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Dolly Parton Has a Secret Connection to ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’

Photo Credit: Getty Images and Theo Wargo / Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Photo Credit: Getty Images and Theo Wargo / Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Actress Sarah Michele Gellar confirmed a rumor that country legend Dolly Parton had an important link to the late-’90s television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. During an interview on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Gellar described the connection between Parton and the supernatural teen cult series. It proves once again that the legendary Parton really has done everything.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a long run

Photo of the cast of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
The cast of 20th Century Fox’s “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” pose for a portrait. (Photo Credit: Online USA / Getty Images)

The series Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a TV adaptation of the 1992 film of the same name, starring Kristy Swanson. The show first aired in March 1997 and ran for a whopping seven seasons before coming to an end in May 2003. It became a cult favorite among fans and was rumored to have a reboot in the works, though that appears to have been put on pause for the time being.

The series focuses on Buffy Summers, a teenage girl who is destined to serve as a “vampire slayer,” battling demons and other dark forces. She’s supported by her friends, a group of high school students, and together they navigate love and heartbreak while protecting the world.

Parton was a secret producer

Headshot of Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton attends the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Microsoft Theater on November 05, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images)

During her interview with Fallon, Gellar revealed that Parton was connected to the television series. “Little known fact, the legend Dolly was a producer,” she said. “And, you know, we never saw her. Like, we’d get Christmas gifts in the beginning that would have our name. And I would think, ‘She doesn’t even know who I am.'”

Actually, Parton did know who Gellar was, with Gellar only finding this out later. “And then one day, somebody asked her about it and she complimented the show and my performance. And I was like, ‘Oh, I can die now. Dolly Parton knows who I am and thinks I’m good,'” Gellar joked.

As it turns out, Parton co-founded the company that produced Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sandollar Productions. The other owner was her former manager, Sandy Gallin, who served as an executive producer on the series. “And they produced Buffy,” Gellar confirmed. Not only that, Sandollar Productions and Gallin also produced the 1992 film that the series was inspired by.

A workplace injustice was remedied by Parton

Headshot of Dolly Parton
Singer-songwriter Dolly Parton attends the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: David Becker / Getty Images)

Back in the late 1990s, and arguably still today, Hollywood was a difficult place for women to work. Most executive, producing, and directing roles were largely dominated by men and this made for a lot of workplace inequalities. One of those imbalances is pay, something that Parton took on personally for a female executive on the series.

Gail Berman was responsible for turning the 1992 film into a television series. But when it came to her pay, she didn’t see as much as her male counterparts. When Parton discovered this, she invited Berman out to lunch.

Over some chicken caesar salads, Parton explained to Berman that once she heard that the men at the company had not given her a fair share of Buffy the Vampire Slayer royalties, it just didn’t sit right with her. To remedy the situation, Parton handed her a check.

Gellar says she’s in a ‘good place’ with her feelings toward Buffy

Headshot of Sarah Michelle Gellar
Sarah Michelle Gellar arrives at the KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball 2019 Presented By Capital One At The Forum at The Forum on December 06, 2019, in Inglewood, California. (Photo Credit: Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images)

When reflecting on her time as Buffy, Gellar expressed that she feels she has “come to a good place.” Her feelings toward the show were quite complicated for some time. This was due to the alleged toxic work environment the show’s creator, Joss Whedon, created on set.

“I will always be proud of Buffy,” she explained. “I will always be proud of what my castmates did, what I did. Was it an ideal working situation? Absolutely not. But it’s OK to love Buffy for what we created because I think it’s pretty spectacular.”

More from us: Female ‘Vampire’ Discovered Pinned to the Ground With Sickle in Polish Graveyard

A new role for Gellar has her returning to the supernatural, investigating an emergence of werewolves in her town in the television series, Wolf Pack. She’s married to fellow actorFreddie Prinze Jr., and they have two children together.

Samantha Franco

Samantha Franco is a Freelance Content Writer who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Guelph, and her Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Western Ontario. Her research focused on Victorian, medical, and epidemiological history with a focus on childhood diseases. Stepping away from her academic career, Samantha previously worked as a Heritage Researcher and now writes content for multiple sites covering an array of historical topics.

In her spare time, Samantha enjoys reading, knitting, and hanging out with her dog, Chowder!