Taylor Momsen

Active - 2000 - 2021  |   Born - Jul 26, 1993 in St. Louis, Missouri, United States  |   Genres - Children's/Family, Comedy

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Biography by Nathan Southern

It would be difficult to imagine a more conspicuous or thrilling big-screen debut for a child actress than that of St. Louis-born Taylor Momsen, selected out of innumerable hopefuls at six years old to play Cindy Lou Who in Ron Howard's colorful holiday fantasy How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). The Momsen was already an on-camera veteran when she signed for the part (given her appearance in a Shake 'n Bake commercial at three years old, and one-shot roles on the series Early Edition and Cosby), The Grinch nevertheless heightened her exposure.

Not long after The Grinch, Momsen stuck with the same genre: the family-oriented fantasy Hansel & Gretel (2002), which sported Lynn Redgrave. That very same year, however, the pint-sized ingenue returned to A-list material with small contributions to two acclaimed blockbusters: Mel Gibson's military drama We Were Soldiers and the can't-miss sequel Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002), directed by Robert Rodriguez. Her next major cinematic contributions arrived in 2007, with turns in the FX-heavy canine superhero picture Underdog and Gus Van Sant's coming-of-age drama Paranoid Park.

Despite all of her work in high-profile films, Momsen broke through to mainstream notice in 2007 via her involvement in a prime-time teen soap opera: the CW's Gossip Girl. On that series, the actress played Brooklyn-dwelling wannabe social climber Jenny Humphrey (younger sister of Dan), who was a good girl at heart but flirted with misbehavior in her quest to become part of the rich-girl clique at her prep school. In 2008 she appeared in Spy School.

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  • Started acting professionally at age 3 in a Shake-N-Bake commercial.
  • At age 6, made film debut as Cindy Lou Who with Jim Carrey in 2000's How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
  • Starred with younger sister Sloane Momsen in We Were Soldiers (2002), in which they played Mel Gibson's daughters.
  • Auditioned for the lead role in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana and was in the Top 3 contenders, but ultimately lost the role to Miley Cyrus.
  • Best known for her role as Jenny Humphrey in the CW teen drama Gossip Girl.
  • Her alt-rock band the Pretty Reckless released debut album Light Me Up in 2010. A follow-up album, Hit Me Like a Man, was released in 2012.