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Then + Now: Kristy Swanson from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’

Kristy Swanson Buffy the Vampire Slayer
20th Century Fox

Way back before Sarah Michelle Gellar ruled TV as ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ there was a Buffy movie, and it starred another feisty, kick-ass blonde — Kristy Swanson. What’s the ’90s actress up to these days?


Kristy Swanson had minor parts in two John Hughes ’80s movies — ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ and ‘Pretty in Pink’ — before starring in the film adaptation of the hit V.C. Andrews novel ‘Flowers in the Attic.’

You remember ‘Flowers in the Attic,’ right? The story of a brother and sister who get icky with each other when their grandma locks them in an attic? Yeah. That movie.

In 1992, Swanson hit the big time as Buffy Summers, the cheerleader and vampire hunter in Joss Whedon’s ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ movie. Yep, before it was a TV show, it was a very ’90s movie. So ’90s, in fact, it starred Luke Perry as a love interest, Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman) as a villainous vampire’s henchman, and even had a small cameo from a very unknown Ben Affleck.

You might have also seen Swanson in ‘The Chase,’ ‘Higher Learning,’ and ‘The Phantom.’


Kristy Swanson
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Swanson continued to act with small parts in films like ‘Big Daddy’ with Adam Sandler, but never quite found the same success she had in the early ’90s. In November of 2002, she posed for Playboy (making the dreams of many young men who grew up in the ’90s come true). Swanson has also appeared on shows like ‘One Tree Hill’ and ‘Psych.’

In 2006, she competed on ‘Skating with Celebrities,’ and a scandal later erupted when she got involved with her then-married (with a pregnant wife) pro skating partner, Lloyd Eisler. He subsequently divorced his wife and had a child with Swanson, and the pair married in 2009.

See Then + Now: Catherine Bach from 'The Dukes of Hazzard'

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