October 11, 2001 -- The long-estranged father of Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar was found dead in his Manhattan, N.Y., apartment Tuesday morning, police say
Arthur Gellar, 60, was discovered in bed at his residence at 30 Waterside Plaza, say police, who were called by a friend who hadn't heard from him in several days. There were no signs of trauma, reports The Associated Press. Authorities are investigating whether he may have died of a drug overdose, since medication was found at the scene, according to the New York Daily News. A family friend told the Daily News that Gellar, who had been battling cancer, was "suffering from depression." The medical examiner's office is scheduled to do an autopsy today.
Leslie Sloane, Sarah Michelle Gellar's publicist in Manhattan, confirmed that Arthur Gellar was the actress' father, but said the TV star did not wish to comment.
Sarah's parents divorced when she was 8, and she has spoken bitterly, if at all, about her father in interviews. "He is not a person who exists in my life," the actress told TV Guide last year, "Just because you donate sperm does not make you a father. I don't have a father. I would never give him the credit to acknowledge him as my father."
Arthur, who worked in the garment center, reportedly told the Scottish Daily Record, "There isn't a night that goes by that I don't think of her."