Michelle Trachtenberg

Michelle Trachtenberg

As if it weren't enough that Willow, Oz and Buffy herself were Jewish, Dawn is Jewish, too! Which makes Buffy the Vampire Slayer one of the most Jew-ful shows ever (the whole list is at the Buffy link)! I guess Jews must hate vampires a lot. We know we do! Buffy's Oz was played by Seth Green, who went on to start the stop-motion animation sensation Robot Chicken, and Michelle regularly does voices on that show.

Now she's a regular on heart-breaking show Gossip Girl and the heart-fixing show Mercy (it's set in a hospital!). And she is in Against the Current, about a guy who swims the Hudson River to help get over a loss. And in Take Me Home Tonight, about a party on Labor Day weekend in the 1980s. The title comes from a song by a singer named Eddie Money (no relation to Johnny Cash!).

And (yes, and!) in 17 Again, with Zac Efron, about a 35-year-old guy who wakes up one day to find he is, um, 17 again (the movie might also be named for the fact that we have seen this plot 16 times before!)

Yes, that's a lot of "and." Hard-working Michelle is one of the most popular stars today!

Michelle was also featured in the hit HBO show that followed Sopranos, called Six Feet Under. Well okay, maybe it wasn't exactly a sequel... but in Sopranos the characters kill people and in Six Feet Under they bury them! Since Buffy, she has also shown up on House, Robot Chicken, and Law and Order.  

Michelle's been in other movies, too. She was in Beautiful Ohio, and in Mysterious Skin with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. More recently, she’s been in the breakdancing Kickin’ It Old Skool and the break-lancing Dragonlance, both with Michael Rosenbaum.

She's also in The Possibility of Fireflies, about a single mom with two kids-- Michelle's the older kid-- and in Vinyl, which is what they made records out of before there were CDs and iPods (ask your parents); she plays a girlfriend of this guy who starts a band.

She was also in Ice Princess, in which she used her ballet training to really ice skate!

Earlier in her career she played a crime-stopper-- twice! She was the title character in Harriet the Spy, based on one our fave books, and she also played Penny in Inspector Gadget. The title character was played, of course, by Matthew Broderick. But even before her movie career, Michelle was in commercials… over 100 of them!

Michelle also was in some kids' shows you may remember: The Adventures of Pete and Pete and Clarissa Explains it All. But it was after she co-starred with Sarah Michelle Gellar in the soap All My Children that she got recommended-- by Sarah herself-- for Buffy. When that show was over, Michelle took a wooden stake home as a souvenir!

Michelle's parents are Russian-Jewish immigrants, and she still speaks fluent Russian. Maybe she'll use it in a movie someday! Also, her grandparents live in Israel.


Michelle now skates for fun. She also took up tennis because, well, "I tried gymnastics at one point, but my tush got a whole lot of black and blue, so that wasn't fun." She must be a great skater, because slipping while skating is what makes our tushes black and blue. After all, the hardest part of skating is… the ice!

Bonus Bonus:

There have been many great Jewish figure skaters. Some of the newer ones include sisters Sara and Emily Hughes and Sasha Cohen. Sasha and Sara have won medals at the Olympics! So has Irina Slutskya, who is from Russia.

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