The Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast includes Sarah Michelle Gellar, David Boreanaz, Alyson Hannigan, Seth Green, and more.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a Joss Whedon-created supernatural drama series that ran for 7 seasons. The series is based on the 1992 movie of the same name, which Whedon both wrote and directed. The series made a household name out of its star, Sarah Michelle Gellar, but she didn’t do the heavy lifting all by herself. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast has, by and large, done great things in Hollywood.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer ran for 7 seasons, first on The WB for seasons 1-5, then moving over to UPN for seasons 6-7. There were 144 total episodes in its 7 seasons and only two of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast appeared in all of them, while another appeared in 143 episodes.
The series was responsible for a popular spin-off, Angel, that brought over a few Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast members.
Let’s take a look at the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast and see where they are now.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER CAST
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Main Cast
Sarah Michelle Gellar – Buffy Summers (144 episodes)
Although she was not the original Buffy, that title goes to Kristy Swanson, she is THE Buffy. Sarah Michelle Gellar led the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast for every episode throughout the show’s seven-year run.
When we first see Gellar’s Buffy, she is slowly beginning to accept what fate has delivered to her – the supernatural and superhuman ability as the Slayer, a Chosen One who has been given the skills and strength to fight vampires and other forces of darkness.
1997 was a big year for Sarah Michelle Gellar’s career. She was first seen in Beverly Hills Family Robinson, then the thriller I Know What You Did Last Summer where she met her future husband, Freddie Prinze Jr., then she had a small part in Scream 2, and finally, she was introduced to the world as the new Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
While Gellar was slaying vampires and demons, she was also starting to carve out a nice career for herself. Simply Irresistible and Cruel Intentions were two of her popular films and then in 2002, Gellar, along with Prinze Jr., starred in the first of two Scooby-Doo films. When Buffy ended in 2003, for the next 8 or so years, Gellar focused on her feature film career.
Taking advantage of her Buffy background, Gellar moved on to horror films such as The Grudge, The Return, The Grudge 2, and Possession. This last film, 2009’s Possession, would be the final feature film Gellar would appear in for a decade as her attention turned toward television.
Sarah Michelle Gellar would appear in TV series such as Ringer and The Crazy Ones while lending her voice to animated series like Star Wars: Rebels, Robot Chicken, and Masters of the Universe: Revelation. In 2016, Gellar would return to one of her most popular roles when she was in the TV movie, Cruel Intentions that saw Kathryn Merteuil back to cause more trouble.
Gellar took on two small roles in the 2022 films, Clerks III and Do Revenge, but most recently she has returned to her horror roots on the new TV series, Wolf Pack.
The series follows a couple of teenagers who are bitten by a mysterious creature after a wildfire brings it out of hiding. Gellar is on board as Agent Kristin Ramsey, who is sent to investigate the fire but discovers much more than she bargained for.
Alyson Hannigan – Willow Rosenberg (144 episodes)
Actress Alyson Hannigan has been a part of two significant television series during her career. Not only did she star as Willow Rosenberg, part of Buffy the Vampire Slayers “Scooby Gang,” but she also starred in the long-running, very popular sitcom, How I Met Your Mother.
As one of the main cogs in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast, Hannigan played Willow, one of Buffy’s close friends, who discovers she has magical powers and begins to study witchcraft as a way to hone them. At first, Willow is a shy, nerdy, high schooler, but as time goes on in the series, she becomes a much more confident young lady.
Although Hannigan is known for playing both Willow in Buffy and Lily Aldrin in How I Met Your Mother, she is also famously known for playing Michelle in the American Pie franchise. She was two years into Buffy when American Pie called, uttering those famous words, “This one time, at band camp…” Hannigan would eventually star in American Pie 2, American Wedding, and American Reunion.
Throughout her career, Hannigan has offered her voice for a number of animated shows. These include The Goode Family, The Simpsons, American Dad, and Robot Chicken. Her biggest voice role came as Claire Clancy in the series Fancy Nancy.
The past few years have seen Hannigan’s career move at a slower pace. Since 2020 she has only been involved in a few projects, the aforementioned Fancy Nancy being one. In 2021, Hannigan was seen in Disney’s Flora & Ulysses and then in 2023, she appeared in one episode of Disney’s Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.
Nicholas Brendon – Xander Harris (143 episodes)
Nicholas Brendon became a part of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast extremely early in his career and maybe it was because of this early massive success that his life eventually went off the rails. Brendon’s career has been filled with depression, drugs and alcohol, suicide attempts, and multiple arrests, and since 2017, Brendon has only appeared in a few projects.
In 2004, Brendon announced at a Buffy convention that he had entered rehab for alcoholism. It would be something he would revisit numerous times moving forward, trying to successfully battle his demons. It would be a common theme.
In Buffy, Brendon starred as Xander Harris, one of Buffy’s high school friends who helps her fight vampires. After Buffy ended in 2003, Brendon found time on the short-lived and underrated sitcom, Kitchen Confidential which was led by Bradley Cooper. Even with all his self-inflicted troubles, Brendon managed to work fairly regularly, with his biggest role coming on Criminal Minds, where he appeared in 21 episodes between 2007-2014.
Since 2018, Brendon has continued to deal with his personal issues. They have caused him to step way back in his career, with him only being a part of four projects in that timeframe. He’s had run-ins with the law during this time.
Anthony Stewart Head – Rupert Giles (121 episodes)
Make no mistake about it, Anthony Stewart Head is one of the busiest actors going in Hollywood, and being part of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast was just the beginning.
Head starred as Rupert Giles on Buffy, the Watcher whose task is to oversee Buffy’s actions as Slayer. He was a main force in the series’ first five seasons, then became a recurring character in seasons 6 and 7.
Since his time on Buffy ended, Head has seen time on numerous TV series, been in a number of television movies, and has also dialed up a feature film or two. Since 2020, Head has been in series such as Feel Good, The Canterville Ghost, Bridgerton, Motherland, and Ted Lasso.
With as popular a character actor as Anthony Head has proven to be, don’t expect his dance card to be empty any time soon.
James Marsters – Spike (96 episodes)
James Marsters joined the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast as Spike, a recurring character in season 2. The following season he was a guest star on the show before becoming a permanent fixture on the show in season 4. When Buffy ended in 2003, Marsters moved over to the Buffy spin-off, Angel, to play Spike in Angel’s fifth and final season.
Marsters is another one of the Buffy cast who has carved out a very nice career. After Buffy and Angel concluded, Marsters has seen plenty of time on both the big and small screen, even playing the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy in the mini-series, The Capture of the Green River Killer.
One of Marsters bigger roles recently was in Hulu’s Marvels Runaways, from 2017-2019. Since that time, Marsters has been fairly quiet on the big and small screen, only having appeared in Hawaii Five-O, The Order, and Leverage: Redemption. He will be seen in the upcoming series, Casa Grande.
Emma Caulfield – Anya Jenkins (81 episodes)
Emma Caulfield didn’t join the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast until the third season when she was brought on as Anya Jenkins, a vengeance demon who granted wishes to women who had been wronged by the men in their lives. She permanently joined the cast in the fourth season and was a mainstay until the series ended.
After Buffy’s run ended, Caulfield had a very nice run on television and features. On TV she has starred in series such as Life Unexpected, Gigantic, Bandwagon: The Series, Once Upon a Time, and Wandavision.
On the big screen, Caulfield has been in Confined, Removal, Back in the Day, and most recently, I’m Charlie Walker. She will also be seen in the upcoming Disney+ series, Agatha: Coven of Chaos as she reprises her Wandavision role as Sarah Proctor.
Michelle Trachtenberg – Dawn Summers (66 episodes)
Michelle Trachtenberg joined the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast for the final three seasons. Her character had been foreshadowed for years and finally, in the fifth season, Buffy’s younger sister, Dawn, appeared. It was as if she had always been on the series.
Following the end of Buffy, Trachtenberg jumped into features. Her first one was the underrated comedy, Eurotrip. She then appeared in Mysterious Skin, Disney’s Ice Princess (a film in which Trachtenberg, who had never ice skated before, learned to do so almost professionally in ten months-time), a wholly unnecessary and terrible remake of the classic horror film Black Christmas, and 17 Again.
Trachtenberg’s career is also marked by two other television series, the first being Mercy, and the second, Gossip Girl. Since the mid 2010s, Trachtenberg has not seen much screen time, only appearing in a few projects.
Her latest one was a return to her Gossip Girl days when she reprised her role as Georgina Sparks in the Gossip Girl revival.
David Boreanaz – Angel (57 episodes)
David Boreanaz is another actor who came from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer casting tree to make it good in Hollywood. He arrived on the scene as Angel, the love interest of Buffy, but matters between them are very complicated as Angel is a vampire and Buffy is the Slayer.
Boreanaz portrayed Angel as a recurring character during the series’ first season, then was a main character for seasons 2 and 3, only to return as a guest in seasons 4, 5, and 7.
The popularity of his character allowed creator Joss Whedon the luxury of creating a spin-off series, Angel, that Boreanaz led for five seasons. After both Buffy and Angel ended, Boreanaz didn’t have to wait long before he found his next big role, that being Seely Booth in the long-running hit series, Bones, which co-starred Emily Deschanel and ran for 12 seasons.
His luck continued as Bones ended and SEAL Team began. Since 2017, David Boreanaz has been playing Jason Hayes in the hit series.
Charisma Carpenter – Cordelia Chase (54 episodes)
For the first three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charisma Carpenter played Cordelia Chase, a high school student and potential friend to Buffy, who quickly shows who she truly is when she ridicules Willow.
Throughout the first season, Cordelia continues this tack of belittling other Buffy characters until she finally understands what Buffy is all about and helps her battle the vampires, eventually becoming a part of the Scooby Gang.
Carpenter lasted three seasons on Buffy then she followed David Boreanaz over to Angel where she played Cordelia for the series’ entire 5-year run (guest star in season 5).
Since her time on Buffy and Angel concluded, Carpenter has enjoyed success on both television and the big screen. She was on the TV series Veronica Mars, The Lying Game, and Scream Queens while on the big screen, she has been seen in The Expendables, The Expendables 2, Heaven’s Door, and Mail Order Monster.
Over the past few years, Carpenter has guest starred on TV series such as 9-1-1, Pandora, Dynasty, and most recently on Going Home.
Amber Benson – Tara Maclay (47 episodes)
Amber Benson was a late arrival to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast. She first appeared as Tara Maclay, a recurring character in seasons 4 and 5, then became a regular for season 6. When she was first introduced, it came with controversy. Benson’s character was brought into Buffy’s world to be the love interest of Willow, who had recently announced that she was a lesbian. The move was not a popular one with Buffy fans.
Tara’s demise came toward the end of Buffy’s sixth season when she was shot and killed by a stray bullet. Fans also caused an uproar when that happened as well.
Amber Benson has also enjoyed a nice career after her short time on Buffy. She has bounced back and forth from television to features starring in films such as One-Eyed Monster, The Killing Jar, Another Harvest Moon, and Desire Will Set You Free.
On TV, Benson has been on Twisted Tales, Morganville: The Series, and Sunday Morning. Since 2018, Benson has only appeared in 2019’s The Nightmare Gallery and the 2022 Podcast Series, ElfQuest: Journey to Sorrow’s End.
Seth Green – Oz (39 episodes)
Seth Green joined the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast as Oz, a recurring character in season 2, then became a main character in seasons 3 and 4. When he arrived, he was a guitar-playing high schooler who was Willow’s boyfriend and eventually finds out that he is a werewolf.
After leaving Buffy, Green has gone on to have a wildly successful career. One role that he is most known for is that of Scott Evil, the son of Dr. Evil (Mike Myers) in the Austin Powers trilogy. Throughout his career, Green has been in such feature films as Rat Race, The Italian Job, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, and most recently Changeland, aTypical Wednesday, and Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.
While those roles have put his face on the screen, what Green is probably best known for is the animated television series The Family Guy, where he has provided the voice of Chris Griffin since the series premiered in 1999. Green is a voice-acting demon, with hundreds of credits to his name.
He has been heard on Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, What if…?, Star Wars: Rebels, Robot Chicken, and The Simpsons, just to name a few. Up next for Green is another voice role, this one in Star Wars: Detours.
Marc Blucas – Riley Finn (31 episodes)
When Marc Blucas was brought onto Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he was intended to be Buffy’s love interest and the exact opposite of Angel. Riley was portrayed as an upbeat individual who was going to be Buffy’s first “normal” relationship. It worked for a while.
Blucas is another who has enjoyed a nice career post-Buffy. His career following Buffy centered mainly on feature films which included View from the Top, The Alamo, Thr3e, The Jane Austen Book Club, and Meet Dave.
As his career continued, Blucas found more and more time on television, starring in episodes of Blue Bloods, Stalker, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and for two seasons he was in the series Necessary Roughness.
Today, Blucas continues to alternate between film and television. Recently he was seen in the TV movies Doomsday Mom and A Christmas…Present. Up next for Blucas will be the series My Life with the Walter Boys.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Recurring Cast
We decided to throw in a couple of Buffy the Vampire Slayer recurring cast members as they (one in particular) made an impact on the series.
Kristine Sutherland – Joyce Summers (58 episodes)
For as many episodes Kristine Sutherland appeared on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she could have been considered a main character. Although her role was recurring, it was many times an important one as Joyce Summers is the mother of Buffy.
Sutherland’s career has been hit and miss, mainly miss. Buffy was the biggest role she has enjoyed in a career that has been marked with long absences on either the small or big screens.
Since 2013, Sutherland has been involved in three projects, the 2016 short Are You Afraid of the 90’s?, another 2016 project called Russian Doll, and finally in 2020 in Before/During/After.
Danny Strong – Jonathan Levinson (29 episodes)
Danny Strong first tried to crack the Buffy the Vampire Slayer casting list when he auditioned for the role of Xander, which eventually went to Nicholas Brendon. He was brought on as Jonathan Levinson, a character that Strong described as the “Kenny (South Park character who gets killed in every episode) of Buffy. Except he never dies.” Jonathan was a recurring character in seasons 2 and 3 as well as 6 and 7.
As far as Strong career, he has enjoyed both being in front of the camera as well as writing for it. Strong has been seen in numerous films such as Sydney White, Bad Guys, and Weather Girl, and on television he got a great run on Gilmore Girls as well as Billions. His latest TV entry will be on this season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Eliza Dushku – Faith Lehane (20 episodes)
Last but not least is Eliza Dushku, who was a part of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for 20 episodes. Dushku was the main focus during season 3 as she arrives as a Slayer when the previous Slayer, Kendra (Bianca Lawson) gets killed. Kendra had been on hand when Buffy temporarily died.
Dushku made it through season 3 and parts of season 4 before her character takes her leave. Dushku was actually offered a spin-off series but eventually declined the offer.
Dushku has made a nice name for herself following her exit from Buffy. She led a series called Tru Calling as well as Dollhouse. She was seen in feature films like Soul Survivors, Wrong Turn, On Broadway, Bottle Shock, and Open Graves.
Since 2017, when she appeared in 3 episodes of Bull and the TV Movie, The Saint, she has not starred in anything else. She has since moved back home to Boston where she is happily married with two children and has even gone back to college. She claims she has not officially retired from acting, but after six years away, one wonders what her acting future has in store for her.