TV Guide is reporting that Firefly alum Gina Torres has been cast as Vanessa's mother - Gabriela Abrams - on Gossip Girl. She will begin appearing on the series this Fall in 2 episodes, and will be classified as a recurring character after that.
From TV Guide:
"Gabriela Abrams, mother to home-schooled vid-kid Vanessa, is described as being warm and outgoing, which will certainly be a change of pace for this show, not exactly known as the paragon of parental virtue. She is a free spirit, a former Brooklynite who lives "off the grid" in Vermont and has definite opinions about things, especially concerning her daughter."
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