Sarah Michelle Gellar Pays Tribute to 'Buffy' Past on 20th Anniversary

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Sarah Michelle Gellar attends the #BlogHer16 Experts Among Us Conference at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on August 5, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Sarah Michelle Gellar says starring on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a "privilege."

The 39-year-old actress thanked series creator Joss Whedon, her co-stars and fans in an emotional tribute on the show's 20th anniversary Friday.

"20 years ago today, I had the greatest privilege to bring Buffy to your tv screens for the first time," Gellar wrote to her 1.4 million Instagram followers. "While we knew the potential, I don't think any of us saw the lasting impact our show would have."

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"As an actor, you wish for that one role where you can leave your mark and forever be remembered, with Buffy I got so much more. She's a feminist challenge to gender hierarchy. Buffy may have been the Chosen One, but I was the lucky one," she added.

"Thank you to Joss Whedon for trusting me to give life to one of the greatest female characters ever created," the star said. "Thank you to all the incredible actors for seven seasons of amazing performances ... And lastly, but most importantly thank you to all of you, the fans."

20 years ago today, I had the greatest privilege to bring Buffy to your tv screens for the first time. It was a long and challenging road to get there. First the movie, then a passed over pilot presentation, and eventually a mid season time slot on a little known network. That first season, we liked to think of ourselves as the little show that could. While we knew the potential, I don’t think any of us saw the lasting impact our show would have. As an actor, you wish for that one role where you can leave your mark and forever be remembered, with Buffy I got so much more. She’s a feminist challenge to gender hierarchy. Buffy may have been the Chosen One, but I was the lucky one. Thank you to Gail Berman for always believing there was a show in that movie. Thank you to Joss Whedon, for trusting me to give life to one of the greatest female characters ever created. Thank you to David, for always being my Angel. Thank you to James for understanding that while Buffy and Spike may have been love/hate, I have nothing but love for you. Alyson, as any woman knows, you are nothing without the love and support of great female friends, so thank you for being that. Michelle, you will always hold a key to my heart. Thank you to all the incredible actors for seven seasons of amazing performances. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the incredible crew that worked tirelessly (and also really tired) to bring this show to life. And lastly, but most importantly thank you to all of you, the fans. We made this show for you, and your unwavering support has kept this show going long past our seven years. You are everything. And always remember..."if the apocalypse comes, beep me" #buffyslays20

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer starred Gellar as the titular Buffy, Nicholas Brendon as Xander, Alyson Hannigan as Willow and James Marsters as Spike. The series had a seven-season run on The WB/UPN from 1997 to 2003.

"The most formidable years of my life—transition from teenager to adult—were spent filming Buffy. I learned every day from the experience and from her," Gellar told The Hollywood Reporter in January.

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"She taught me it wasn't about being perfect; it was about trying the hardest to be the best you can be," she added. "Buffy reminded us that being different was not only okay but really cool—and at a time when most kids are trying to desperately fit in."

Gellar has since starred on CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones, and will reprise Kathryn Merteuil in NBC's Cruel Intentions pilot.

By Annie Martin

Originally published in UPI Entertainment News.

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