Celia 'CeCe' Catherine Rhodes is a recurring character of the Gossip Girl TV series. The character was first introduced as an antagonistic matriarch set on taking control of her daughter, Lily van der Woodsen's personal life as well as her granddaughter's. Her antagonistic nature eventually softened as the series progressed. Caroline Lagerfelt portrays CeCe Rhodes throughout the series and Cynthia Watros portrays a younger Cece in one episode.
Manipulative, a skilled liar and prone to sarcastic remarks, CeCe makes her presence known to the series when she arrives with all of these attributes. Despite these traits, CeCe is a caring mother but has been known to make decisions that go outside of the maternal scope. An unconventional mother, she has gone above and beyond to keep her daughter happy even when her daughter doesn't agree with most of the life choices she enforces on her. She has been known to keep secrets from her family, an attitude which her daughter inherits from her. CeCe has covered most of Lily's past such as Lily's experience at a French sanatorium and the lovechild that resulted from Lily and Rufus' relationship. A woman with a joie de vivre, she indulges in alcohol and cigarettes until an illness hinting cancer has caused CeCe to reevaluate her life and changes from a manipulative woman to a grandmother willing to guide her family. CeCe gradually accepts her daughter's life choices but still retains her goal of making her daughter happy.
Season 1EditCeCe arrives at a cotillion rehearsal and warmly embraces her granddaughter but is considered an unwelcome arrival by her daughter. CeCe appears to accept Serena's choice of not attending her debut but has other plans in mind. Serena introduces CeCe to Dan Humphrey, who comments on the antiquity of the Cotillion and its classist nature. She dislikes Dan immediately when she finds out that he is related to Lily's old flame, Rufus. Using her age to her advantage, she lies to Lily about having a fatal illness and tells her that she would like her granddaughter to attend to her debut. The successful lie causes Lily to force Serena into attending her debut, causing a rift in Serena and Lily's maternal relationship. During a party at the Waldorf's, CeCe introduces Serena to her escort to Cotillion, Carter Baizen, whom Serena is familiar with from high school and her travels. Unable to relate to the wealth and privilege of Serena's peers, Dan decides to leave their presence and is met by CeCe. She openly considers him as a phase in Serena's life, further pushing Dan's irritation by implying him to be Serena's charity case. Dan retaliates by taking Serena to Cotillion himself. CeCe decides to take matters into her own hands and goes to Rufus' gallery to give him an offer that involves purchasing every painting in his gallery to elevate his wife's career as an artist and in exchange, Dan will stay away from Serena. Rufus kindly declines the offer and CeCe leaves, but not without stating how she made Lily choose between him and her inheritance and that Serena is more likely the same as her mother. Dan's duty of escorting Serena is cut short when Serena refuses to believe the truth behind her grandmother's manipulations. During Cotillion, Serena and Carter replace her presentation statement with lascivious remarks for the announcer to say in public. The statements humiliate both CeCe and Lily. Serena eventually discovers that Dan was right about CeCe. CeCe tells Serena about how a woman has to earn the right to create her own rules. Serena rebuffs the statement stating that times are different but asks her if she is ill. CeCe gives her an ambiguous answer but is surprised to see Dan, who takes Serena's hand and dances with her.
A concerned and solemn CeCe is seen alone in her hotel room with a variety of pills and drinking one of them, indicating that she does have an illness.
Season 2EditIn the second season premiere, CeCe spends the summer with her granddaughter in The Hamptons, preparing for The White Party. She is present when Chuck tries to humiliate Blair in front of James and sarcastically notes Chuck's transparency. While preparing for the party, she is surprised to see Dan when she answers the door to her home. She welcomes Dan into her home and explains to him that she knows that Serena isn't over him. Dan notices her sudden change in approach and she explains to him that a lot of things have been in remission, her attitude being one of them, still hinting that she has an illness. She then proceeds to have Dan escort her to party.
When Nate is jealous at Catherine's husband, Serena makes her jealous by making out with Nate in public, something that both a concerned CeCe and a clearly upset Dan witness. CeCe can be seen smiling at Dan when he and Serena resume their relationship.Bart Bass' death and funeral arrangements lead to CeCe's arrival to the van der Woodsen home to comfort Lily in her time of mourning. Old problems resurface when CeCe follows Lily to Central Park and sees her with Lily's old flame Rufus, is approached to by Chuck's private investigator Andrew Tyler who is placing one of Lily's long kept secrets up for auction, and has her relationship with her daughter strained because of her continuous push for Lily to confront the truth behind her past. CeCe approaches Rufus and hands him over Lily's documents containing her secret, explaining Lily's secret involving a French sanatorium. Serena's arrest and open disappointment at her mother causes her to call for CeCe's help and earns Lily's ire. Lily flashbacks to when she was a teenager, revealing that CeCe had divorced Lily's father and has been pushing her daughter to make choices based on her interests. Lily's antics with her sister lead to her arrest, which CeCe considers deserving for her daughter but nonetheless proceeds to bail her out. Carol dismisses her mother during Lily's phone call and bails out Lily herself. During prom, Lily apologizes to her mother before she leaves stating that even if her mother wanted to make her happy, not all of the choices CeCe had made for her would assuredly make her happy.
Lily's absence in the third season premiere is explained by her accompanying CeCe as she recovers from cancer. As the season progressed, Lily's overstay with CeCe in fact, involved secrets concerning Serena's father.Rufus decides to invite CeCe for Thanksgiving with Lily objecting to the idea, saying that CeCe is sick. CeCe arrives for Thanksgiving and Rufus explains that Lily said not to invite her considering her health. CeCe explains that she has been in remission since August and Rufus wonders why Lily didn't arrive until October. After a disastrous end to Thanksgiving, Lily lies to Rufus, saying that she wanted to stay with CeCe because of her change in attitude that she had grown accustomed to. CeCe overhears the lie and agrees to it. By the time Rufus leaves, CeCe tells Lily that some secrets don't stay hidden for long.
Lily decides to spend time with CeCe by leaving for Canyon Ranch and requests Rufus not to contact her at anytime. When Rufus call the receptionist at Canyon Ranch, he uncovers Lily's lie and phones CeCe, asking if Lily is with her and where she is if she isn't with CeCe. CeCe replies, saying that it's not her place to say where Lily is and if he wants to find out then he should call her.