Blake Lively is an American actress who rose to prominence in her junior year of high school after landing a prominent role in the 2005 hit The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Lively won her most renowned role to date two years later on the CW’s blockbuster teen drama Gossip Girl. Since the end of Gossip Girl in 2012, Lively has appeared in films such as The Age of Adaline, The Shallows, and A Simple Favor. She is currently married to Ryan Reynolds, an actor.
Blake Lively was born to a show business family on August 25, 1987, in Los Angeles, California. Ernie, her father, was an actor and director, and Elaine, her mother, was a talent scout. Lively is the youngest of five siblings, with four of her older siblings also working as actresses. Lively’s parents lived in Georgia before going to Los Angeles to pursue their show business careers, and the household was constantly influenced by the South. “I have a tight-knit Southern family,” she says. “So whenever I tell people I’m from L.A., they say, ‘Yeah, but you don’t count,’ I guess because of the Southern values I was raised with, and the way I eat—the more sugary and cheesy and fried, the better.”
Lively started first grade when she was just three years old. Her 6-year-old brother was so concerned about starting first grade alone that her mother informed the school that Blake (who was unusually tall for his age) was also 6 years old so that she could join him. “After a few weeks,” Lively remembers, “they said they would have to put me in mentally disabled classes because I wasn’t up to pace with the rest of the kids. They thought that I was slow because all I wanted to do was sleep while the other kids were doing their projects.”
After getting an early, if possibly unwise, start on her primary education, Lively had attended a whopping 13 different schools by the time she finished from elementary school. She eventually landed at Burbank High School, where she excelled in both academics and extracurricular activities. Besides from excelling in her AP classes, Lively was a cheerleader, class president, and member of her school’s show choir.
Movies and TV Shows
Despite intense pressure from her older siblings to drop out of school and pursue a career in acting, Lively initially displayed no interest. Instead, she had her own ambitions, which included attending Stanford University. Yet, her older brother Eric, realizing her star potential, pushed her to audition. “He was trying to get me to make life decisions at 15!” she recalls. He then began contacting agents and telling them about his beautiful, talented younger sister. “I was really busy at school,” Lively remembers, “and I would have these agents calling and saying, ‘We have an appointment for you.’ It was really hard to say no, because I didn’t want to make my brother upset.”
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
At the age of 17, Lively agreed to attend a few auditions during her junior year of high school. She had almost immediate success. She won a prominent role in the 2005 blockbuster “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” after only a few months of auditions, which took place during the summer between her junior and senior years at Burbank High. Her performance got her a nomination for Teen Choice Award for Breakthrough Movie Star.
Lively returned to Burbank for her final year after filming Traveling Pants and graduated in 2005. She returned to acting after obtaining her diploma, starring in the 2006 comedy Accepted alongside Justin Long and Jonah Hill. A year later, in 2007, Lively won her most well-known role to date on the hit adolescent drama Gossip Girl on the CW. The series portrays a group of rich youngsters on New York’s Upper East Side, with Lively starring as Serena van der Woodsen, a fashionable blonde and somewhat reformed party girl.
Gossip Girl immediately gained a cult-like fan base, thanks to extensive media coverage, including a provocative and controversial photoshoot in Rolling Stone magazine. Its young and gorgeous cast quickly became a fixture on celebrity magazine covers and websites. The fashion-forward event, and especially Lively’s persona, had a huge influence on fashion trends. In a case of on-screen romance spawning real-life love, Lively began dating her Gossip Girl co-star Penn Badgley, who played her character’s on-again, off-again beau, Dan Humphrey, in 2007. Lively and Badgely, on the other hand, divorced in 2010.
For her portrayal, Lively received the Teen Choice Award for TV Actress and TV Breakthrough Star in 2008. The final episode of Gossip Girl aired in December 2012.
Lively appeared to be on the verge of breaking out as a top-tier movie star, thanks to her stunning good looks, natural acting talent, and passionate support from Gossip Girl fans. Esquire deemed Lively “the most promising, fascinating, and gifted young actress of the year” in a January 2010 article. That same year, she played a young mother in Ben Affleck’s crime drama The Town, displaying a grittier side. The film, as well as Lively’s performance, received considerable critical acclaim.
The next year, Lively co-starred in Green Lantern opposite Ryan Reynolds, a big-screen adaptation of the legendary comic book series. While the film was a critical and commercial failure, the on-screen combination of Lively and Reynolds resulted in a real-life romance.
The Age of Adaline and A Simple Favor
In 2015, Lively starred in the romantic fantasy The Age of Adaline, in which she played a lady who hasn’t aged above the age of 29 due to a strange accident. She went on to star in the horror shark film The Shallows (2016) before playing a lady who mysteriously disappears in Paul Feig’s 2017 comedy-thriller, A Simple Favor, alongside Anna Kendrick. After that, Lively played a heartbroken assassin in the 2020 action drama The Rhythm Section.
Marriage to Ryan Reynolds and Children
When Lively and Reynolds began dating in 2011, they quickly became inseparable. In April 2012, they purchased a property in upstate New York. The couple married in a private ceremony on September 9, 2012, near Charleston, South Carolina, while keeping their plans hidden from the public. The couple’s wedding was attended by about 70 guests at Boone Hall Plantation. Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, a friend of Lively’s, performed at the event. She was previously linked to star Leonardo DiCaprio before meeting and marrying Reynolds.
Reynolds and Lively are the parents of four children. In December 2014, they welcomed their first child, a daughter named James. The couple welcomed their second daughter, Inez, in September 2016. Betty, the couple’s third child, was born in 2019. The news broke in early October, although according to Us Weekly, Betty was born in the summer.
Keeping personal things private once more, Lively announced the birth of their fourth kid in a February Instagram post when she was plainly no longer pregnant.