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Sarah Michelle Gellar honors 'Buffy' fans on show's 20th anniversary

Has it really been two decades since we first met the Scooby Gang?

By which we mean the Scoobies of Sunnydale, California. The brave and brainy teens who, with their wisecracking leader Buffy, helped stop an apocalypse — or two.

Yes, believe it or not, it's the 20th anniversary of the first episode of Joss Whedon's "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," the cult hit TV show that launched the careers of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, David Boreanaz and more big stars.

20 years ago today, I had the greatest privilege to bring Buffy to your tv screens for the first time. 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. 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. Thank you to Gail Berman for always believing there was a show in that movie. Thank you to Joss Whedon, for trusting me to give life to one of the greatest female characters ever created. Thank you to David, for always being my Angel. Thank you to James for understanding that while Buffy and Spike may have been love/hate, I have nothing but love for you. Alyson, as any woman knows, you are nothing without the love and support of great female friends, so thank you for being that. Michelle, you will always hold a key to my heart. Thank you to all the incredible actors for seven seasons of amazing performances. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the incredible crew that worked tirelessly (and also really tired) to bring this show to life. And lastly, but most importantly thank you to all of you, the fans. 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" #buffyslays20

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To honor the special day, Gellar, 39, poured her heart out in an Instagram note thanking the cast, crew and die-hard fans who've kept the "Buffy" spirit alive 14 years after the show went off the air.

Everett Collection
James Marsters and Sarah Michelle Gellar in the 'Out of My Mind' episode from Season 5 of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer."

The actress began her post by saying it was a "privilege" to play the show's sassy and strong protagonist.

"While we knew the potential, I don’t think any of us saw the lasting impact our show would have,” wrote Gellar. "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 continued, "She's a feminist challenge to gender hierarchy. Buffy may have been the Chosen One, but I was the lucky one."

Everett Collection
David Boreanaz, Alyson Hannigan and Sarah Michelle Gellar in the 'Doppelgangland' episode from season 3 of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer."

Addressing "Buffy" fans, she added, “We made this show for you, and your unwavering support has kept this show going long past our seven years. You are everything."

Gellar concluded, "And always remember…'If the apocalypse comes, beep me.'"

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Hannigan, 42, who starred as Buffy's witchy bestie Willow, chimed in with a tweet thanking creator Whedon.

James Marsters, 54, who played Buffy's nemesis-turned lover Spike, sent his own greetings to his old pal and her beloved vampire stake, Mr. Pointy.

British actor Anthony Stewart Head, 63, who brought a fatherly air to the show as Buffy's tireless "watcher" Giles, also joined the celebration.

"Here's to all who watched, and all who were part of its creation, but most of all, here's to you @joss - grrrr,aargh x," the actor wrote.

Happy 20th, "Buffy" fans!

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