Sarah Michelle Gellar Reveals Why She Stepped Away From Acting

Sarah Michelle Gellar put her career on pause in the mid-2010s, and now she has finally revealed why she did.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

sarah michelle gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar is an icon of the 1990s, appearing in the influential supernatural series Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the title character and in a slew of hit films like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Cruel Intentions. However, it seems like she abruptly stopped appearing in projects in the mid-2010s, leaving many to wonder what had happened. In a recent interview with People, Sarah Michelle Gellar revealed that she put her career on hold due to the tragic death of legendary actor Robin Williams and her desire to spend time with her young children. 

According to the interview, Sarah Michelle Gellar said she needed time to process the death of Robin Williams in 2014. She had recently starred in the CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones, in which she played the daughter of Robin Williams’ veteran advertising executive. The show lasted one season and was created by David E. Kelley, the television mega-producer behind hits like Doogie Howser M.D., Ally McBeal, and Boston Public. In addition to Sarah Michelle Gellar and Robin Williams, The Crazy Ones starred Hamish Linklater, James Wolk, and Amanda Seaton. It would turn out to be the final television role for Robin Williams, who had initially found national fame on the Happy Days spin-off series Mork & Mindy.

The show was canceled in April of 2014, and Robin Williams would tragically take his life in August of that year. It was later determined that he suffered from undiagnosed Lewy body disease, a form of dementia often missed by doctors. As Sarah Michelle Gellar puts it, the death of her close co-star made her realize how much of her life she had spent working and the importance of taking time for herself and her family. 

Sarah Michelle Gellar began appearing in television commercials at the age of four, including a notable fast food ad that resulted in her being banned as a child from eating at McDonald’s. She also professionally modeled for Wilhelmina’s, appearing in minor roles in numerous films, and guest starred on shows like Spenser: For Hire. Additionally, Sarah Michelle Gellar began acting in live stage productions. By her teens, she was starring in soap operas and won a Daytime Emmy Award for a role in All My Children. By the time she was cast in the Joss Whedon show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar was a seasoned veteran of show business.

It makes a lot of sense that a tragedy close to her would make Sarah Michelle Gellar take time off after a life spent working. She and her husband and frequent co-star Freddie Prinze Jr have two children together, and Sarah Michelle Gellar clearly expressed she did not want to miss their formative years while constantly working. She has recently returned to acting, voicing a character in the Kevin Smith series Masters of the Universe: Revelation and soon to appear in the MTV Teen Wolf spin-off show Wolf Pack. She will also be appearing in the upcoming Clerks III.