Actress Leighton Meester vaulted into the pop culture vanguard in the fall of 2007 as the anti-heroine Blair Waldorf on the teen soap, "Gossip Girl" (The CW, 2007-13). Prior to her star-making turn on the popular show, the young Meester established her credentials with a voluminous list of television credits that included episodes of "7th Heaven" (WB/The CW, 1996-2007), "Veronica Mars" (UPN/The CW, 2004-07) and "24" (Fox, 2001-10). She graduated to a regular series role on the short-lived action drama, "Surface" (NBC, 2005-06), and had a recurring role on the equally fleeting "Shark" (CBS, 2006-08). Throughout her small screen career, Meester cleverly juxtaposed cattiness with doe eyes and a fresh-scrubbed, angelic face, all of which served her well as the shallow, intelligent, but ultimately good-natured fashionista on "Gossip Girl." Meester veered slightly from that formula when launching her film career, appearing mostly in low budget, direct-to-DVD offerings, where she took on a slightly broader range of razor-witted, high school alpha females - all of which promised greater things to come.