There were a number of television shows from the 1990s and '00s that were formative for the growing generations of the time. The WB Network was the place to be for young adults of the time and few shows resonated with audiences as much as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The irregular name threw some people for a loop, but behind that presentation was one of the most progressive and challenging genre shows of the time.
Buffy would last for seven seasons, spawn a very popular spin-off, and still lives on in comic book form. The show was a place where numerous talents got to grow and develop, both in front of and behind the camera. Buffy had a talented cast, but with all of the time that's passed since the show's debut, those stars aren't looking the same as they did in their glory days. Accordingly, Here Is The Cast Of Buffy: What They Looked Like In Their First Episode And Now.
20 Sarah Michelle Gellar Could Still Be The Chosen One
Buffy the Vampire Slayer put a lot of people's careers on the map, but most notably was Sarah Michelle Gellar. Gellar was given the starring role to play the Chosen One selected to fight the forces of darkness from Sunnydale's Hellmouth. As Gellar became progressively famous, she started to take on higher profile roles. She shifted into family life for a while with her beau, Freddie Prinze Jr, but never gave up on acting. Gellar may no longer be a spritely high schooler, but she still resembles her old self!
19 Alyson Hannigan Looks Mature And Enchanting
Alyson Hannigan’s Willow may begin Buffy as the meek friend, but she’s an incredibly powerful, confident witch by the time the series is over. Willow was a character that wasn’t supposed to be super attractive or stand out, yet Alyson Hannigan’s natural beauty has come out in recent years. Motherhood and maturity fit Hannigan like a glove and her post-Buffy career has been incredibly busy. It’s Hannigan’s playful, vibrant look that helped her seal the deal as a lead on How I Met Your Mother for nine seasons.
18 Nicholas Brendon Has Become The Zeppo
Nicolas Brendon's wisecracking Xander was a pivotal part of what made Buffy work. Xander's everyman character provided an important point of view for the audience. Brendon had a certain unassuming charm during his Buffy years, but he's fallen on some harsh times. Substance and addiction problems have definitely contributed to Brendon's current look. He's popped up in independent films, but his leading man days may be over.
17 David Boreanaz Isn’t Immortal, But He’s Still A Snack
David Boreanaz entered Buffy as someone incredibly new to the acting scene, but he quickly grabbed the hearts of both Buffy Summers and audiences alike. Boreanaz had such star appeal that his character, Angel, was given his own spin-off. Boreanaz may look a little paunchier and he may not be able to pull off playing an immortal any longer, but he's consistently been working on TV between nearly a decade on Bones and now Navy Seals.
16 James Marsters Ditched Punk Rock For Adulthood
When it comes to people in the Buffy community, fans either break down into champions for Angel or Spike. Angel may have come first, but James Marsters made Spike his own and turned a bit part into a series regular that even crossed over to Angel. Marsters may have lost that punk rock look that helped define his character, but even when he's playing a dad now, he's still able to draw eyes and get attention.
15 Anthony Stewart Head Is Still Proper And Distinguished
Anthony Stewart Head faced a tall task on Buffy. He wasn't just one of the few adult presences on the series, but he also had to be a proper role model for the bidding Vampire Slayer. Anthony Stewart Head may be older, but his distinguished look hasn't gone anywhere. He's become more prominent on both British television and theater in recent years, and looks even more like a rock star.
14 Charisma Carpenter Has Gracefully Aged Into Motherhood
Charisma Carpenter was such a fundamental component of both Buffy and Angel that it's pretty discouraging to see the way she was forced to exit. Cordelia Chase was the attractive Mean Girl surrogate, but during Angel’s production, Carpenter became pregnant and her look changed quite a bit. Maternity has continued to mature Carpenter's look, but she's still acting and seems to have fixed any riffs with her Buffy ilk.
13 The Crazy Locks Are Gone, But Seth Green Is Still Our Werewolf Heart Throb
Locking in Seth Green during Buffy’s infancy was lightning in a bottle for the show. Eventually, Green became so famous that he did exit, but he still remained on good terms. Green has remained active over the years, with his voice work on Robot Chicken being one of his biggest claims to fame. Green looks the same as he did on Buffy, but he has grown up and ditched the neon hair dye job.
12 Emma Caulfield Is Still Smoking And Has No Need For Vengeance Spells
In some ways, Emma Caulfield's Anya was Buffy’s secret weapon. The former vengeful demon steadily becomes more prominent in the series until she's indoctrinated the main cast and romantically ensnared Xander. It looked like Caulfield would be super popular after Buffy’s run, but her career has slowed down in some ways (although she hasn't turned her back on horror). Caulfield's youthful look is still present, but she's not clueless any longer. Caulfield could probably do great work in something like a Bad Moms-type vehicle, but she's now a part of an older, more restrained demographic.
11 Amber Benson Has Bloomed Into Her Beauty
Amber Benson's Tara McClay is one of Buffy’s most innocent and beloved characters. Her relationship with Willow is tragic and beautiful. Many viewers wish she could have stayed on the show longer. Benson's Tara was a modest character and often dressed down in a subtle way. Amber Benson doesn't look radically different now, but she seems more confident in her appearance. Her style is much different than Tara's and it's easy to be taken aback by her current casual look.
10 Alexis Denisof Has Gone From Tosser To Tough Guy
If Giles was Buffy’s designated stick-in-the-mud, then Alexis Denisof's Wesley Wyndham-Pryce was the ultimate buzzkill. Denisof enters the series looking like a square, but on Angel he undergoes a drastic change that easily makes him one of the coolest characters in the series. Denisof is married to fellow Buffy co-star Alyson Hannigan and has continued to show up in Whedon productions. Denisof has only grown more into his rugged looks and he's far from the "head boy" who first shows up in Sunnydale.
9 Eliza Dushku Is More “Five By Five” Than Ever
Many Buffy fans consider the show's third season to be its apex and a lot of that has to do with Eliza Dushku's brilliant performance as bad girl Slayer, Faith. Dushku is a pro and she's been acting since she was a child. This hasn't changed since she left Buffy or Angel and she's still regularly working. Dushku may be a little harder now, but she's still rocking the tough girl chique and hasn't missed a beat.
8 Michelle Trachtenberg Has Lost Her Key Magic And Reality’s Set In
Many fans were thrown for a loop when Buffy’s fifth season introduced a sister out of nowhere for the Slayer. Trachtenberg played Buffy's bratty little sister to perfection, but fans raged against the show's new addition. Trachtenberg has had decent film roles over the years, but her look has changed. Trachtenberg no longer looks like anyone's tiny kid sister, but her talent hasn't gone anywhere.
7 Julie Benz Is Still A Femme Fatale Worth Fighting For
Julie Benz' Darla was not only an important part of Buffy, she's actually the first vampire that's seen in the series. Benz has maintained her alluring look and it's been able to aid her well during her post-Buffy career. Benz was a regular on Dexter throughout its entire run. She may be playing different types of characters now, but she's still very much a part of the industry.
6 Juliet Landau Trades Crazy For Coiffed
Juliet Landau did incredible work as the frail, quasi-psychotic vampire, Druscilla. Druscilla is an important part of both Angel and Spike's past and gets a lot of play via flashbacks. Landau's look and performance were so exaggerated on Buffy that it's easy to not recognize her now. She's still very much in her prime, but just such a far cry from her iconic role.
5 Marc Blucas Takes The Initiative To Stay In Shape
Buffy’s fourth season was controversial upon its release, but its reputation has improved with fans over the years. The season was highly transitory as it took the characters out of Sunnydale High, moved Buffy to college, and introduced the Initiative and Buffy's new beau, Riley. Blucas did a fine job as Riley, but audiences just missed Angel. Blucas has kept up with his acting and still has that handsome Prince Charming demeanor that Buffy fell for. He’s perfect for the Hallmark Channel.
4 Kristine Sutherland Is In Her 60s And Still Has “The Body”
Kristine Sutherland may not have been one of Buffy's cool friends, but the role of Joyce Summers, Buffy's mom, provided an important heart to her home life. Joyce marked an important part of Buffy's "normal" life and "The Body" remains one of the most important episodes that the show has ever done. Already in her 40s when the show began, Sutherland certainly looks her age at 64, but in her case that's far from a bad thing.
3 Danny Strong’s Still A Nerd, But Has A Way With Words
Danny Strong's Jonathan often coursed through the background of Buffy until he took a larger role as part of a trio of nerdy villains in the show's sixth season. Danny Strong's boyish look hasn't changed much and he's appeared in programs like Mad Men, but he's largely shifted his efforts to behind the camera. He's become a very successful screenwriter (and he’s the show-runner for Empire!).
2 You Can Still Set Your Calendar By How Robia Scott Looks
Robia Scott's role as Jenny Calendar was contained to the first two seasons of Buffy, but she played a very crucial role. Calendar was Giles' love interest and became an unfortunate casualty during the unleashing of Angelus. Scott effectively captured that hot librarian-like aesthetic on Buffy and not much has changed. It looks like Giles would still fall for her.
1 Bianca Lawson Looks Far From Dead In Her Post-Buffy Years
Bianca Lawson's tenure on Buffy was rather brief, but she made a very memorable impression as Kendra, the Vampire Slayer. Bianca's appearance as Kendra opened up the show's universe in a very big way. Lawson may not have returned to Buffy over the show's later seasons, but she's remained very active in her career. Lawson honestly looks better than her days on Buffy. Maybe she’s become undead.
These are all of the major heavy hitters from Buffy that we put under the magnifying glass, but time has afflicted everyone from the show. Sound off over whose look has shocked you the most!
Sources: IMDB.com, Buffy.Fandom.com, Hulu.com