Kristine Sutherland is an actress best known for her role as Buffy Summers mother Joyce Summers on the television show Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
She was born Kristine Young, and changed her name because she was often confused with another similarly named actress. The last name 'sutherland was after her cat, whom she named Donald after Donald Sutherland, who, coincidentally, had a role in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer film, Joss Whedon's first attempt to bring Buffy to audiences. She attended high school in Lexington, Kentucky, where she participated in the Tates Creek Drama program. After graduating, she enrolled in the University of Kentucky.
Sutherland's first film role was as Mae Thompson in the 1989 film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. In 1997, she auditioned for the role of Joyce Summers on The WB Television Network's up-and-coming television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Creator Joss Whedon later stated that one of the reasons he chose Sutherland for the role was the fact that she exuded a warm demeanour, as well as what he believed to be a close resemblance to actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, who was to portray her daughter in the series. She appeared regularly on the show for the first five seasons before leaving, but returned for three more guest appearances, 1 in season 6 and 2 in season 7. In April 2008, she had a guest starring role on New Amsterdam as the wife of John Amsterdam's first partner, in the episode Reclassified.
After she left Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 2002, Sutherland decided to attend a still photography course at Santa Monica College and later took a 12-month residence in Italy with her husband and daughter. She so enjoyed the courseand the art of taking photographsthat it encouraged her to open up her own studio, with an emphasis on portraiture.
Sutherland is married to actor John Pankow, currently starring as Merc Lapidus on Showtime's Episodes. They have one daughter.