagram, though he hasn’t posted since 2016.

Michelle Trachtenberg played the devious Georgina Sparks, popping in for 28 episodes throughout the six seasons.
Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle Trachtenberg. Jerritt Clark/WireImage
Trachtenberg, 36, was arguably the biggest star of the entire “Gossip Girl” cast when she appeared halfway through season one. She had been a well-known star with roles in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Harriet the Spy,” “EuroTrip,” and “Ice Princess.” The year after “Gossip Girl” premiered, she also starred in “17 Again.”

Since the show, though, her career has slowed down. She appeared in episodes of “Criminal Minds,” “Sleepy Hollow,” the web series “Guidance,” and starred in the animated series “Human Kind Of” on Facebook Watch, which is her last acting role to date. Trachtenberg also starred in TV movies, “Killing Kennedy,” “The Christmas Gift,” and “Sister Cities.”

Starting in October 2021, Trachtenberg is the host of a true crime series on Tubi called “Meet, Marry, Murder.”

Trachtenberg has 701,000 followers on Instagram.


Kelly Rutherford played Serena’s mom, Lily, for the entire show and was potentially going to have a spin-off surrounding a young version of her character.
Kelly rutherford
Kelly Rutherford. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Serena’s mom Lily clearly had led an interesting life, with multiple ex-husbands and a brief stint in Los Angeles that would’ve been explored in a spin-off starring Brittany Snow and Krysten Ritter, had it been picked up by the CW.

Since the show ended, Rutherford, 52, has steadily acted in many TV shows including multi-episode arcs in “Being Mary Jane,” “Reckless,” “Quantico,” “Gone,” “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists,” and “Dynasty.”

This year, she’s set to appear in an upcoming Christmas film with Mischa Barton, Jon Lovitz, and James Maslow called “Holiday Twist.”

Rutherford has 1 million followers on Instagram.

Jessica Szohr starred in the first four seasons of “Gossip Girl” as outsider Vanessa Abrams.
Jessica szohr january 2020
Jessica Szohr. Jordan Strauss/Invision for the Television Academy/AP
Szohr’s character Vanessa wasn’t the most popular — something to do with her judgy tendencies – but she was a big part of the show’s first four seasons.

In the last few years, Szohr, 36, has kept herself very busy. Starting in 2015 with “Ted 2,” she then appeared in the USA series “Complications,” a few episodes of “Kingdom,” three episodes of the “Twin Peaks” revival, recurred in “Shameless,” and joined the main cast of Seth MacFarlane’s sci-fi series “The Orville” during season two. Season three is set for 2022.

Szohr also gave birth to her first child in January 2021, a daughter, with her partner Brad Richardson, a professional hockey player.

She has 800,000 followers on Instagram.

Taylor Momsen’s last acting role to date was little sister Jenny Humphrey, whom she played for the first four seasons.
Taylor momsen
Taylor Momsen. Steve Granitz / Contributor/Getty
When Momsen began playing Jenny, the younger sister of Dan Humphrey, she was an innocent teen with a knack for fashion design — by the end, she had completely transformed her look, gained and lost queen bee status at school, and was effectively run out of town by Blair Waldorf.

Momsen, 28, had been a child star before appearing on “Gossip Girl,” famously playing Cindy Lou Who in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

But after leaving the show in 2011, Momsen retired from acting and has subsequently become the front-woman of the band The Pretty Reckless. They’ve released four albums since 2010, including 2021’s “Death by Rock and Roll,” along with two EPs. The band has had seven No. 1 singles on the Mainstream Rock chart.

Momsen has 1.6 million followers on Instagram.

Leighton Meester played the show’s most iconic character, Blair Waldorf, the mean girl with a secret heart.
Leighton meester
Leighton Meester. Mireya Acierto/Getty Images
Although the show ostensibly begins as the story of Serena, the show’s writers quickly understood that Blair was the best character and refocused the show to be about her.

Meester, 35, has been steadily working since the show ended, though not enough as she deserves. During the show’s tenure, she appeared in movies like “The Roommate,” “Monte Carlo,” and “Country Strong,” the latter of which also showcased her musical talent. In 2009, she had a top 10 song on the Hot 100 with Cobra Starship, “Good Girls Go Bad.”

Two years after the show ended, she released her debut album “Heartstrings,” which peaked at No. 139 on the Billboard 200.

Acting-wise, she starred on the Fox sitcom “Making History,” and then the ABC sitcom “Single Parents” which were both canceled before their time. Her most recent film role was 2019’s “Semper Fi.”

Meester’s husband also happens to be teen TV royalty — she’s married to Adam Brody, aka Seth Cohen on “The OC.” They have two kids together.

Meester has 6 million followers on Instagram.


Chace Crawford played Nate Archibald, who can only be described as a lovable “himbo.”
Chace Crawford
Chace Crawford. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
Of anyone, Nate was the most innocent — he never sent in tips to Gossip Girl during high school, he wanted to get away from his overbearing parents, and he somehow dated every female in the cast without anyone hating him. A true talent.

After the show wrapped, Crawford, 36, appeared in a few films including “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” “Rules Don’t Apply,” and “Inheritance.” He also experimented with other TV series, including an episode of “Glee” and starring in a short-lived ABC series called “Blood & Oil.”

But, of course, Crawford can now be found on “The Boys,” the ultra-violent Prime Video series about the dark side of superheroes. He plays the Deep (a reference to Aquaman), in a surprisingly nuanced performance. The third season recently wrapped filming. He’s also set to appear alongside Val Kilmer in “Riptide,” and alongside Nina Dobrev, Billy Magnussen, and Jamie Chung in “Reunion.”

He also popped up on Kim Kardashian’s episode of “SNL” in October 2021.

Crawford has 2.2 million followers on Instagram.

Penn Badgley played Lonely Boy himself, Dan Humphrey.
Penn badgley
Penn Badgley. Jenny Anderson/Getty Images
Spoilers for an almost 10-year-old episode of TV … in the series finale, Dan was revealed, somehow, to be Gossip Girl. He claimed that it wasn’t creepy that he had dedicated his life to stalking his friends, and instead said it was romantic and showed how much he loved Serena … sure.

Badgley, 34, took a semi-break after “Gossip Girl,” appearing in a few movies and two episodes of “The Slap.”

But, in 2018, he came back with a bang with the Lifetime-turned-Netflix series “You,” in which he plays the somehow-likable stalker/murderer Joe Goldberg. It cannot be overstated how popular “You” is — Netflix reported that 40 million households watched season one in its first month on the streaming site. The show’s third season dropped in October 2021 and is just as murderous as ever. It was already renewed for a season four.

Badgley is married to Domino Kirke (sister of “Girls” star Jemima Kirke). They have one son together, in addition to Kirke’s son from a previous relationship. But before their relationship, Badgley actually dated his “Gossip Girl” co-star and love interest Blake Lively for three years.

He has 3.6 million followers on Instagram.

Kristen Bell’s voice was heard during every episode of “Gossip Girl” as the omniscient narrator, but she was only seen on-screen once during the series finale.
Kristen bell 2018 emmys
Kristen Bell. Steve Granitz/WireImage
In fact, Bell was the only main actor who returned for the HBO Max revival, once again playing the voice of Gossip Girl/narrator.

Of course, Bell is well-known for her role in “Veronica Mars” — including a fan-funded movie and a Hulu revival — and her starring role on “The Good Place.” She also voiced the lovable Anna in both “Frozen” and “Frozen 2,” starred in “House of Lies,” starred in both “Bad Moms” films, and had a voice role in “Central Park” until she was recast after season one.

Bell, 41, also hosted the Disney+ series “Encore!” This year, she’s starred in the film “Queenpins.” She also has the upcoming musical film “Molly and the Moon” alongside Jonathan Groff, a movie called “The People We Hate at the Wedding” with Ben Platt, Allison Janney, Tony Goldwyn, and more, and an upcoming Netflix series “The Woman in the House.”

Bell also regularly makes headlines for her relationship with her husband Dax Shepard, and their two daughters, Lincoln and Delta.

Bell has 14.9 million followers on Instagram.

While Blake Lively’s character Serena van der Woodsen might not have been the most popular, Lively is easily the most well-known person from the show.
Met Gala 2016
Blake Lively. Eduardo Munoz/Reuters
The events of “Gossip Girl” began when Serena makes her way back from boarding school to the Upper East Side, setting in motion six years of schemes, Gossip Girl blasts, ridiculous (yet fabulous) outfits, and thousands of fans clogging the steps of the Met trying to have their own “Gossip Girl” moment.

Before the show, Lively became a star to a specific subset of the population when she starred in the two “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” movies as the free-spirited Bridget. During the show, she also appeared in “The Town” and “Green Lantern” alongside her future husband Ryan Reynolds.

Soon after the show, she starred in “The Age of Adaline,” “The Shallows,” and “A Simple Favor,” all three of which had both box-office and critical success. Sure, she also starred in the flop “The Rhythm Section,” but nobody’s perfect. She’s also set to star in an adaptation of the popular Liane Moriarty novel “The Husband’s Secret.” Let’s not even mention Preserve.

In her personal life, Lively, 34, first publicly dated her co-star Penn Badgley, then Leonardo DiCaprio, and then Reynolds, whom she’s been married to since 2012 and has three daughters with. (Want to know their names? Just listen to Taylor Swift’s “Betty.”)

Lively has 30.3 million followers on Instagram.