An actress who enjoyed fame and recognition as the on-camera mother of Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), on the action-horror series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996-2003), Kristine Sutherland grew up in Lexington, KY, and first explored her capacity for effective drama via stage work. She first began appearing in A-list feature films in the mid- to late '80s, with projects including Legal Eagles (1986) and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), but her career caught fire with the role of Joyce Summers on Buffy, and her portrayal prompted at least one major publication to term her "Television's Sexiest Mom."
After she exited the program in 2002, Sutherland decided to attend a still photography course at Santa Monica College upon feeling inspired by a year-long residence in Italy with her husband and daughter. She so enjoyed the course -- and the art of taking photographs -- that it encouraged her to open up her own studio, with an emphasis on portraiture. She also occasionally still appeared on television; in 2008, she played Elmira Forsythe in the Western miniseries Comanche Moon and took on a guest role on the series New Amsterdam.