Getty; Splash News Online
January 21, 2010 12:00 AM

After plenty of vague references and a mysterious letter, reps from the CW confirm to PEOPLE that actor William Baldwin will play Blake Lively‘s estranged father on Gossip Girl.

Baldwin, 46, will guest-star as William van der Woodsen beginning with an episode to air April 26. Manhattan’s Upper East Siders (and audiences) will finally find out the reasons why he abandoned his two children, played by Lively and Connor Paolo.

“I’m very excited,” Paolo told PEOPLE Wednesday on the set of Gossip Girl in New York City about working with his onscreen dad. “I have a great amount of love for all the Baldwins. We work closely with Mr. Alec Baldwin and the cast of 30 Rock at Silvercup Studios, so I’m very excited to get to work with another Baldwin.”

Not only is Paolo ecstatic to work with the former Dirty Sexy Money star, but he’s also an admirer of his work. “I’m a big fan,” the 19-year-old said. “He was in Forgetting Sarah Marshall as Kristen Bell‘s partner and he was awesome in that!”

With plenty of drama still to come when Gossip Girl returns to the CW in March, Paolo says he’s looking forward to the emotional family turmoil caused by Baldwin’s character’s arrival. Says Paolo: “It’s going to be fun!” –Paul Chi

Tell us: Does William Baldwin make a good van der Woodsen?Getty; Splash News Online

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