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Sarah Michelle Gellar (born April 14, 1977) is an American film and television actress. She is mostly known for her role as Buffy Summers on the WB/UPN television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for which she won six Teen Choice Awards and the Saturn Award for Best Genre Actress and received a Golden Globe Award nomination.

Her horror film work includes starring roles in Scream 2 (1997), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) and The Grudge (2004).

Early life[edit | edit source]

Gellar was born in New York City as an only child. Both of her parents were Jewish. In 1984, when she was 7 years old, her parents divorced and she was brought up solely by her mother. She graduated from Fiorello LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts in 1995.

Career[edit | edit source]

Early career[edit | edit source]

At the age of four, she was spotted by an agent in a restaurant in Uptown Manhattan. From this age she starred in the film An Invasion of Privacy and several commercials. As a child, Gellar modeled for magazines.

Gellar appeared in TV series such as Spenser: For Hire and Crossbow, and had minor roles in films. Her first major break came in 1992, when she starred in the serial Swans Crossing and was subsequently cast in the soap opera All My Children<. In 1995, at the age of eighteen, she won a Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series" for the role.

Breakthrough (1997–2003)[edit | edit source]

Gellar left All My Children in 1995. Gellar stated that she was screen tested eleven times before she landed the lead in the 1997 TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The show was well received by critics and audiences alike. Throughout its seven seasons and a total of 144 episodes, Buffy became cult icons in the United States, Canada, the UK and Australia, particularly as an archetype of an "empowered" woman.

Gellar in I Know What You Did Last Summer


Gellar built on her television fame with a motion picture career, and had intermittent commercial success. After roles in the popular films I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2 (both 1997), she starred in the 1999 films Simply Irresistible and Cruel Intentions. Several smaller films followed and Gellar continued her work in Buffy until it's seventh season after which she decided to leave, stating she needed a rest.

Gellar starred in Scooby-Doo (2002) and it's sequel Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004) with her future husband Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Later career (2004–2016)[edit | edit source]

Gellar's next film was the 2004 horror film The Grudge, which was a success at the box office. She appeared in the sequel The Grudge 2, which opened in October 2006; in the film, she has a minor role reprising her character from the first film. Gellar next appeared in the thriller The Return, which was released the following month and in which she played a businesswoman haunted by memories of her childhood and the mysterious death of a young woman.

These horror films were followed by several films, including two animated films and the 2009 horror film the Possession (a supernatural thriller based on the South Korean film Jungdok). After this film she turned down several films to spend more time with her husband. After her break Gellar starred in both smaller films and TV series, never picking up her previous commercial success.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Gellar met her future husband Freddie Prinze, Jr., during filming of I Know What You Did Last Summer, but the they did not begin dating until 2000. They were engaged in April 2001 and married in Mexico on September 1, 2002 in a ceremony officiated by Adam Shankman, a film director and choreographer with whom Gellar had worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Together, Gellar and Prinze have two children.

Horror filmography[edit | edit source]

Film Character Year
Flag of the United States.png I Know What You Did Last Summer Helen Shivers 1997
Flag of the United States.png Scream 2 Casey "Cici" Cooper
Flag of the United States.png Flag of Japan.svg The Grudge Karen Davis 2004
Flag of the United States.png Flag of Japan.svg The Grudge 2 2006
Flag of the United States.png The Return Joanna Mills

External links[edit | edit source]

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