Penny Fuller (born July 21, 1940) is an American actress.
Life and career
Born in Durham, North Carolina, Penny Fuller moved to Lumberton when she was 12 with her mother Helen and her stepfather Andy Roundtree. She attended Northwestern University in Illinois. She then went to New York City to make a name for herself on Broadway. Debuting in The Moon Besieged (1962), she later appeared as a replacement in the original productions of Barefoot in the Park (1963) and Cabaret (1966).
After a handful of Shakespearean productions, Fuller won critical plaudits on Broadway for her portrayal of the outwardly sweet but inwardly subversive Eve Harrington in Applause (1970–1972), the musical version of All About Eve with Lauren Bacall as Margo Channing. Her last Broadway musical (to date) was Richard Rodgers' 1976 flop about Henry VIII, Rex, in which she appeared opposite Nicol Williamson and Glenn Close. (She has continued to work in musicals, however, including the original production of William Finn's A New Brain and a 1999 revival of Rodgers' Do I Hear a Waltz? at New Jersey's George Street Playhouse.) Recent years have found Miss Fuller back on Broadway, in the original productions of Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter (1997) and Neil Simon's The Dinner Party (2000); she was Tony-nominated for the latter. Off-Broadway appearances have included Three Viewings (1995) and Nicky Silver's unsettling Beautiful Child.
Penny Fuller has extensive television work to her credit, perhaps most memorably in her Emmy-winning performance as Mrs. Kendal in TV version of Bernard Pomerance's play The Elephant Man (1982) and in another stage-to-TV presentation, the 1985 version of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, in which she played Mae (a.k.a. "Sister Woman") opposite Jessica Lange and Tommy Lee Jones. She has guest-starred in dozens of TV series, including The Edge of Night (1964), Love, American Style (1969), The Bob Newhart Show (1972), Banacek (1973), Trapper John, M.D. (1979 and 1981), One Day at a Time (1983), The Love Boat (1983 and 1985), Matlock (1988), L.A. Law (1988), Murder, She Wrote (1988 and 1993), China Beach (1989–90), Columbo (1990), Quantum Leap (1992), NYPD Blue (1994), Mad About You (1994–95), Melrose Place (1994–95), ER (1995), Law & Order (1998) and Judging Amy (2002 and 2005).
Her big-screen work has been more limited but has included All the President's Men (1976) and The Beverly Hillbillies (1993).