Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers) remains closely tied to Buffy and has mentioned in multiple interviews how much she loved playing the character.
Gellar met her husband, Freddie Prinze Jr., while working on the live-action Scooby-Doo films.
Gellar has appeared in various TV shows and movies, including the Paramount+ series Wolf Pack.
For those of us growing up in the early 2000s, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the show that had it all. Love, action, teenage drama, vampires – everyone wanted to join the “Scooby Gang” back then. Now, a little over two decades since the series’ ending, Buffy remains as culturally significant as ever.
Though filled with vampires, demons, and things that went bump in the night at Sunnydale, at its heart Buffy was always about the characters. And it’s the talented cast that elevated clever writing and cheeky humour into something iconic for fans. Sarah Michelle Gellar headlined as the reluctantly duty-bound Buffy, leading a pack featuring Alyson Hannigan as lovable witch Willow, Nicholas Brendon as Xander, the brave human sidekick, and Anthony Head as their stern Watcher. The core four slayed both monsters and ratings – while supporting stars like Emma Caulfield, Michelle Trachtenberg, James Marsters, and more left lasting marks during their time in Sunnydale.
In commemoration of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s finale twenty years ago, let’s look at what the show’s cast have been up to these days – and where their vampire-slaying days led them!
The lead slayer herself has been busy since her Buffy days. Over 25 years since she first stepped into the role, Gellar remains closely tied to Buffy. She’s mentioned in multiple interviews how much she loved playing Buffy, and how she believes the character is a great role model for young women.
At the same time she was working on Buffy, Gellar also stepped into the role of Daphne Blake for James Gunn’s live-action Scooby-Doo films. That’s where Gellar met her husband, Freddie Prinze Jr., who also played Freddie in the live-action Scooby films. The couple has been together since 2002, making them one of Hollywood’s most rock-solid pairs.
Gellar has popped up everywhere from The Simpsons to the Zombies mode in the original Call of Duty: Black Ops. Last year, Sarah Michelle Gellar starred in the Paramount+ supernatural series Wolf Pack. She played an arson investigator looking into mysterious wildfires and butting heads with the werewolves secretly battling a greater evil behind the blazes.
Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris)
Nicholas Brendon hasn’t lost that goofy charm he displayed as Xander chasing baddies with Buffy and the Scooby Gang – even if his life after Sunnydale has felt a bit like the Hellmouth at times.
Brendon has appeared on shows like Criminal Minds and Private Practice, even flexing some voice acting chops on the zany web series Very Bad Koalas. Beyond that, however, the actor has also been dealt some rough blows over the years. He’s courageously spoken out about personal battles with addiction and mental health issues that have led to unfortunate arrests and legal run-ins.
In 2017, Brendon was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend, starting a legal saga that would last years. These days, however, Brendon seems more focused on painting than acting, sharing his passion with his thousands of Instagram followers. Last year, he celebrated the show’s anniversary, telling fans he loved “that so many of you connected with the show and the characters.“
Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg)
Since leaving behind her bewitching charms, Alyson Hannigan has been acting almost non-stop. She became even more famous as sage band camper Michelle in the American Pie film series, appearing in all four slapstick comedies through 2012.
Hannigan also won over sitcom fans during a lengthy stint playing Lily Aldrin on the hit show How I Met Your Mother from 2005 to 2014 – nabbing herself a couple of People’s Choice awards in the process. She also presented Penn & Teller: Fool Us from 2016 to 2022.
She’s also starred in movies like Date Movie and Flora & Ulysses – and even voiced the mom on Disney Junior’s animated Fancy Nancy. Plus, much like Gellar, Hannigan also found love on the Buffy set, marrying her long-time companion, Alexis Denisof, in 2003. Apparently, that show was the king of matchmakers.
Anthony Head (Rupert Giles)
Anthony Head dove into several regal roles after leaving his Watcher duties behind in Sunnydale. He played King Uther Pendragon, the medieval father of Arthur, for five seasons on the magical series Merlin. Head also brought the laughs voicing an absent-minded pilot on the acclaimed BBC radio comedy Cabin Pressure from 2008 to 2014.
Fans glimpsed his comedic chops again with a stint playing the Prime Minister on the irreverent sketch show Little Britain. Film-wise, he’s appeared everywhere from Percy Jackson to The Inbetweeners Movie. Plus, Head occasionally returns to his musical theatre roots in productions like Chess and selections from Andrew Lloyd Webber.
But recently, Ted Lasso viewers saw Head’s deliciously villainous side as Rupert Mannion – the arrogant, scheming ex-husband of Rebecca Welton. After years of assisting a vampire slayer, Head clearly relishes his turn to the dark side manipulating the hapless Ted. Who knew Giles had such duplicity in him?
James Marsters (Spike)
James Marsters has stayed immersed in the sci-fi and fantasy worlds he inhabited as punk vampire Spike since departing Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He faced off against Superman himself by voicing Brainiac on Smallville and archnemesis Lex Luthor in the animated film Superman: Doomsday. Marsters brought his bad boy charm to the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood as roguish time agent Captain John Hart.
He explored the early origins of Battlestar Galactica through the prequel series Caprica as religious zealot terrorist Barnabas Greeley. And Marvel fans saw him as troubled scientist Victor Stein, an abusive father to one of the teenage superheroes of Runaways. Few actors can rival Marsters’ sheer versatility across genre entertainment over the past two decades.
Off-screen, he’s a doting father of two who has experienced the peaks and valleys of marriage twice over. Marsters tied the knot with his first wife Liane Davidson back in 1989, with whom he shares his musician son Sullivan born in 1996. After their 1997 divorce, he remarried Patricia Jasmin Rahman in 2011 and welcomed a daughter named Olivia into the fold in 2012.
Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers)
After a few seasons causing chaos in Sunnydale as Dawn Summers, Michelle Trachtenberg took on an array of film and television roles. She appeared in the 2004 comedy EuroTrip as a teen journeying across Europe. 2005 saw Trachtenberg try on some ice skates for the Disney movie Ice Princess, where she played a science whiz with Olympic dreams.
Her scheming persona from Buffy days emerged again as Georgina Sparks, an antagonist socialite stirring up trouble on the teen drama Gossip Girl from 2008 to 2012. Trachtenberg flexed dramatic skills on the NBC medical series Mercy playing a newbie nurse. She took a dark turn portraying Marina Oswald, wife of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, in the 2013 TV movie Killing Kennedy.
Most recently, in 2021, Trachtenberg returned to her villainous ways, hosting the true crime series Meet, Marry, Murder – using that Dawn Summers snark to narrate deadly marital tales. Whether causing Buffy headaches or spilling gossip on the Upper East Side, Michelle Trachtenberg clearly relishes her rebel girl roles.
David Boreanaz (Angel)
As the dark, brooding vampire-with-a-soul Angel, David Boreanaz quickly became a Buffy fan favourite. So much so that he headlined the spinoff series Angel for five seasons. When that show wrapped in 2004, Boreanaz moved on to another hit genre show, playing FBI agent Seeley Booth on Bones. The crime procedural, centred around Booth teaming up with a forensic anthropologist nicknamed “Bones,” entertained viewers for 12 seasons until 2017.
Boreanaz quickly jumped to his next long-running show, SEAL Team, that same year. He stars as Jason Hayes, an intense special warfare operator leading an elite unit of Navy SEALs on dangerous global missions. SEAL Team allows Boreanaz to tap into his athleticism while exploring timely geopolitical conflicts. And as a producer and frequent director, he takes an integral creative role behind the scenes as well.
After over two decades of bouncing between hit genre shows, the SEAL Team production schedule still leaves Boreanaz time for passion projects. From appearing in Family Guy cameos (as the Aurora Boreanaz, of course) to voicing Squall in Kingdom Hearts, Boreanaz has done a bit of everything since Buffy and Angel.
Seth Green has remained busy with his true passions – comedy and animation – since his memorable run as guitarist-werewolf Daniel “Oz” Osbourne on Buffy. Though he left Sunnydale in 2000, Green remains a dynamic voice actor behind countless roles on the animated sitcom Family Guy, including Chris Griffin, Neil Goldman, and others.
He created the Emmy-winning stop-motion sketch series Robot Chicken in 2005, blending action figures and irreverent humor to comic effect. Green brought that trademark wit to voicing Howard the Duck in the MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Mass Effect‘s wisecracking pilot Joker. Beyond animation, he flexed his writing and directing chops on the 2019 buddy comedy Changeland, which co-starred Macaulay Culkin.
Though slight in stature, Green looms large in the pop culture landscape thanks to an enduring love for comic mischief-making. While devoted Buffy fans surely missed his laconic Oz once he disappeared from Sunnydale, Green kept busy forging his own stellar Hollywood legacy. Few former teen drama guest stars can claim such an enduring, multifaceted career.
Tell us, who was your favourite of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
A young woman, destined to slay vampires, demons and other infernal creatures, deals with her life fighting evil, with the help of her friends.
Creator: Joss Whedon
Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan
Born in Venezuela – and still living there – Tito Pernalete loves all things geeky and sci-fi. He studied Social Communications in college: an odd career choice for a confessed introvert. Though he has experience as a director of photography for some short films, Tito has been a writer for most of his adult life, with a particular interest in movies/TV and tech in general. When he's not playing Elden Ring or binge-watching a horror movie marathon, you can find him planning his dream trip to Japan. His favourite film is RoboCop, but he also has a soft spot for cheesy 80s horror flicks and anything made by Wes Anderson.