On 14 April, City Connect celebrates the birthday of Sarah Michelle Gellar, the American actress & producer famous for her leading role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and most recently appearing in the well-received drama series Ringer. She has been married to Freddie Prinze Jr. since 2002. The couple have two children.
After being found by an agent in a local restaurant in New York City, she had a role in the made-for-TV movie An Invasion of Privacy and went on to appear in shows like Spenser: For Hire. She originated the role of Kendall Hart on the ABC daytime soap opera All My Children, winning the 1995 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series.
Gellar came into promincence in the late 1997 when landed significant parts in the successful horror films I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2 and played 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 TV Actress and received a Golden Globe Award nomination. In her feature in Esquire magazine Gellar expressed her pride for her work on Buffy, “I truly believe that it is one of the greatest shows of all time and it will go down in history as that. And I don’t feel that that is a cocky statement. We changed the way that people looked at television.”
She found film critics praise for her performace in the teen drama Cruel Intentions (1999), a modern-day retelling of Les Liaisons dangereuses featured a kiss between Gellar and co-star Selma Blair that won the two the “Best Kiss” award at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards. This film was a modest hit at the box office, grossing over $38 million in the United States and over $75 million worldwide, and earned several awards and nominations. Critic Roger Ebert stated that Gellar and co-star Ryan Phillippe “develop a convincing emotional charge” and that Gellar is “effective as a bright girl who knows exactly how to use her act as a tramp”. Gellar’s role showed her versatility as an actress, and many were surprised to see her playing a brunette cocaine addict with an appetite for manipulating and using people. Her performance was praised by a number of critics, including Rob Blackwelder for SPLICEDwire, who wrote about the “dazzling performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar who plunges headlong into the lascivious malevolence that makes Kathryn so delightfully wicked. (Plus she looks great in a corset.)”.
Sarah Michelle Gellar subsequently appeared in the box office hits Scooby-Doo (2002), Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, (2004) and the American remake of Japanese horror film The Grudge (2004).
Since then she has starred in limited released and straight-to-video films such as 2006’s Southland Tales, 2007’s Suburban Girl and 2008’s The Air I Breathe.
More recently she starred in the television series Ringer, which started airing in late 2011. In 2011, Gellar signed on to star and work as executive producer for the drama series, in which she plays a woman on the run who manages to hide by living the life of her wealthy twin sister. The show was originally made for CBS but was picked up by its sister channel The CW in May 2011. Gellar has stated that part of her decision to return to a television series was because it allows her to both work and raise her daughter. The series premiered with high rating for the network (the first episode brought 2.84 million viewers) and mixed-positive reviews. E! Online wrote that Gellar was “awesome” and “fantastic”, TV Line remarked she “does a fine job” as both characters and USA Today found her performance “well-defined”.
On 15 February 2013, it was reported that Gellar would return to television with a pilot for CBS entitled Crazy Ones opposite Robin Williams. The show will be a single-camera comedy, about an advertising agency run by a father (Williams) and his daughter (Gellar).
Gellar is an active advocate for various charities, including breast cancer research, Project Angel Food, Habitat for Humanity and CARE. Of her charitable pursuits, she says, “I started because my mother taught me a long time ago that even when you have nothing, there’s ways to give back. And what you get in return for that is tenfold. But it was always hard because I couldn’t do a lot. I couldn’t do much more than just donate money when I was on the show because there wasn’t time. And now that I have the time, it’s amazing.”
Sarah Michelle Gellar has a black belt in taekwondo and four tattoos.
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