Thanks to Joss Whedon and his amazing ability to create universes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its associated properties have remained popular for decades. The series first premiered in 1997 following the success of a film of the same name and because of Whedon's ability to weave a tale, the "Buffyverse" quickly became a critically acclaimed part of our lives.
Not only did Buffy the Vampire Slayer succeed in launching a new universe of fandom, it helped launch The CW as a viable network. While the series didn't achieve the ratings found on the "big four" networks, it did establish The CW as a stable network, which has gone on to create some amazing television.
The success from the series helped launch a successful spin-off, Angel, which helped to further the careers of just about anyone who was involved. Since the series went off the air, it has continued in the comics, books, video games, and even a role playing game, but have you ever wondered what the people behind it have been up to all this time?
We decided to take a look at the folks who made Buffy the Vampire Slayer such a compelling series of stories and characters.
Here is Buffy The Vampire Slayer: What The Cast Looked Like In Episode 1 Vs Today.
15 SPIKE - JAMES MARSTERS
Spike began his time on Buffy as one of her principal antagonists. He was an old-world vampire turned in 1880 who spent much of his unlife terrorizing Europe— even killing two slayers in his day. Fast-forward to Sunnydale 1997 and Spike goes after Buffy. He eventually becomes her ally and falls in love with the young Slayer. Through the course of the series, his character develops completely and he goes from bad to good, even working as a supernatural consultant for the S.F.P.D.
James Marsters has kept himself busy since leaving Buffy and Angel. He has appeared on a number of television series including Smallville, Without a Trace, Saving Grace, Torchwood, Caprica, and Hawaii Five-0. He has also lent his vocal talents to audiobook narration and even voiced Lex Luthor in 2010's DC Universe Online.
14 ANYA - EMMA CAULFIELD FORD
Anya Jenkins doesn't look it, but she was more than 1,000 years old when she joined up with the Scooby Gang. A former vengeance demon, she originally went by the name Anyanka, the Patron Saint of the Women Scorned who granted dark wishes to women who had issues with their lovers. She lost her powers after coming to Sunnydale and fell in love with Xander, the man she traveled there to destroy in the first place.
Emma Caulfield had been working in television since 1994 and she remained on the small screen for much of her career following her time on Buffy. She has appeared on Robot Chicken, Private Practice, Once upon a Time, Supergirl, and most recently, Fear the Walking Dead. She has also worked in film having played Oona O'Leary in TiMER as well as Milly in 2014's Back in the Day.
13 WILLOW ROSENBERG - ALYSON HANNIGAN
Willow began the series a regular human being without any powers whatsoever, but thanks to her interest in witchcraft, things changed. She became a devout practitioner of Wicca and amassed powers and abilities at a higher scale than many others who were raised as witches. In addition to her supernatural talents, she was also an expert hacker and possessed a genius-level intellect.
Alyson Hannigan's career skyrocketed thanks to her time on Buffy. She has appeared in several American Pie films and landed it big with the role of Lily Aldrin on How I Met Your Mother, which she played from 2005 until 2014. In 2016, she appeared in the film Do You Take This Man and followed this by taking on the role of host on Penn & Teller: Fool Us for 26 episodes.
12 XANDER HARRIS - NICHOLAS BRENDON
When it all began, Xander Harris was Buffy's best friend and one of the founding members of the Scooby Gang. Unlike everyone else in the group, Xander lacked any supernatural abilities but this allowed him to see what was going on beyond the supernatural. Xander often got by thanks to his sense of humor and sarcastic attitude whenever he was confronted by danger.
Nicholas Harris has been relatively busy since leaving Buffy having starred in several films and television series. He had a recurring role on Criminal Minds and wrote the Buffy Season 10 comic. He ran into some legal problems due to his substances abuse issues. He has been arrested numerous times and gone through rehab more than once. In October 2017, he was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend.
11 RUPERT GILES - ANTHONY HEAD
Every young gang of kids who defend the world from supernatural threats need a guide. Rupert Giles filled that role as the Watcher who was also something of a father figure for Buffy. Giles was the librarian at the Sunnydale High School, but his primary role was leaning slightly more towards the occult. Later in the comics, he was killed and resurrected, but into the body of his 12-year-old self. Fortunately, he retained all of his knowledge and memories so he could continue to assist Buffy and the gang.
Anthony Head had been working since the early 1980s before his time on Buffy, so it's no surprise he continued his career following his time on the series. Since leaving the show, he has appeared in numerous films to include playing the voice of Alfred Pennyworth on Batman: Gotham by Gaslight. He also appeared on Heroes Unmasked, Doctor Who Confidential, and Merlin.
10 DAWN SUMMERS - MICHELLE TRACHTENBERG
Dawn Summers was brought onto the series in the fifth season as Buffy's little sister. While she is a real human being, she wasn't always. She was originally the mystical "key" to unlocking dimensions. Dawn was created as Buffy's sister so she would immediately have protection in life. Despite her unusual origin, she was, for all intents and purposes, Buffy's sister— memories of a childhood that never happened.
Michelle Trachtenberg's career built on her success from Buffy with both film and television roles. She has voiced numerous characters on Robot chicken and played recurring roles on Gossip Girl, Mercy and many other series. Her film credits include roles in 17 Again, EuroTrip, Cop Out, and Sexy Evil Genius.
9 ANGEL - DAVID BOREANAZ
Angel was introduced as both a vampire and a love interest to Buffy, which made him an interesting character. He was cursed with the burden of remorse and a human soul, making him feel compelled to help the Slayer instead of doing what most vampires would in his place... you know, kill her. While he began his unlife as a ruthless vampire in Europe during the 19th century, he ran afoul of some gypsies who cursed him.
David Boreanaz continued to play the character Angel for five years in his spin-off show before heading off to play the co-lead role of Agent Seeley Booth on the hit series Bones from 2005-2017. Th at series took up much of his time between the end of Angel and late 2017, but he's quickly moved on to another starring role on the military drama SEAL Team.
8 JOYCE SUMMERS - KRISTINE SUTHERLAND
Joyce Summers was none other than Buffy's mom who appeared in about one third of the episodes in the series. Initially, Joyce is unaware of Buffy's role as a Slayer, but finds out in the second season after her daughter comes clean. She does what most mothers would not and eventually embraces her daughter's role in the supernatural world, even going so far as to provide comfort and support in a way only a mother could.
Since leaving the role of Joyce Summers on Buffy to spend more time with her family, Kristine Sutherland hasn't had as many film credits as some of her former costars. She has continued to work on television, having made appearances on series including Providence, Comanche Moon, New Amsterdam, and One Life to Live. She also played Meryl Fowler in the 2012 film The Perfect Wedding.
7 CORDELIA CHASE - CHARISMA CARPENTER
Cordelia Chase began her stint in the Whedonverse on the first three seasons of Buffy before jumping ship to Angel for that series' first four seasons. Initially, she is a cheerleader at the school who joins forces with Buffy and the Scooby Gang. On Angel, she acquires the ability to see visions of people who need help and uses this ability alongside Angel in their detective agency. She becomes a hero and Angel's love interest, but is eventually killed after becoming possessed by a malevolent spirit.
Charisma Carpenter has kept herself busy appearing as Lacy in the first two Expendables films. She has continued to work in television having appeared on dozens of series including roles on Veronica Mars, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, House of Bones, The Lying Game, and Lucifer.
6 TARA MACLAY - AMBER BENSON
Tara Maclay had some innate magical talents which brought her into a romantic relationship with Willow Rosenberg. Their relationship was the first recurring depiction of a lesbian couple to appear on prime time television in the States. The two remained a couple until Tara's death in the sixth season, which instigated something of a rampage from Willow.
Amber Benson has kept herself busy on television following her role as Tara on Buffy. She has played various walk-on roles on shows including Supernatural, Private Practice, and Grey's Anatomy. Additionally, she has consistently worked in the film industry, with several film roles including parts in One-Eyed monster, Drones, Dust Up, Selling Isobel, and Glossary of Broken Dreams. Her real talents are in writing as she has 14 published novels.
5 DANIEL "OZ" OSBOURNE - SETH GREEN
Daniel "Oz" Osbourne is a young werewolf in the series who starts out in a relationship with Willow while aligning himself with the rest of the Scooby Gang. When he first learns of the supernatural world, he was barely phased by the revelation and becomes a helpful member of the gang by researching various threats. After turning into a werewolf, he and the gang bring his condition under control by locking him in a cage whenever he is about to change.
Seth Green has built a career for himself following his time on Buffy. After appearing in films including the Austin Powers trilogy, Green went on to launch several television series before achieving immense success with Robot Chicken. His most well-known role since leaving Buffy has been as the voice of Chris Griffin on Family Guy since the series debut.
4 RILEY FINN - MARC BLUCAS
Riley Finn was brought onto the series following the departure of Angel to offer Buffy a new love interest. He was originally intended to be the antithesis to Angel, given that he was a normal human and wasn't so broody and pensive all the time. Riley was a member of The Initiative, which allowed him to work alongside Buffy in her ongoing duties as a slayer. He eventually left the series, but returned for a final time in the sixth season.
Marc Blucas left the main cast of Buffy in 2000 and has been working in film and television ever since. He played a main role on the television series Necessary Roughness from 2011-2013 and appeared in a number of films including Knight & Day, Red State, and Brawl in Cell Block 99.
3 JONATHAN LEVINSON - DANNY STRONG
When he began on the series, Jonathan Levinson was a typical high school kid. Often bullied, he developed low self-esteem and presented as a shy and awkward teenager. This changed throughout the course of the series as he developed powers by becoming an accomplished sorcerer. His abilities allowed him to alter reality, cast glamours, and even create time loops.
Danny Strong began his career as an actor having played both Levinson on Buffy and Doyle McMaster on The Gilmore Girls, but moved on to become an accomplished writer and director. He wrote the final two films in the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay Part 1 & Mockingjay Part 2 and co-created, executive produced, and wrote the Fox series Empire. He has won numerous awards for writing thanks to his screenplays for Game Change and Recount.
2 FAITH - ELIZA DUSHKU
Faith was first introduced to the series' third season as a new Alayer. She was originally an ally to Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang, but her predelection towards violence led her to commit murder. She ends up slipping onto an evil path, which elevates her character into a more villainous role. Faith eventually crosses back into the side of good and rejoins her former allies hoping to redeem herself.
Since leaving the show, Eliza Dushku has continued to expand her career into various other media. She remains a constant on television thanks to series like Dollhouse and Bull. She also lends her voice to various video game roles and has starred in a number of successful films such as The New Guy, Batman: Year One, and Eloise.
1 BUFFY SUMMERS - SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR
Last, but certainly not least, Buffy Summers was the star of the show. At the age of 15, she was told of her powers and the role she would play as a Slayer. With the help of her friends who made up the Scooby Gang, she battled evil beings and dusted vampires while still attending high school. Her character continued to develop throughout the series thanks to her interactions with characters like Spike and Angel and her adventures continue in the comics.
Sara Michelle Geller was already an accomplished actress when she landed the role of Buffy and has continued to advance her career since the series ended. She portrayed Daphne Blake in the Scooby-Doo films and has appeared in dozens of films since. She also landed main roles on the series The Crazy Ones and Ringer, and has voiced numerous characters on Robot Chicken.
Which Buffy the Vampire Slayer actor changed the most? Sound off in the comments!