Cindy Lou Who
Beginning her acting career at age 3 with a national commercial for ''Shake-N-Bake,'' Taylor Momsen made her first film at age 6 alongside Dennis Hopper in the thriller "The Prophet's Game" (1999). However, it was the next year's role of Cindy Lou Who in Ron Howard's Academy Award-winning live-action film ''How the Grinch Stole Christmas'' (2000) starring Jim Carrey that launched her name toward the spotlight.
Following her big break, Taylor landed more significant film roles. She has starred in such films as ''We Were Soldiers'' (2002), "Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams" (2002), "Hansel & Gretel" (2002; she played Gretel), "Saving Shiloh" (2006), "Paranoid Park" (2007) and "Underdog" (2007). She will next be seen alongside Forrest Landis and AnnaSophia Robb in the upcoming action-comedy directed by Mark Blutman, "Doubting Thomas."
On the small screen, TV viewers now can watch Taylor starring in The CW's teen drama series "Gossip Girl" (2007), playing Jenny Humphrey, Dan's (played by Penn Badgley) younger sister who often tries to fit in with the rich girls at her school.
St. Louis Girl
Childhood and Family:
"I'm a St. Louis girl. I grew up in St. Louis, and I currently live in Maryland. I guess I can almost say I'm currently living in New York." Taylor Momsen.
On July 26, 1993, Taylor Michel Momsen was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to parents Michael and Colette Momsen. Her younger sister is actress Sloane Momsen (born on December 20, 1996), who appeared alongside Taylor in the films "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000) and "We Were Soldiers" (2002).
"I'm the oldest. I think that's the only time I'm actually the oldest. I'm always the baby. I'm the baby in my school. I'm the baby on the show. I have a little sister who's 10. Her name is Sloane and she's awesome. I love her. She looks just like me. She's done a couple things, like 'SVU,' and stuff like that."
When she is not busy on set, Taylor enjoys her hobbies: going to the cinema, singing and dancing. She actually excels in dancing lessons.
As for her formal education, she said, "I go to a public school now. In New York, I'm going to be going into a public performing arts school. It's going to be great. They'll give me my work and they'll work with me. When I have to go on the set, I'll be in a tutor program, but it's the work from the school, so I can drop back into class on a day I'm not working. It will be really great."
At the age of three, Taylor Momsen made her first foray into acting by appearing in a national commercial for “Shake-N-Bake.” By age four, in addition to other national commercials, she had booked guest roles in an episode of the CBS sci-fi drama series “Early Edition” and on CBS’ acclaimed sitcom “Cosby.”
At age six, Taylor made her big screen debut alongside Dennis Hopper in director David Worth's thriller film, "The Prophet's Game" (1999).
In the next year, she got her first big break when she won the role of Cindy Lou Who, the eight-year-old girl in the Academy Award-winning live-action film directed by Ron Howard, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000; starring Jim Carrey in the titular role), which is based on the 1957 book by Dr. Seuss. Her performance received positive reviews, nominating her a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor, a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Female – Newcomer, and a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actress Age Ten or Under. Taylor, who also performs the song "Christmas, Why Can't I Find You?" in the film, later revealed that she had never read the book or seen the cartoon version before she auditioned for "The Grinch Stole Christmas."
Two years later, Taylor was cast in "We Were Soldiers" (2002), a war film starring Mel Gibson that dramatized the Battle of Ia Drang in November 1965. It was based on the book "We Were Soldiers Once ... And Young" by Lieutenant General (Ret.) Hal Moore and reporter Joseph L. Galloway, both of whom were at the battle.
Also in that year, she played a supporting role in writer/director Robert Rodriguez's family-oriented spy film "Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams" (2002), starring Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino.
Additionally, she shared the title characters of "Hansel & Gretel" (2002) with Jacob Smith in the film version of the classic fairy tale of Germanic origin of the same name. Dakota Fanning and Lynn Redgrave (portrayed the Witch) also starred in the film.
After disappearing from the screen for around four years, Taylor, now a preteen, returned with a starring role on The WB's sitcom "Misconceptions." Unfortunately, the show that also features "Frasier" star Jane Leeves and "3rd Rock From the Sun" star French Stewart, was never aired although six episodes were ordered at the time of the show's announcement.
Taylor also continued to add to her career resume with a supporting role in the 2006 family movie "Saving Shiloh," based on the book of the same name written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Jason Dolley and Jordan Garrett also star in the film that was directed by Sandy Tung.
"Oh, it's totally a blast. I'm having so much fun. Everyone is so great. I am younger, obviously, and it's a reality check, at the end of the day, because they treat me like such an individual, which I totally appreciate and totally love. But then, they'll go out and I have to go home and do homework. [Laughs] But, it's good. I love it. Everyone's so nice." Taylor Momsen (on working in the TV series "Gossip Girl").
Since September 19, 2007, TV viewers could catch Taylor regularly on The CW's teen drama series "Gossip Girl," based on the popular novel series of the same name written by Cecily von Ziegesar. In the show, which revolves around the lives of socialite young adults growing up on New York's Upper East Side, Taylor portrayed Jenny Humphrey, Dan's (played by Penn Badgley) younger sister who often tries to fit in with the rich girls at her school. At age 14, Taylor's character is the youngest of the show's characters.
When asked what she thinks is going to happen with her character on the show, Taylor said, "I'm sure whatever they come up with is going to be great. The writers are amazing and, so far, it's been awesome. If I had to make a prediction, I'm guessing she's going to be a little more involved with the whole dynamic of the upper inner circle."
Meanwhile, Taylor continued working for films, playing the female lead role in Gus Van Sant's Cannes-premiered film "Paranoid Park," which is based on a novel by Blake Nelson. as the girlfriend of a teenage skateboarder (played by newcomer Gabe Nevins) whose life begins to fray after he accidentally kills a security guard. She also starred as Molly, the writer for the school newspaper and owner to pet dog Polly (the title role's love interest), in "Underdog" (2007), the film version of a cartoon series of the same name. Jason Lee voiced the title role while Amy Adams voiced Polly.
As for her upcoming film project, Taylor has wrapped "Doubting Thomas," an action-comedy directed by Mark Blutman and starring Forrest Landis and AnnaSophia Robb.