Sarah Michelle Gellar (born April 14, 1977) is an American actress. She is probably best known as Buffy Summers in the acclaimed television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for which she received a Golden Globe Award nomination. She won a Daytime Emmy Award for her role in All My Children.
She has since become known as a film actress, having starred in the family film Scooby-Doo (2002) and the sequel Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), the romantic comedy Simply Irresistible, the independent film Harvard Man (2001), the teen drama Cruel Intentions (1999) and the horror films The Return (2006), The Grudge 2 (2006), The Grudge (2004), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) and Scream 2 (1997). She was in the tv movie Beverly Hills Family Robinson (1998).
She also provided the voice of April O'Neil in the film TMNT and Ella (better known as Cinderella) in the film Happily N'Ever After.
She has also starred in several films that have yet to be released, including Southland Tales, The Air I Breathe, Suburban Girl and Addicted. She has yet to film the horror film, Alice (2007 Film).
Gellar was born in New York City, the only child of Rosellen Greenfield, a nursery school teacher, and Arthur Gellar. Both of her parents were Jewish, though Gellar's family had a Christmas tree during the holidays while she was growing up. In 1984, her parents divorced and she was brought up by her mother on the Upper East Side.
Gellar was estranged from her father from this time until his death from liver cancer on October 9, 2001. She attended New York's Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School and the Professional Children's School. Gellar held a straight-A average and became a competent figure skater. Her best friend was Melissa Joan Hart, who later was the star of the series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
Gellar attempted to capitalize on her television fame for a motion pictures career, with intermittent commercial success. After roles in the popular thrillers I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2 (both 1997), she starred in the 1999 films Simply Irresistible, a romantic comedy, and Cruel Intentions, a modern-day retelling of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Cruel Intentions, with a kiss between Gellar and co-star Selma Blair that won the two the "Best Kiss" award at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards, was a modest hit at the box office, grossing over $38 million in the U.S. 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 next played a lead role in James Toback's critically unsuccessful Harvard Man (2001) and starred as Daphne Blake in Scooby-Doo (2002), a live-action adaptation of the cartoon series. Gellar also appeared in the sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), which grossed less than the first film. She starred alongside her husband, Freddie Prinze, Jr. in both Scooby-Doo movies. Gellar's next film was the 2004 horror film The Grudge, which was a success at the box office. David Wirtschafter, the president of the William Morris Agency (which represented Gellar), subsequently told The New Yorker that the success of The Grudge "takes our client Sarah Michelle Gellar, who now is nothing at all, and...makes her a star, potentially. Suddenly, the Sarah Michelle Gellar space is meaningful". The remark led Gellar to terminate her association with the agency.
Gellar appeared in the sequel The Grudge 2, which opened on October 13, 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 on November 10, 2006. She then lent her voice to two animated films: the animated fairy tale Happily N'Ever After, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She has also starred in several films that have yet to be released, including Southland Tales, The Air I Breathe, Suburban Girl (earlier known as "A Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing"), and Addicted (a supernatural thriller based on the South Korean film Jungdok known to English language audiences as Addicted .) . The Air I Breathe and Suburban Girl have been seen by members of the public at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival but have no release date set at this time . Addicted has had a number of different release dates set ranging from September 2007 to February 2008 .Southland Tales opened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2006 and is set to release in the US on November 9th 2007.
Her next film, Alice, is in the pre-production stage.
Gellar met future husband Freddie Prinze Jr. during filming of the 1997 teen horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer but the two 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.
In 2004, while filming The Grudge in Japan, Gellar visited the famous Japanese swordsmith Shoji Yoshihara (Kuniie III) and bought a Katana from him as a birthday present for her husband. Gellar realized that she needed clearance from the government to remove the sword from the country, and after eventually succeeding, stated that it was "incredibly difficult" to do.
Gellar has said in interviews that she believes in God but does not belong to an organized religion.
Gellar has said in interviews that she collects rare editions of classic children's literature.