Growing up in Los Angeles, Sydney Penny studied acting, ballet, jazz, tap, gymnastics and acrobatics. Her career began in earnest at the age of six when she appeared in a commercial for a ballerina doll, “Dancerella.” Penny went on to do scores of commercials pitching products such as Barbie, McDonald’s and Pop Tarts. Penny’s first role was in “Through the Magic Pyramid,” directed by Ron Howard.
At age 10, Penny was chosen to portray Young Meggie in the ABC miniseries, “The Thornbirds.” She held her own opposite heavyweights Richard Chamberlain, Barbara Stanwyck and Jean Simmons, earning her critical acclaim and a Youth in Film Award. In 1985, Clint Eastwood cast Penny in her first feature as Megan Wheeler, the young girl who falls in love with the enigmatic preacher in “Pale Rider.” For her work, Penny was awarded a second Youth in Film Award.
In 1992, Penny appeared daily as BJ Walker in NBC’s daytime series, “Santa Barbara,” earning a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Younger Leading Actress. The next year, Penny moved to New York to appear as Julia Santos on the ABC daytime drama, “All My Children.” Penny and co-star Keith Hamilton Cobb were dubbed Soap Opera Digest’s hottest couple and Penny earned a second Emmy nomination. Several years later, Penny returned to television in the WB series, “Hyperion Bay,” and secured a recurring role on “Beverly Hills 90210.”
In 2003, Penny returned to Los Angeles to portray Samantha Kelly on CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Other recent projects also include the McBride mystery “The Doctor is Out, Really Out,” as well as the television movie “Hidden Places,” co-starring Shirley Jones and Jason Gedrick, both airing on Hallmark Channel.
Penny and her husband have a son, Chasen, born in 2007. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, riding horses and hiking, and sings and speaks French fluently.