18 Things to Know About Jewish Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar

The "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star is a Nice Jewish Mom!

Sarah Michelle Gellar was indisputably the It Girl of the ‘90s, and we’ve been obsessed with her ever since. Best known for her work on the beloved television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the Jewish actress got her start playing Kendall Hart on the 1993 soap opera “All My Children” and went on to snag a Daytime Emmy Award at just 18. The multi-talented star of slasher films like “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Scream 2” continues to bless our screens well into the 2020s (you can spot her in Netflix’s “Do Revenge” as the headmaster!). And, with younger Gen Z celebs like Billie Eilish admitting to having had a childhood celeb crush on her (same Billie, same), we’ve never been more certain that Sarah’s legacy lives on. Keep slaying, SMG.

Here are 18 things to know about Sarah Michelle Gellar.

1) She’s a New Yorker through and through! Sarah was born on Long Island and raised on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Just look at baby Buffy!

2) She is the only child of Jewish parents Rosellen (née Greenfield), a nursery school teacher, and Arthur Gellar, a garment worker. Sarah’s dad was of Russian Jewish descent, and her maternal grandparents were Hungarian Jewish immigrants.

3) Sarah’s an Aries! Her birthday is April 14, 1977.

4) She had beef (get it?) with McDonald’s. Sarah frequently acted in television commercials as a child, including a particularly controversial one in which her character criticized McDonald’s and claimed to eat only at Burger King. The ad resulted in a lawsuit that banned her from ever eating at the competing food chain.

In a 2004 interview, Sarah recalled, “I wasn’t allowed to eat there. It was tough because, when you’re a little kid, McDonald’s is where all your friends have their birthday parties, so I missed out on a lot of apple pies.”

Watch the ad that started it all:

Seriously, McD? how could you say no to that precious face??

5) Just like her title character on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Sarah is an über talented figure skater! Sarah skated competitively throughout her childhood (and even finished in third place at a New York State regional competition) before she quit to focus on academics and her acting career.

6) Sarah was a straight-A student at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Professional Children’s School.

7) And as if all that weren’t impressive enough, she has a black belt in taekwondo! Sarah, girl, you’re making us all look bad.

8) In her early years, Sarah worked as a model for Wilhelmina before appearing in magazines like Seventeen, Vogue, Galmour, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Rolling Stone and many others.

Take one look at this pic and tell us she didn’t rule the ‘90s:

9) In 1998, Sarah was named one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People!

10) Sarah has her own cookbook. In 2017, Sarah authored “Stirring up Fun with Food: Over 115 Simple, Delicious Ways to Be Creative in the Kitchen,” which claimed to offer “projects for every occasion and theme, including Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, Shark Week, Halloween, and even a Star Wars Day!”

Purchase it here to try your hand at some of SMG’s recipes!

11) Sarah’s favorite movie is “Heathers,” starring fellow Jewish actress Winona Ryder.

12) And her favorite person is clearly her hubby, actor Freddie Prinze Jr. — he’s her most frequent collaborator to date! The couple met on the set of the iconic 1997 teen horror film “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and worked together an additional five times (!) on the following films: “She’s All That” (1999); “Scooby-Doo” (2002); “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” (2004); “Happily N’Ever After” (2006) and “Robot Chicken: Operation Rich in Spirit” (2005).

We’ll never get over their portrayal of the Mystery Incorporated duo, Daphne and Fred.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

It’s ~spooky~ how perfect they are for each other.

13) Legally, Sarah’s last name isn’t actually Gellar! In 2007, in honor of her fifth year of marriage to Freddie, Sarah legally changed her last name to “Prinze.”

Here they are on their wedding day:

14) Sarah is a NJM (Nice Jewish Mom) to two kids: Charlotte Grace, born in 2009, and Rocky James, born in 2012.

15) She is besties with her Jewish “Cruel Intentions” co-star Selma Blair!

Their friendship is everything.

16) Sarah was considered for the lead role of Wonder Woman in a proposed film by Warner Brothers. Even though the role eventually went to Israeli actress Gal Gadot in 2017, Sarah did sign a contract with Maybelline in 1999 to become the company’s first celebrity spokeswoman since Lynda Carter (AKA the OG Wonder Woman)!

17) She’s very involved in tikkun olam! Sarah’s an active advocate for various charities, including breast cancer research, Project Angel Food, Habitat for Humanity and CARE.

“I started [doing charitable work] because my mother taught me a long time ago that even when you have nothing, there’s ways to give back,” she says. “And what you get in return for that is tenfold. But it was always hard because I couldn’t do a lot. I couldn’t do much more than just donate money when I was on [“Buffy”] because there wasn’t time. And now that I have the time, it’s amazing.”

18) She has the cutest rescue pup ever!

His name is Franz and oh my God we cannot handle it.

Avital Dayanim

Avital Dayanim (she/her) is a writer and visual artist from Boston and Hey Alma's Audience Engagement Editor. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.

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