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Sarah Michelle Gellar honors Buffy's 40th birthday with message to be 'brave'

It's been nearly 18 years since Gellar portrayed the heroic vampire slayer on TV.
/ Source: TODAY

Buffy Summers turned 40 on Tuesday — and Sarah Michelle Gellar, the actor who portrayed the heroic character for seven seasons on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," honored the milestone with an inspiring message to fans.

Gellar, 43, shared a throwback photo on Instagram of herself in character as Buffy aiming a crossbow at an enemy. In her caption, she urged fans to be inspired by Buffy's bravery.

"I just realized that today is Buffy Summers 40 bday. I can’t even believe that. She taught that the the hardest thing in the world is to live in it. So in her honor let’s all be brave. Live," wrote Gellar, quoting Buffy's emotional speech to her sister, Dawn, in the season five episode "The Gift."

"This may not be the way we are used to living our lives, but let’s find the beauty. So we can all live long and safely," she added.

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."James Sorenson / AP

Fans took to the comments to share how much evil-fighting Buffy had inspired them over the years.

""I have 'Be Brave, live' tattooed on my wrist as a daily reminder," wrote one.

"This character has saved my life," wrote another. "Thank you, Sarah, for embodying her perfectly and keeping her legacy alive."

A few excitedly pointed out that Buffy shares a birthday with country music queen Dolly Parton, who was an uncredited executive producer of the "Buffy" series, which aired from 1997 to 2003.

It's hardly the first time Gellar has referenced Buffy on Instagram during the coronavirus pandemic.

In May 2020, she shared a photo of herself wearing the same sleeveless white prom dress Buffy wore in an episode 23 years before. In her caption, Gellar paraphrased Buffy's famous quip, "We saved the world. I say we party."

"All dressed up and no where to go. 'I say we party," she wrote

And, in March 2020, Gellar made light of humdrum life during quarantine using a hilarious "Buffy" meme featuring side-by-side images of Buffy — one of her wielding her magical scythe ax and another of her in cute sushi-print pajamas.

"How I expected my apocalypse outfit to look (vs.) How it actually looks," was written across the top of it.

Gellar added the hashtag "#truth."