Before there was Elena, Damon and Stefan there was Buffy, Angel and Spike. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a supernatural series that chronicled the life of a girl who also happened to be the only thing standing between the safety of all mankind and a plethora of demons. Buffy could stake a vampire wearing a mini skirt and platform heels, she died and came back to life twice, and she loved a “good” bad boy. One of TV’s most beloved cult series ended with its heroine leaving the town of Sunnydale in ruins after defeating her strongest foe ever. Buffy may live on in graphic novels and comic books, but the cast, or most of them anyway, have moved on to other projects. Here’s a look at what a few of your favorites have been up to since either their untimely demise or after that school bus sped down the open highway.
#34 Then: Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Joyce was spared from a lot of the odd and evil goings on in Sunnydale thanks to Buffy, but she had a few run ins with the strange and supernatural. There was her robot boyfriend Ted, the mask that reanimated the dead, the crazy vamp with mommy issues and threats from Spike, Faith and Angelus. She also fell under the spell of Ethan Rayne’s enchanted chocolate that caused her to engage in a night filled with amorous episodes with Rupert Giles. Sadly, even Joyce’s superhero daughter couldn’t save her from a death due to complications from brain surgery.
#33 Now: Small Roles
Since Buffy, Sutherland has only had two slightly notable roles. One was a four episode stint on the soap opera One Life to Live as a character named Dean McKenzie. She had a cameo on The Following as FBI Specialist Debra Parker’s mother who also happened to be a member of a cult.
#32 Then: Amber Benson as Tara
Willow met Tara at a college Wicca group meeting, and the two bonded quickly. Soon the two women were snuggling as well as casting spells. After Tara had her brain turned to Jello by Glory, Willow cured her. Willow’s increased dependency on magic caused tension in her relationship with Tara. When Willow used witchcraft to manipulate Tara, she finally broke up with Willow. The two eventually reconciled, but Tara was shot and killed.
#31 Now: Short Films
Benson has appeared in a few low budget and unrecognizable films. She’s fared a bit better when it comes to television making appearances on Supernatural, Cold Case, Private Practice and Grey’s Anatomy. Her latest project was role as the best friend of a bisexual woman looking for love in the short film Do You Have a Cat?
#30 Then: Bianca Lawson as Kendra
Kendra became a slayer after Buffy’s brief death in the season one finale. She made a couple of appearances in Sunnydale during season two to aid Buffy when there was especially big evil brewing. Kendra was all business and nearly killed Buffy’s true love Angel. A loner, Kendra’s one beloved possession was her stake, Mr. Pointy, which passed into Buffy’s hands after Kendra was murdered by Drusilla.
#29 Now: Ms. Morell, Teen Wolf
Lawson has continued to play supernatural characters. She portrayed Elizabeth, one in a long succession of powerful Bennett witches on The Vampire Diaries. Her latest role has been as a guidance counselor/French teacher at Beacon Hills High School on Teen Wolf. She is Dr. Deaton’s younger sister and was the Emmissary for the Alpha Pack in season two. She also played Emily’s first girlfriend on Pretty Little Liars.
#28 Then: Marc Blucas as Riley Finn
Buffy’s first serious squeeze since Angel, Special Agent Riley Finn worked as a demon hunter for a nefarious government project known as “The Initiative.” Riley was unwittingly fed performance enhancing drugs; he became ill and eventually required heart surgery. Buffy worried about his health and began to treat him as a liability. Riley’s ego took a beating at the hands of the slayer who constantly emasculated him once he was a civilian. Riley, desperate to feel vital and wanted, started to pay vampires to feed on him, a dark and dirty fetish brought to Buffy’s attention by Spike. A betrayed Buffy turned her back on Riley just when the government offered him a job, and by the time she was ready to forgive and forget she was too late. Riley left Sunnydale by helicopter to do his part to rid the world of demons.
#27 Now: Dan Winston, Killer Women
Will Blucas’ latest character suffers a similar heartbreak as Riley Finn? Blucas is set to play Dan Winston, a sexy DEA agent and love interest of Molly Parker, a female Texas Ranger on this ABC series. Not only is she a member of this elite law enforcement team, she’s the only woman. Blucas spent two seasons playing Matthew “Matt” Donnally, the fictional New York Hawk’s athletic trainer turned manager on USA’s Necessary Roughness.
#26 Then: Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson
First a high school outcast who Buffy convinced not to go on a shooting spree, Jonathan later put a spell over the town of Sunnydale that made him a beloved celebrity until the Scoobies uncovered his ruse. Jonathan returned in season six as part of a trio that included uber geeks Andrew and Warren. Convinced that they only thing standing between them and super villainy was the slayer, they spent season six trying to take her down. Both less determined and homicidal than his partners, Jonathan was set to be cast aside by his partners until Warren went off the grid leaving Jonathan and Andrew behind. The two are spared a grisly death at the hands of Willow thanks to Buffy and flee to Mexico. Jonathan is later killed by Andrew at the urging of The First.
#25 Now: Danny Siegel, Mad Men
While many members of the Buffy cast continue to do work that falls into supernatural or science fiction genres, Danny Strong enjoyed success in a recurring role on a show that takes place in the world of Madison Avenue advertising hot shots, Mad Men. Strong was also one of the writers and producers of the HBO film Game Change, based on events of the 2008 presidential campaign. He received a prime time Emmy for his involvement in the project.
#24 Then: Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells
Andrew was an integral member of Buffy’s season six rivals known as the Trio. His devotion to Warren had homoerotic undertones, and he felt betrayed when Warren fled from the slayer and left him behind. Andrew returns in season seven and his held captive by Buffy and company. He eventually shows regret for his actions including murdering Jonathan and tries to redeem himself by fighting in the series final apocalyptic battle.
#23 Now: Hudson Rafferty, Witches of East End
Lenk will play the gay best friend of Ingrid Beauchamp, one of the members of a family of witches. The show will premiere on Lifetime later this fall. Lenk has had bit parts in a number of films including: Argo, The Cabin in the Woods and Transformers. But, don’t blink or you’ll miss him. He recently reunited with Joss Whedon on Much Ado About Nothing and he’s also been on the television shows How I Met Your Mother, Greek, Eli Stone and Samantha Who?
#22 Then: Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
Cordelia “Cordy” Chase was Sunnydale High’s penultimate queen bee. At first, she welcomed new student Buffy Summers with open arms but was soon put off by Buffy’s bizarre extracurricular antics. Whether it was due to fate, circumstance or both, Cordelia became part of the “Scooby Gang,” and eventually began a relationship with slacker Xander Harris. After graduation Cordelia moved to Los Angeles where she continued her relationship with all things supernatural working for Angel.
#21 Now: Host, Surviving Evil
Carpenter played Cordelia Chase on the Buffy spin-off Angel from 1999-2007. She played Cassidy and Dick’s stepmother in another cult fave Veronica Mars . Carpenter has appeared on the shows Burn Notice as well as Supernatural. She also had a recurring role as Tegan Walker, a ZBZ Nationals representative on Greek and Rebecca, Sutton and Emma’s biological mother on The Lying Game. Carpenter is currently hosting the Investigation Discovery show Surviving Evil, a show that features real life stories of survivors of violent criminal attacks.
#20 Then: Emma Caulfied as Anya
Anya “transferred” to Sunnydale High in the show’s third season. In actuality, she was a 1,000 year-old-vengeance demon named Anyanka who fulfilled Cordelia’s wish that Buffy had never come to town. Things didn’t work out exactly as either girl expected, and Anya lost her powers and was stuck matriculating at Hellmouth high. Anya struggled with the day to day challenges of a mortal life and basic human emotions describing herself as “strangely literal.” She and Xander dated for several years and were minutes from tying the knot when Xander got cold feet. Anya was killed battling The First in the show’s series finale.
#19 Now: Guest Starring Roles
Caulfield has kept busy with guest appearances on a laundry list of prime time shows including: Private Practice, Leverage, Prime Suspect and Royal Pains She recently played the Blind Witch, who had a taste for young children, on Once Upon a Time. Caulfield was appeared on CW’s Life Unexpected and served as executive producer as well as starred in a web series called Bandwagon: The Series. She recently finished work on the film Telling of the Shoes, the story of a Manhattan dinner party gone wrong.
#18 Then: Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
Viewers were shocked when Dawn appeared as Buffy’s little sister in season five. It turns out she was actually a mystical energy known as “The Key.” This key provided access to alternate demon dimensions. To protect it from a god known as Glory, monks transformed the energy into human form and put her under the protection of Buffy. After Buffy’s death, Dawn was no longer supernatural and was reunited with the resurrected Buffy. After briefly being mistaken for a future slayer, Dawn was forced to reconcile the fact that she was just a normal teenager, but in a town crawling with supernatural activity, she managed to get herself into scrapes like crushing on a teenage vamp and trapping the Scoobies in a house with a bloodthirsty demon.
#17 Now: Georgina Sparks, Gossip Girl
Trachtenberg joined the Gossip Girl cast in 2008 as the ultimate frenemy. She was a master liar and manipulator whose scheming was far more diabolical than even Blair’s. Trachtenberg had a recurring role on HBO’s Six Feet Under and Showtime’s Weeds. Like several of her ex-cast members she lent her vocal talents to Seth Green’s animated hit Robot Chicken.
#16 Then: James Marsters as Spike
This wannabe Sid Vicious vamp was a meek poet named William in his former life. The waters surrounding who sired Spike are a bit murky. In his inaugural episode, Spike revealed Angelus sired him, but as over the years as more of his history was revealed, Drusilla was credited with his change. Spike supposedly earned his nickname because he became known for torturing his victims with railroad spikes. Spike fled Sunnydale with Drusilla in the season two finale. He returned in season three, took up with Harmony and kept a low profile until season four. Spike was rendered impotent (unable to harm humans) by The Initiative. Spike became reliant on Buffy and the gang for his survival and when he realized he could kill demons, slowly evolved into an anti-hero. He and Buffy engaged in a sexual relationship, and even though she never completely reciprocated his feelings for her, she admitted to Angel near the series’ end that Spike did hold a place in her heart.
#15 Now: Professor Sutton, Warehouse 13
Made immortal by his brother Paracelsus, Bennett Sutton’s true identity is discovered by artifact hunters Pete and Myka. Sutton was originally thought to be simply a history professor at Columbia University. Marsters plays Lord Tensley in the upcoming fantasy film Dragon Warriors. He’s also voiced characters on multiple animated shows including: Ultimate Spider-Man, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated and The Super Hero Squad Show. He also played Barnabas Greeley, a terrorist leader and a member of the Soldiers of the One, on Syfy’s Caprica.
#14 Then: Eliza Dushku as Faith
Buffy’s bad girl counterpart, Faith arrived in Sunnydale at the start of season three. Buffy never fully warmed to Faith due to the second slayer’s free-spirited, overly aggressive and often careless behavior. When Faith accidentally killed a human, the rift between the two grew bigger, and eventually Faith chose to use her skills for evil as opposed to good. Buffy put Faith in a coma in season three that she awoke from in season four. A gift from her former employer, the mayor, allowed Faith to switch bodies with Buffy during which time she slept with Riley. Inhabiting Buffy’s body started to soften Faith and made her start to realize the error of her ways. Once the two switched back, Faith skipped town. She returned in season seven to help fight the First.
#13 Now: Not Much Luck as Leading Lady
Dushku has been cast as the leading lady in two series since Buffy. She found middling, short-lived success as Tru Davies in FOX’s supernatural drama Tru Calling. Dollhouse was created and directed by Buffy creator Joss Whedon. In this science fiction series Dushku played Echo, an Active whose mind was repeatedly wiped clean and reprogrammed so she could perform a variety of tasks depending on a client’s request. The show in its entirety consisted of 27 episodes. Dushku recently completed filming The Scribbler, based on the graphic novel, that reunited her with Michelle Trachtenburg. Dushku has also lent her voice to the character of She-Hulk for Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. .
#12 Then: Nicholas Brendan as Xander Harris
An underachiever, Xander provided comic relief whenever situations got too somber or scary. He was the object of Willow’s affections for years, and the two explored a romantic relationship, albeit briefly, during season three. Xander’s resume for getting into sticky situations is long and includes: possession by a hyena, almost being eaten by a teacher/giant praying mantis, taking numerous beatings, sharing living quarters with Spike, contracting Syphilis from an Indian curse, becoming Dracula’s minion and losing an eye courtesy of Caleb. But, Xander also saved Buffy’s life and survived the show’s epic final battle.
#11 Now: Kevin Lynch, Criminal Minds
In quite a departure from his slacker role on Buffy, as Kevin Lynch, Brendan is a techie who assisted the Behavioral Analysis Unit in finding Penelope Garcia’s attacker. He has since had a recurring role as Garcia’s love interest. He recently finished filming a low budget horror film called The Morning Side Monster.
#10 Then: Anthony Head as Rupert Giles
Buffy’s watcher and the school librarian, Rupert Giles eventually became a father figure to Buffy. He had a few romantic interests, the most significant being Jenny Calendar, who Angelus murdered and left in his bed. A bad boy nicknamed “Ripper” in his youth, Giles was relieved of his duties as watcher in season three. Buffy went rogue and no longer worked in conjunction with the Watcher Council, the mysterious governing body of watchers and slayer alike. Giles eventually became proprietor of The Magic Box, a stop and shop for all of the town’s supernatural needs. Buffy still relied on Giles for guidance until her death only to return after being informed of her resurrection.
#9 Now: Chiron, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Head replaced Pierce Brosnan who played the role in the first film, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief. In this fantasy film, Head’s character is the activities director at Camp Half Blood. He’s also a centaur, which is a mythological creature with the head, arms and torso of a human and the lower body of a horse. Head’s other most recent role was that of the villain Paracelsus on the Syfy show Warehouse 13.
#8 Then: Seth Green as Oz
Oz was a underachiever with a genius IQ and the loyal boyfriend of Buffy’s bestie Willow. Oz became a werewolf after being bitten by his cousin, but was kept under lock and key by Giles in the library every full moon. Oz played guitar for the band Dingoes Ate My Baby. After meeting and sleeping with a female werewolf in season four, he left Sunnydale and Willow behind to gain better understanding and control of his canine side. He later returned with his wolfiness seemingly under control until he found about Willow and Tara. He was captured by The Intiative, rescued and left Sunnydale for good.
#7 Now: Eli, Dads
This fall, Seth Green will be playing a video game entrepreneur on this new FOX series. Eli and his business partner and roommate, Warner, have to make some big lifestyle changes when both of their fathers move in with them. Early buzz on the show isn’t good, but if the show’s a dud, Green can always fall back on a multitude of other projects. For the past 15 years Green has voiced the character of Chris Griffin on the animated hit Family Guy. He’s a triple threat (writer, creator and master of many voices) in the animation realm, with his name attached to show such as Robot Chicken, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Mad and Star Wars: Detours.
#6 Then: Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
When Buffy first arrived in Sunnydale she befriended the meek, nerdy Willow. She immediately became Buffy’s best friend and trusted confidant. Willow was incredibly smart and computer savvy which made her an asset to the Scooby Gang. After discovering Miss Calendar’s spell to restore Angel’s soul, she developed an interest in magic. Over the years, Willow’s powers grew, although an occasional spell did go awry like when she erased everyone’s memories or caused Giles to go blind or Buffy and Spike to become engaged. Her biggest accomplishment was bringing Buffy back from the dead, but her actions enabled Caleb and The First to threaten the future of not just Sunnydale, but the world. She also had to go to magic detox and absorbing and utilizing excessive amounts of black magic to get revenge on her girlfriend Tara’s killer.
#5 Now: Lily Aldrin, How I Met Your Mother
Hannigan is getting ready to start her ninth and final season on HIMYM. She’s appeared as kinky band/ex-band geek in all four American Pie movies. Like Charisma Carpenter she had a recurring role on Veronica Mars. Hannigan played Trina Echolls, Logan’s adopted sister and an actress. She appeared on That ’70s Show, and has voiced cartoon characters for long-running hits such as King of the Hill, The Simpsons, American Dad! and Robot Chicken.
#4 Then: David Boreanaz as Angel
Angel was a dark brooding stranger who turned out not only to be a good vampire but also Buffy’s one true love. Cursed by gypsies, Angel had what no other vampire did, a soul. He lost it when he experienced one true moment of happiness (sex with Buffy) and became hell bent on torturing the slayer and destroying the world. Willow restored his soul, but Buffy was forced to send him to hell anyway. Angel returned and eventually he was back fighting evil even though his relationship with the rest of the gang remained a bit strained due to his Angelus antics. After Faith injected him with a poison arrow, Buffy put Faith in a coma trying to secure the only cure, the blood of a slayer. Angel eventually accepted their relationship had no future, and left Sunnydale for Los Angeles. The two crossed paths throughout the years and neither closed the door on recoupling in the future.
#3 Now: Special Agent Seeley Booth, Bones
Boreanaz hasn’t had much downtime since departing Sunnydale. His show Angel lasted from 1999-2004, and he began work on Bones in 2005. The show will begin its ninth season this fall. As FBI Angent Seeley Booth, Boreanaz is once again the good guy, only this time around he can have sex with his leading lady. In addition, he’ll be starring as Jace Cooper in DirecTV’s upcoming 10-episode relationship drama called Full Circle. The show follows the lives of 11 people’s whose lives are unexpectedly intertwined.
#2 Then: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
As the Chosen One, Buffy battled the Master, the Judge, her soulless sweetie, Acathla, Kakistos, Mr. Trick, Adam, Glory, Caleb and The First not to mention endless vampires and other demons. At times she was forced to fight friends and lovers. She evolved from an undisciplined high school sophomore to a grown woman responsible for training and preparing generations of future slayers. Her wardrobe and looks were enviable, her arsenal of puns and quips inexhaustible and her strength and skill unmatched, even by other slayers. As her tombstone once read, “She saved the world, a lot.”
#1 Now: Sydney Roberts, The Crazy Ones
On the CBS series premiering at the end of September 2013, Gellar will play Sydney Roberts, an advertising executive who runs an agency with her genius but eccentric father (played by Robin Williams). Sydney is saddled with the task of reigning in her father and his unconventional business practices. Let’s hope this show is a bigger success than Gellar’s last outing, playing twin sisters in the CW mystery drama dud Ringer. Gellar enjoyed moderate big screen success as a scream queen in The Grudge and its sequel as well as I Know What You Did Last Summer.