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28 October 2014
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Sarah Michelle Gellar

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[Plays Buffy Summers]

We're not talking about overnight success. This megastar has been in showbiz since she was four years old, and is a veteran of commercials, TV and movies.

Born in New York City in 1977 (so not a teenage vampire slayer, then), Gellar was "discovered" in a restaurant. Her first major role was in a commercial for Burger King, and she played a young Jackie Kennedy in the mini-series 'A Woman Called Jackie'. Hard graft through her tender years led to a part in the daytime drama, 'All My Children', in which she played Kendall Hart, the conniving secret daughter of Erica Kane (Susan Lucci). Although unknown in this country, it was Gellar's breakthrough in the States and netted her a Daytime Emmy in 1995.

In 1996 she was cast in the role of Buffy, Warner Brother's curious hybrid of 'My So Called Life' and 'The X-Files'. The hard-working star has also been involved in a number of movie projects, happily riding the current Hollywood wave of intelligent teen pics. She was a slay-ee in 'Scream 2' and 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', and played the romantic lead in 'Simply Irresistable' (which US critics found simply resistable)

Other curios lurking in the Gellar back-catalogue are the voice of the Gwendy Doll in the movie 'Small Soldiers' and a guest voice appearance on the cartoon series 'King of the Hill'. Perhaps her greatest big screen achievement to date was her work as Kathryn Merteuil in 1999's 'Cruel Intentions'. This clever take on Laclos' 1782 novel has Gellar as world-weary student, bored by her upper class existence and playing games with other people's emotions. It came as a shock to many to see our feisty blonde heroine as a drug-taking hypocrite. With brown hair. (Her natural colour, by the way.)

This busy actress has also found time for some New York stage appearances, in 'Jake's Women' and 'The Widow Claire' (opposite Matthew Broderick). There's no let-up in her schedule: she is signed up for the fourth season of Buffy and will make guest appearances in the 'Buffy' spin-off show, Angel.

All images are copyright 2000 20th Century Fox.

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