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Lily van der Woodsen

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Gossip Girl S1 104
Lily van der Woodsen
General information
Full name Lillian Wilhelmina van der Woodsen (née Rhodes)
Nickname(s) Lily, Lil
Birthplace Montecito, CA (possibly)
New York City, NY (possibly)
Birthday August 7, 1967
Occupation Photographer (former)
Philanthropist and socialite
Family William van der Woodsen
(husband; 2 children)
Serena van der Woodsen
(daughter, with William)
Eric van der Woodsen
(son, with William)
Scott Rosson
(son, with Rufus; given up)
Charles "Chuck" Bass
(adoptive son, with Bart)
Bart Bass
(husband; deceased)
Henry Bass
(adoptive grandson, via Chuck)
Richard "Rick" Rhodes (father)
Celia "CeCe" Rhodes (mother; deceased)
Carol Rhodes
(older sister)
Charlotte "Lola" Rhodes
(niece / stepdaughter)
Daniel "Dan" Humphrey
(son-in-law, via Serena)
Blair Waldorf
(daughter-in-law, via Chuck)
Romances Rufus Humphrey
(ex-boyfriend; 1 child)
(ex-husband; annulled)
William van der Woodsen
(ex-husband; first time; 2 children)
(husband; second time)
Claus Richter (ex-boyfriend)
Klaus Muller (ex-husband)
Bart Bass (ex-husband: Widowed (twice))
Steven Spence (One night stand)
Russel Thorpe(ex-boyfriend/One night stand)
Friends Eleanor Waldorf
Enemies Alison Humphrey
Ben Donovan
Carol Rhodes
Ivy Dickens
Lola Rhodes
Juliet Sharp
Series information
Status Alive
Portrayed by Kelly Rutherford
Brittany Snow (teenager)
First appearance "Pilot"
Last appearance "New York, I Love You XOXO"

Lillian Wilhelmina "Lily" van der Woodsen (née Rhodes) is the youngest daughter of music executive Richard "Rick" Rhodes and the late Celia "CeCe" Rhodes. Lily is the mother to Serena and Eric van der Woodsen, as well as being the birth mother of Scott Rosson and the adoptive mother to Charles "Chuck" Bass, the latter of whom is the son to her ex-husband Bartholomew "Bart" Bass. She is a fictional character from the Gossip Girl novel series and the series' television adaptation of the same name. In addition, the television series' proposed spin-off, Valley Girls, would have centered on her life as a teenager in the San Fernando Valley.

Lily is portrayed by Kelly Rutherford in the Gossip Girl television series and by Brittany Snow in the flashback episode "Valley Girls."

Lily appeared in 96 episodes.



Lillian "Lily" van der Woodsen is the mother of Eric and Serena van der Woodsen.

TV series


Young Lily Rhodes (Brittany Snow)

Not much is known about Lily's past, except that she is the second born daughter in a wealthy family. Her father, Richard "Rick" Rhodes was a music executive and her mother Celia 'Cece' Rhodes was from the Upper East Side. Carol Rhodes, Lily's older rebellious sister, moved out of home and into San Fernando Valley when Lily was 16 years old. Little more than a year later, Lily ran away after a disagreement with her parents, to join Carol. Although she had always previously behaved as a proper member of upper class society, Lily was influenced by the LA lifestyle, changing her into a wild child.

It was mentioned she is an alumna of Brown University, as well as The Thacher School, a prestigious boarding school in southern California (although she was dismissed). 

Lily's children, Eric Van der Woodsen and Serena Van der Woodsen, have sometimes come second to her love life. Eric's fortunate fail at suicide, resulting in a rushed but important friendship with Jenny Humphrey(Dan's younger sibling), Serena a forever (sometimes reformed) wild child. 

Lilly later tried at a reconciliation after dating  Mr. Bass. She starts a relationship with him without letting Serena and Eric know.  Rufus Humphrey is hurt by this outcome. In season 2 she has a relationship with Rufus Humphrey, later Mr. Bass dies in a driving accident.

During her late teens/early 20s, Lily met Rufus Humphrey and the two began dating whilst he traveled cross country with his band Lincoln Hawk. Lily was a photographer for the band, who captured the band's iconic image. During the travels of Lily and Rufus, Lily became pregnant, rather than tell Rufus she returned home. Lily's mother sent her to a French institution where she gave birth to their son, Scott. She gave the baby up for adoption and never spoke of him again for years. Later it would be revealed that the son she gave up would return. At some point after the adoption, Lily married Dr. William Van der Woodsen, whom would become father to her daughter Serena and son Eric.

However, William ran off later causing Serena to have low esteem issues and to be worried about her father and why he wasn't with her, that caused her to have "daddy issues" through out her life. However the two would later reconcile before he left his children again. Lily later marries Bart Bass and then after his death, a year after, became married to Rufus Humphrey.

In season three, Lily is living in the Van der Woodsen penthouse with husband Rufus, son Eric and step-daughter Jenny.

She is portrayed as a caring, albeit stern mother who combines a need for human warmth (which she finds through Rufus Humphrey) alongside a deep understanding and respect for societal constraint, hierarchy and obedience. This is illustrated by her character's resemblance (in spite of her professed wishes) to her mother, CeCe Rhodes.

In season three's Dr. Estrangeloved we learn that Lily is being treated for cancer.


  • "Frankly Carol I'm surprised it took you this long to realize what Mother really thought of you" (to Carol)
  • "At least I didn't embezzle my own daughters trust fund so I could go shopping at LuluLemon "(to Carol)
  • "This is an adult scandal. And the adult thing to do is for me to pay everyone back. And for you to do absolutely nothing. Now let it go.... Am I understood?" (to Serena)


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