Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel – two shows set in the same continuity that was collectively known as the Buffyverse – were the brilliant creations of superstar director Joss Whedon.
The prior – which was first aired in 1997 – saw the teenager Buffy Summers thrown into the world of the supernatural when she was called to be the one known as “the slayer” and granted the relevant superpowers to carry out her duty in her home town of Sunnydale. The latter – which first aired in 1999 – was a spin-off show featuring Buffy’s ensouled vampiric lover Angel performing heroic duties in Los Angeles.
Buffy ran until 2003 for seven seasons and Angel ran until 2004 for five seasons – and that meant that a large number of actors guest-starred over the course of what amounted to a total of 254 episodes.
Amongst those actors were a number who went on to be very famous. Some of their roles were so small that you may well have forgotten that they appeared in either of the two shows – and it’s those actors we’re going to take a look at in this article. Here are ten actors you forgot were in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
10. Sean Gunn
Sean Gunn is perhaps best known for being the brother of superstar director James Gunn and for his role as Kirk Gleason on the television show Gilmore Girls. He often works alongside James (and their other brother Brian) and recently appeared as one of the Ravagers in James’ 2014 movie Guardians of the Galaxy.
He also played two different characters in Angel, however – those being Lucas and Mars. Lucas was a Brachen Demon who appeared in the season one episode “Hero” and Mars was the human manager of the Palm Ridge Spa who appeared in the season one episode “She”. Both characters died in their respective episodes.
9. Clea DuVall
Clea DuVall is a television and movie actress who is best known for her role as Sofie on the HBO television series Carnivàle and for her roles in movies such as 1998’s The Faculty, 1999’s Girl, Interrupted, 2004’s The Grudge and 2012’s Argo.
But she also appeared in the season one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer called “Out of Mind, Out of Sight”. She played Marcie Ross – a female student who was so anonymous at Sunnydale High that the supernatural forces of the Hellmouth literally made her turn invisible. She used her condition to torment those who ignored her – clashing with the slayer and her allies in the process – before seemingly being recruited by the FBI.
8. Ashanti Douglas
Ashanti – full name Ashanti Douglas – is a performer who is far better known for her singing than her acting. To date, her biggest hit is “Foolish”, which reached number one in the U.S. charts and sold over 503,000 copies in its first week of release throughout the U.S. in April 2002. She has also acted in films like 2005’s Coach Carter, 2006’s John Tucker Must Die and television shows like Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Additionally, she appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer – in season seven’s First Date episode. She played a demon named Lissa who wooed Xander Harris in order to sacrifice him to the First Evil, with whom she had chosen to ally herself amidst the forthcoming apocalypse.
7. Jason Behr
Jason Behr is an actor whose most prominent role was as a regular (Max Evans) in the television series Roswell. Other television appearances include Sherman Oaks, Push, Dawson’s Creek and Breakout Kings. He has appeared in movies that include 1998’s Pleasantville, 2001’s The Shipping News and 2004’s The Grudge (as Sarah Michelle Gellar‘s boyfriend, incidentally).
Behr also appeared in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season two episode “Lie to Me”. He was a former friend of Buffy’s – called Billy “Ford” Fordham – who visited her in Sunnydale. It turned out he had a brain tumour and wanted to be turned into a vampire in order to live forever. In the end, Buffy staked him.
6. Eric Balfour
Eric Balfour is both an actor and singer – he is the frontman of the band Born As Ghosts (formerly known as Fredalba) – whose most prominent role is as Milo Pressman in the television series 24. Other television roles have been in Kids Incorporated, Six Feet Under, Veritas: The Quest, Conviction and Valemont, while his movie roles include appearances in 2000’s What Women Want, 2001’s America’s Sweethearts, 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 2005’s Be Cool and 2010’s Skyline.
In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he played Jesse McNally in the very first two episodes of season one – “Welcome to the Hellmouth” and “The Harvest”. Jesse was a friend of Xander Harris and Willow Rosenberg, but he was quickly turned into a vampire and dusted accidentally by Xander.
5. Summer Glau
Summer Glau is an actress who is best known for her portrayal of a character in another Joss Whedon production – as River Tam in Firefly (and the spin-off movie Serenity) – as well as for her portray of Sarah Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Other television appearances include the likes of The Unit, Dollhouse (yet another Joss Whedon production), The Cape, Hawaii Five-0, Arrow and Sequestered, while her film appearances include mostly minor offerings like 2004’s Sleepover and 2013’s Knights of Badassdom.
She also made an appearance in Angel. She played the Prima Ballerina – a ghostly dancer forced to perform the same dance, night after night in a time bubble, for over a century – in the season three episode “Waiting in the Wings”.
4. Wentworth Miller
Wentworth Miller is an actor and model who rose to prominence as one of the leading stars of the Fox series Prison Break, in which he played Michael Scofield – it remains his most famous role. He has also appeared in a number of other television series, including ER, Dinotopia, Ghost Whisperer, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and House, as well as movies including 2003’s Underworld, 2003’s The Human Stain, 2010’s Resident Evil: Afterlife and 2014’s The Loft.
He also appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer – in the season two episode “Go Fish” – when he played Gage Petronzi. Gage was a member of the Sunnydale High swim team who was transformed into a monstrous sea creature by steroids given to him by his coach. He was last seen heading out to into the ocean, where he presumably still lives.
3. John Ritter
The late John Ritter (he sadly passed away in 2003 due to an aortic dissection) was a major star of both the big and small screen. His film credits include the likes of 1990’s It, 1990’s Problem Child, 1991’s Problem Child 2, 1998’s Bride of Chucky and 2003’s Bad Santa. His television credits include the likes of Hawaii Five-0, The Waltons, M*A*S*H, Kojak, Three’s Company, The Love Boat, Three’s a Crowd and Felicity.
He also appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Ted Buchanan in the season two episode named after his character – “Ted”. Ted was a robotic duplicate of a man of the same name – created by the original to be a better version of the real thing (his wife had left him and he felt he needed to better himself). The robotic version became a boyfriend of Buffy’s mother Joyce Summers and subsequently came to blows with Buffy herself. Buffy ultimately beat him to death with a frying pan.
2. Amy Adams
Amy Adams is an actress who has now made it big in Hollywood. Her movies credits include the likes of 2005’s The Wedding Date, 2006’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, 2007’s Enchanted, 2007’s Charlie Wilson’s War, 2009’s Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, 2010’s The Fighter, 2011’s The Muppets, 2013’s Man of Steel and 2013’s America Hustle.
She also appeared in a number of television shows in her early career, including the likes of Charmed, Smallville (where she first appeared alongside Clark Kent prior to doing so in Man of Steel), The West Wing and The Office, as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She played Beth Maclay – cousin of Tara Maclay – in the season five episode “Family”. She was exceptionally traditional and didn’t agree with Tara’s way of life (magic use, being gay, etc) and travelled to Sunnydale to convince Tara to return home. She failed and, along with other members of her family, was driven out of town by Tara’s friends (Buffy, Willow and company, who proved that they were all the family Tara needed).
1. Jeremy Renner
Hollywood superstar Jeremy Renner has an abundance of fantastic blockbuster movies to his name. These movies include 2008’s The Hurt Locker, 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, 2012’s The Bourne Legacy, 2013’s Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, 2013’s American Hustle, 2015’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and several Marvel Cinematic Universe movies as Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye of the Avengers.
But he also appeared in a number of television shows in the early days of his career – including Angel (others included Deadly Games, The Net, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and House). He played Penn – a vampire sired by Angelus in 1786 – and appeared in the season one episode “Somnambulist”. In said episode, Penn arrived in Los Angeles and committed a number of grisly murders that Angel thought he might have been committing in his sleep. Penn was killed by Angel’s LAPD ally Kate Lockley.