Sarah Michelle Gellar (born April 14, 1977) was the leading actress in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She was born in New York City and has been acting since the age of 4, when she did a commercial for Burger King. Her best friend as a child was Melissa Joan Hart who later played Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Gellar's major break was in 1992, in the teen soap opera Swan's Crossing. From there, she moved on to the long-runing soap opera, All My Children, where she played the conniving character Kendall Hart Lang, long-lost daughter of principal character Erica Kane (played by Susan Lucci). In 1995, at the age of eighteen, she won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Leading Actress in a Drama Series. Gellar left the series later that year after highly-publicized fights with Lucci, who was, by many accounts (reported by, among others, soap columnist Michael Logan), jealous of Sarah Michelle's Emmy win; this is due to Lucci receiving over a dozen nominations and never winning. Continuous on-set squabbles would haunt Gellar's reputation throughout her career.
Gellar left All My Children in 1995, and landed the lead in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The role made her a cult icon in the United States and the UK.
Though many regarded her character as a feminist icon, Gellar told Detour magazine: "I hate the word 'feminist.' It has a bad connotation of women who don't shave their legs or under their arms."
While continuing in that role, she attempted to capitalize on her television fame in order to create a career for herself in motion pictures. She has had only intermittent success. After small roles in the popular thrillers I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2, Gellar starred in the disastrous flop Simply Irresistible. This film, rumored to be the last film ever watched by critic Gene Siskel, featured a magical crab and borrowed heavily from Like Water for Chocolate. Gellar's next film was the steamy Cruel Intentions, a modern-day retelling of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Also in 1999, she made an appearance in the Stone Temple Pilots music video Sour Girl. She then went on to play a lead role in Harvard Man.
Gellar finally found box office success playing Daphne in Scooby-Doo, a live-action adaption of the cartoon series. The film was popular with audiences but universally panned by critics. Gellar also appears in the movie's sequel.
During the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Once More, With Feeling", which spawned an original cast album, Gellar sang on several of the songs: "Going Through the Motions", "I've Got a Theory", "Walk Through the Fire", "Something to Sing About", and "Where Do We Go From Here?".
On September 1, 2002, Gellar and teen-movie actor Freddie Prinze Jr. were married in Mexico.
Sarah Michelle Gellar recently starred in The Grudge, a 2004 remake of the Japanese horror film Ju-on.