Leighton Meester: We've Got Our Eyes On The 'Gossip Girl' In This Week's Star Gazing

Though we weren't sunning beside a pool in the Hamptons or cutting our tabloid teeth in Europe, we can't help but be a bit wistful that summer is ending. But the turning of the leaves signifies something even better than the start of sweater season—the return of our favorite T.V. shows!

Last night we welcomed back our favorite Upper East Siders (and newcomer Joanna Garcia) from their respective vacays and learned what sort of mischief they were up to over the break (we're looking at you, Serena). One of the more surprising developments of the night was Chuck Bass' (Ed Westwick) ability to stay faithful to newfound love Blair (though they did spice things up with a little naughty role-playing). In honor of the Queen B's triumphant return to prime time, "Gossip Girl" actress and pop singer Leighton Meester is the focus of this week's "Star Gazing." Click on the photo below to check out what Leighton's been up to lately and continue reading after the jump to get the deets on her rise to fame.

Born while her mother was serving a prison term for drug trafficking, Leighton knew from an early age she wanted to be an actress. "I watched a lot of TV, and it clicked one day that these people were acting," Leighton told Cosmopolitan . "It sounded like the most fun thing ever." Around the age of 9, she began appearing in local stage productions, later securing a slew of T.V. guest spots on shows like "House," "Law & Order" and perhaps most famously as virginal pop-star Justine Chapin on "Entourage." Then came the never-ending collection of headbands and sense of entitlement as bitchy Blair Waldorf.

Leighton's been branching out from the Upper East Side of late though, working on a solo album, starring in the VMA-nominated Cobra Starship video "Good Girls Go Bad," and taking on film roles including "Date Night" and college thriller "The Roommate" alongside Minka Kelly and "Twilight" actor Cam Gigandet. But with boyfriend Sebastian Stan working alongside her on "GG," we have a feeling Leighton won't stray too far from her Manhattan roots just yet.