Before "Twilight's" Bella and before "True Blood's" Sookie, one woman reigned over the fang-toothed creatures of the night: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Sarah Michelle Gellar became a teen queen thanks to the hit TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," which took the small screen by storm between 1997 and 2003. She returns to TV tonight with the thriller "Ringer," in which she plays a woman on the run who takes on the identity of her twin sister after the sister mysteriously disappears.
Speaking of disappearing -- while some of the cast of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" failed to transition from the drama into bigger and better Hollywood projects, others, like Gellar, have stood the test of time. Below, check out what Gellar and four of her "Buffy" co-stars have done since the show went off the air:
As Buffy, Gellar fought to rid the fictional town of Sunnydale, Calif., of its supernatural annoyances. She won six teen choice awards for that role and scored a Golden Globe nomination. Gellar co-starred in a few popular movies during her "Buffy" reign, including "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (where she met her future husband, Freddie Prinze Jr., whom she married in 2002) and "Cruel Intentions."
Gellar's movie career floundered for much of the '00s. While her 2004 horror movie "The Grudge" was a box office success, its sequel flopped. At 34, she's thrilled to be returning to TV, and her real life role of taking care of her 2-year-old daughter has kept her in shape to kick butt on camera again.
"I just chase my toddler," she told "Access Hollywood" about staying fit. "That pretty much keeps me on my toes and puts me to bed by 8:30!"
Playing Angel, Buffy's forbidden vampire lover, David Boreanaz captured the hearts of teenage fans the world over. After two years on "Buffy," he starred in the spin-off "Angel," which ran from 1999 until 2004. Soon after his professional associations with the underworld ended, Boreanaz, now 42, found a new character on "Bones," in which he plays Special Agent Seeley Booth.
While his career has sailed smoothly, his personal life hasn't fared quite as well. Last May, he admitted that he cheated on his wife, Playboy Playmate Jaime Bergman, multiple times, including with Rachel Uchitel, one of the women linked to Tiger Woods' extramarital affairs. Boreanaz and Bergman still remain together with their two children.
Every vampire slayer needs a partner in crime, and Alyson Hannigan played Gellar's as Willow, "Buffy's" shy nerd turned magic maven. In 1999, Hannigan scored the role she's probably best known for apart from "Buffy" -- playing band geek Michelle Flaherty in the "American Pie" series of movies. (For people of a certain age, "This one time, at band camp" remains a beloved catchphrase.)
In 2005, Hannigan, now 37, returned to TV with "How I Met Your Mother." Her personal life is as constant as her presence in Hollywood -- she married actor Alexis Denisof in 2003 (who has also appeared on "Buffy," "Angel" and "How I Met Your Mother"). Together, they have a 2-year-old daughter.
Seth Green's "Buffy" alter-ego was Oz, Willow's guitar-playing/werewolf boyfriend. That role was the start of a successful Hollywood career. Green, now 37, has had a number of memorable roles, including Dr. Evil's son in the "Austin Powers" movies, the dork in "Can't Hardly Wait," the voice of Chris Griffin on "Family Guy" and himself on "Entourage."
He also serves as the co-creator and producer of the TV comedy series "Robot Chicken." Last year, he married actress Clare Grant.
Fun fact: Vampire slaying is genetic. It made sense, then, to introduce Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn, Buffy's little sister, in season five of the series. Along with her role on "Buffy," Trachtenberg built her career by starring in teen-centric movies like "Ice Princess" and "17 Again."
More recently, she's indulged in the manipulative (sometimes psychotic) Georgina Sparks, the scheming outsider on TV's "Gossip Girl." In real life, the 25-year-old Trachtenberg is a fixture of young Hollywood, and can often be caught party hopping with her co-stars Blake Lively and Leighton Meester.