Sydney Penny is an American actress, who is probably best known for her role of Julia Santos Keefer in the series “All My Children”. She’s also appeared in such series as “The Bold and the Beautiful”, “Hyperion Bay” and “Pale Rider”.
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Early life and family
Sydney Margaret Penny was born on 7 August 1971, in Nashville, Tennessee USA, so holding American nationality, and her zodiac sign is Leo. Born into the family of the former Western Swing singer and comedian Hank Penny, and operatically trained singer Shari Penny, Sydney was raised in Chatsworth, California. She has a half-brother, Greg Kevin Penny, born on 12 October 1955, from Hank Penny’s first marriage with the popular country singer Sue Thompson. Greg holds the position of the president of Flower Records, and is one of the partners at Siwa Productions, Tokyo.
Greg is also known for being the producer of k.d. lang and Elton John. Sydney and Greg communicate as often as they can and all are in good relationships. In 2019 Sydney’s mother published her book “The Enchanted Carousel”, which is a fantasy children book about the girl named Chloe, who finds her grandmother’s secret journal in the attic of her old house. Shari wrote on her Instagram account that the plot of the book was totally inspired by the story of her grandmother, Sydney Guerry Fox Madden.
Sydney’s father, Western swing star Hank Penny
Born on 18 September 1918, Sydney’s father, Herbert Clayton “Hank” Penny played banjo and sang in such music bands as “The Radio Cowboys”, “Musical Brownies” and many others.
The list of his own hits which got to the Billboard charts includes “Steel Guitar Stomp” (1946), “Get Yourself A Red Head” (1946) and “Bloodshot Eyes” (1950). In 1950 Hank founded the band “The Penny Serenaders”, inviting Jaye P. Morgan as a singer, and Benny Garcia and Jimmy Wyble as guitarists to join. Along with Spade Cooley, Hank is famous for the comedian characters of “That Plain Ol’ Country Boy” (1952). Hank died of a heart attack on 17 April 1992.
Sydney matriculated from her local high school in Nashville, in 1999. There is no information on her further education.
Acting career: first steps
Sydney’s acting debut happened in 1979, when she landed the role of Melissa Hollister in the TV movie “The Night Rider”. She continued appearing in TV films and miniseries as a child actress, and when she was only 11 years old, landed the role of young Meggie Cleary in the popular TV miniseries “The Thorn Birds”. In 1981 she appeared in such projects as “It’s Magic, Charlie Brown”, “Dear Teacher”, “Through the Magic Pyramid” among others, in fact had trouble skipping some school lessons due to her high load in filming, but tried to balance between her studies and work.
From 1982 to 1985 Sydney appeared as Susan Marshall in the “Fame” series, as Melissa Greely in “St. Elsewhere” comedy series, and as Billie in an episode of the “Silver Spoons” sitcom.
Sydney got her first recurring role in the series “The New Gidget” in 1986, landing the role of Danielle ‘Dani’ Collins-Griffin, and appearing in 44 episodes of the show from 1986 to 1988. In 1986 she also won the Young Artist Award for her role of Megan Wheeler in Clint Eastwood’s “Pale Rider” (1985) at the 7th Youth in Film Awards ceremony, a major boost in Sydney’s career, which saw her in steady demand for a variety of roles in films and on TV.
From 1992 to 1993 Sydney appeared in 123 episodes of “Santa Barbara”, landing the role of B.J. Walker. From 1998 to 1999 she played Jennifer Worth in 17 episodes of the “Hyperion Bay” drama series, and then, finally matriculating from her high school and able to focus on her work full-time, she started filming in “Sunset Beach” as Meg Cummings. She later played Josie Oliver in “Beverly Hills, 90210” (2000), Joy Arden in “Largo Winch” (2001 – 2003) and Samantha Kelly in “The Bold and the Beautiful” (2003 – 2005).
Sydney also got back to filming in “All My Children”, as she started working in the cast of the show in 1992, and then left in 1997, returning in 2002. Her role of Julia Santos made her even famous after her glorious comeback. Sydney later admitted that she had a great pleasure working with such talented actors as Susan Lucci, Michael E. Knight and David Canary. Finally leaving the show in 2008, Sydney appeared as Chloe in “The Wish List” (2010), playing opposite Jennifer Esposito and David Sutcliffe.
In 2011 Sydney landed the role of Dr. Liv Norman in the popular TV series “Days of Our Lives”, appearing in seven episodes of the show which has been aired since 1965 to the present.
In 2012 Sydney could be seen as Georgia Marisette Meyers in the TV movie “The Wife He Met Online”, and as Ashley Lagare in “Dark Canyon”. In 2012 she played Alyssa in “The Perfect Summer”, and Candace in “Heart of the Country”. Among her latest works there are such series as “Pretty Little Liars”, in which she played Leona Vanderwaal in a couple of episodes in 2014 and 2015, and such movies as “Killer Crush” (2015), “Heritage Falls” (2016) and “Mountain Top” (2017); the latter remains Sydney’s final work in the entertainment industry. The information on Sydney’s official website claims that she is writing screenplays and poetry, yet no movies has been released based on her screenplays or originals ideas.
Personal life, husband Robert Powers
Sydney married her high school sweetheart Robert L. Powers in 1995, after they dated for several years. In 2007 Sydney took a break from her career to give birth to their son, Chasen. Robert is an experienced chef, who was trained in Paris at the Cordon Bleu. He is now the owner of the line of gourmet seasonings and barbeque sauces “Curly’s Q Sauce”, which he launched in 2013. As of 2020, Sydney and Robert are still living together, enjoying their spare time drinking wine, reading non-fiction books and preparing for their 25th Wedding Anniversary on 29 September 2020.
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
Sydney likes to laugh about the fact that she played at least three characters named Melissa, joking that her first role doesn’t let her go – she played Melissa Hollister in her debut movie “The Night Rider” (1979), Melissa Greely in “St. Elsewhere” (1983), and then Melissa Kenley in “News at Eleven” (1986). Sydney and her fellow actress Sarah Michelle Gellar are still good friends from the time they shared the set of the series “All My Children”.
Her favorite flower is hydrangea. Sydney likes reading historical non-fiction, but also detective stories as she is fond of mysteries. She enjoys gardening, competitive tennis, and is keen on genealogy. If she can watch TV, she definitely chooses BBC’s “Top Gear”.
— Sydney Penny (@sydney_penny) April 26, 2017
Sydney is fond of cooking, enjoys her time in the kitchen, and cooks everything starting from deserts, such as Red Velvet cake or cupcakes, to time-consuming preserves, such as figs canned with balsamic vinegar and honey with rosemary, thyme, peppercorns and vanilla bean. She has a dog named Axel, and two Siamese cats.
Sydney has middle length black hair she wears with a side bangs. She has dark brown eyes. Sydney is 5ft 4ins (1.63m) tall and weighs around 132lbs (60kgs).
Net worth and salary
As of 2020, Sydney’s net worth is estimated to be around $2 million.