“She taught that the the hardest thing in the world is to live in it.”

Sarah Michelle Gellar has paid tribute to her signature character, Buffy Summers, on what would’ve been her 40th birthday.

The legendary actress, who played the iconic vampire slayer for seven years, wrote on Instagram: “I just realized that today is Buffy Summers 40 bday. I can’t even believe that. She taught that the the hardest thing in the world is to live in it.

“So in her honor let’s all be brave. Live. This may not be the way we are used to living our lives, but let’s find the beauty. So we can all live long and safely.” Gellar then celebrated Buffy’s birthday with several hashtags. 

Last year, the Emmy Award-winning star left fans slain (pun absolutely intended) after sharing a picture of herself holding a stake. In her caption, she declared war on the coronavirus pandemic with a classic Buffy quote.

“If the apocalypse comes, beep me,” Gellar wrote, which led Selma Blair – her best friend and Cruel Intentions co-star – to respond: “And the adventures begin. Can I be your sidekick?”

Created by Joss Whedon – who went on to write and direct The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron – Buffy focused on a teenage girl bestowed with supernatural abilities to defeat vampires, demons and the forces of darkness etc.

It also starred Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendon, Anthony Stewart Head, David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, James Marsters, Michelle Trachtenberg, Emma Caulfield, Amber Benson, Seth Green and Eliza Dushku.

Buffy received widespread critical acclaim – with many individual episodes hailed as some of the finest in TV history (Hush, The Body, Once More, with Feeling) – and has also been credited with influencing other series in the same genre.

The show also received praise for its queer representation, with resident witches Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara Maclay (Amber Benson) making history as the first long-term lesbian relationship on US television.

The seventh season also marked the first lesbian sex scene on primetime television.

In 2018, a reboot with a “black Buffy” was announced by Whedon and Fringe writer Monica Owusu-Breen.

Addressing the initial negative response, Owusu-Breen confirmed that we’re looking at a revival instead of a full-blown reboot, tweeting: “For some genre writers it’s Star Wars. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my Star Wars.

“Joss Whedon’s brilliant and beautiful series can’t be replicated. I wouldn’t try to. But here we are, twenty years later. And the world seems a lot scarier. So maybe, it could be time to meet a new Slayer… And that’s all I can say.”

There has been no confirmed date for the Buffy reboot and no cast announcement thus far.

Last year, we took a look back at some of the show’s queerest episodes, including Becoming, Doppelgangland and Once More, with Feeling – see here.


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