Celia Catherine "CeCe" Rhodes (née Fitzgerald) was the mother of Carol and Lily Rhodes and grandmother to Serena and Eric van der Woodsen, Scott Rosson and Lola Rhodes. She was know for being manipulative and elitist. When Lily was dating Rufus Humphrey when they were both young, she made her choose between her inheritance or the boy, eventually resulting in their breakup for the first time.
Not much is known about her early life. It is mentioned, however, that CeCe grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and that she lives in Montecito, California, which both contain some of the most expensive real estate in the United States. She was the chairwoman of the debutante balls on the Upper East Side for 15 years. CeCe made Lily decide between Rufus and her inheritance, and also had Lily hide her pregnancy and child with Rufus by sending her to a hospital in France.
Throughout her life, CeCe has manipulated people in order to protect the interests of her family, especially when it concerns her youngest daughter, Lily. Her eldest child, Carol, did not agree with CeCe's lifestyle or her elitist views, eventually fleeing the trappings of her wealthy upbringing, thus infuriating CeCe.
Upon her introduction in season one, CeCe is adored by her granddaughter Serena, who sees her as a free spirit and looks up to her. Her opinion toward her changes, however, when CeCe tries to manipulate Serena's then-boyfriend, Dan Humphrey, and his father into staying away from her during the cotillion due to their low social standing.
In the second season, CeCe is recovering from cancer and has changed her views on life (somewhat) and attempts to aid Dan in winning Serena back at the White Party. On the other hand, it is she who reveals to Rufus Humphrey that Lily had given away their illegitimate child up so many years ago, causing a rift between Rufus and Lily again.
CeCe's relationship with Rufus and her daughter are shaky at best, but she does cover up for Lily when Lily lies about having cancer and getting treatment from Serena and Eric's father, Dr. William van der Woodsen.
Returning to the Upper East Side in the fifth season, it is learned that CeCe has been suffering from cancer for the past several months, though she keeps this from her family. Upon returning home, CeCe is looked after by Ivy Dickens, who at that time was still masquerading as her granddaughter, Charlotte Rhodes. After being airlifted to hospital, CeCe is surrounded by her family, though they are all surprised to learn that she is ill at all. Once everyone is together, the truth about Ivy's identity comes out when the real Charlotte Rhodes and Ivy come face to face. This revelation creates major problems for the Rhodes sisters, but the family put aside their differences temporarily to surround CeCe as she takes her final breath.
At the reading of her will, CeCe's estate is left to one "Ivy Dickens," indicating that CeCe was fully aware of who Ivy really was. Also, Ivy tells the VDW's that she told CeCe everything. Lily and Carol refuse to accept their mother's wishes, however, and plot to scam Ivy out of her inheritance, agreeing to split their mother's estate equally between them. By season's end, CeCe's estate has been recovered by the Rhodes sisters, though Carol's half is eventually left to her own daughter, who in turn signs it back over to Ivy.
- Richard "Rick" Rhodes (Ex husband)
- Lillian "Lily" Humphrey van der Woodsen (daughter)
- Carol Rhodes (daughter)
- Eric van der Woodsen (grandson)
- Charlotte "Lola" Rhodes (granddaughter)
- Charles "Chuck" Bass (adoptive grandson)
- Scott Rosson (biological grandson; adopted out of family)
- Serena van der Woodsen (granddaughter)
- Daniel "Dan" Humphrey (grandson-in-law)
CeCe: You will always use your dessert fork for your entrée. You will always feel under-dressed, no matter what you wear. At dinner parties, there will be difference; there a language that sounds like English and you think you speak it, but they don't hear you. And you don't understand them. As time passes, you'll feel like people never see you when they look at you, but wonder merely; whether you're Serena's whim or her... charity case. Until the day comes when you realize that girls like Serena don't end up with Dan Humphrey. They end up with the Carters of the world. And people like you; they turn to cocktail party anecdotes of their foolish youth. So, why don't you give it up and spare yourself the pain, hmm? I'm sure Serena will understand.
CeCe: If it was up to your father, they'd stop me at the county line, but Santa Barbara is really only a prison in my mind!
Rick: Nice to see you, Cece.
Cece: Wish I could say the same, Richard.