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Sarah Michelle Gellar thanks fans on 'Buffy' anniversary

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her cult TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" by thanking fans for tuning in.

Now 39, the actress was a fresh-faced 19-year-old when the first episode aired in 1997, and she took to her Instagram account on Friday to share some memories.

"20 years ago today, I had the greatest privilege to bring Buffy to your TV screens for the first time," she wrote. "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."

She continued, "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."

Gellar then went on to thank producer Gail Berman for "always believing there was a show in that movie", and creator Joss Whedon for "trusting me to give life to one of the greatest female characters ever created".

The actress also remembered her castmates in her Buffy love letter, calling David Boreanaz "my Angel", and name checking James Marsters, Alyson Hannigan, and Michelle Trachtenberg, who played her sister on the show.

"Michelle, you will always hold a key to my heart," she added.

She signed off with a special thanks to the fans, writing: "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'."

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" ran from 1997 to 2003.

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