Born April 14, 1977 (age 38)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Other names Sarah Michelle Prinze
Occupation Actress, producer, entrepreneur
Years active 1981–present
Spouse(s) Freddie Prinze, Jr. (m. 2002)
Awards See below
Sarah Michelle Prinze (née Gellar; born April 14, 1977) is an American actress, producer and entrepreneur. After being spotted by an agent at the age of four in New York City, she made her acting debut in the made-for-TV movie An Invasion of Privacy (1983). Gellar went on to appear in episodes of Spenser: For Hire and Crossbow and have small roles in films such as Funny Farm (1988) and High Stakes (1989). Her first leading part was in the 1992 miniseries Swans Crossing, for which she was nominated for two Young Artist Awards. Gellar’s television breakthrough came in 1993, when 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 received worldwide recognition for her portrayal of Buffy Summers on the WB TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003), which earned her six Teen Choice Awards, the Saturn Award for Best Genre Television Actress and a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Drama. The character was widely popular during the airing of the show and became recognized as one of the 100 greatest female characters in U.S. television. Gellar also gained recognition for horror films like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2. She eventually played Kathryn Merteuil in Cruel Intentions (1999) and appeared as Daphne Blake in Scooby-Doo (2002), her biggest live-action commercial success.
In 2004, Gellar starred in two box office hits, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed and The Grudge, and subsequently appeared in the sequel, The Grudge 2 (2006). She then focused on smaller-scale films, such as Southland Tales (2007), The Air I Breathe (2008) and Veronika Decides to Die (2009). She starred in the television drama series Ringer, which ran for one season from 2011 to 2012 and in the CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones with Robin Williams from 2013 to 2014. In 2015, she joined the cast of the animated series Star Wars Rebels for season two, playing a character known as the Seventh Sister.
In October 2015, Gellar co-founded Foodstirs, a foodcrafting brand and e-commerce startup selling baking kits for kids.
Gellar was born in New York City, New York. She is the only child of Rosellen (Greenfield), a nursery school teacher, and Arthur Gellar, a garment worker. Both of her parents were Jewish, though Gellar’s family had a Christmas tree during her childhood holidays. In 1984, when she was seven, her parents divorced and she was raised by her mother on the city’s Upper East Side. While Gellar grew up with her mother, she lost contact with her father, from whom she remained estranged until his death in 2001; she once described him as “non-existent”, and has remarked: “My father, you can just say, is not in the picture. I’m not being deliberately evasive about him, it’s just that there’s so little to say. He is not a person who exists in my life. Just because you donate sperm does not make you a father. I don’t have a father. I would never give him the credit to acknowledge him as my father.” Besides being a working child at the time, Gellar was a competitive figure skater, finishing in third place at the New York State regional competition. She also placed fourth at a Tae Kwon Do competition at Madison Square Garden (she was a black belt).
Gellar was given a partial scholarship to study at the Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, as her mother was not able to pay full tuition, for which she was constantly bullied. She said in an interview with The Independent: “I was different and that’s the one thing you can’t be at school, because you’re ostracised. I didn’t have the money these kids had”. Gellar was not present in class for most of the time at the school as she had to work in several acting projects simultaneously, recalling that she “had more absences in the first month than you’re supposed to have for an entire year. I was telling them that I had back problems and had to go to the doctor the whole time”. Gellar then briefly attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, but dropped out due to acting obligations; the teachers threatened to fail her because of her constant absence from classes as she was busy going to auditions, despite earning good grades. Gellar graduated from the Professional Children’s School, in 1994 as a straight-A student with a 4.0 grade average. As Gellar spent significant time working on All My Children while “trying to graduate”, the majority of her senior year was completed through guided study.
Gellar met her future husband Freddie Prinze, Jr., while they were filming 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 director and choreographer with whom Gellar had worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Prinze and Gellar have worked together several times; they played each other’s respective love interests as Fred and Daphne in the 2002 film Scooby-Doo and its sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, and both provided their voices for the animated features Happily N’Ever After and Star Wars Rebels (2007). In honor of their fifth year of marriage, Gellar legally changed her name to Sarah Michelle Prinze.
Together, Gellar and Prinze have two children: daughter Charlotte Grace (born in 2009) and son Rocky James (born in 2012). The family lives in Los Angeles, California.