Penny Fuller in 1964
July 21, 1940 |
Durham, North Carolina, U.S.
Penny Fuller (born July 21, 1940) is an American actress. She received two Tony Award nominations for her performances on Broadway stage: for Applause (1970), and The Dinner Party (2001). For her television performances, Fuller received six Emmy Award nominations, winning once, in 1982 for playing Madge Kendal in The Elephant Man.
Life and career
Born in Durham, North Carolina, as Penelope Ann Fuller, 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. She started in Richard Rodgers' 1976 flop about Henry VIII, Rex, in which she appeared opposite Nicol Williamson and Glenn Close. Fuller continued to work in musicals, 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. Most recently, appeared in the 2017 revival of Sunday in the Park with George.
Penny Fuller has extensive television work to her credit, perhaps most memorably in her Emmy-winning performance as Mrs. Kendal in the TV version of Bernard Pomerance's play The Elephant Man (1982) and in another stage-to-TV presentation, the 1984 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. In 1992 she played Nancy McKeon's mother, Ruth Benson in the CBS movie Baby Snatcher, that is based on a true story.
Fuller 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).
- Women in Chains (1972)
- Applause (1973)
- All the President's Men (1976)
- Amber Waves (1980)
- The Elephant Man (1982)
- A Piano for Mrs. Cimino (1982)
- Lois Gibbs and the Love Canal (1982)
- Intimate Agony (1983)
- License to Kill (1984)
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1984)
- As Summers Die (1986)
- George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation (1986)
- The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (1987)
- Fire and Rain (1989)
- Lies Before Kisses (1991)
- False Arrest (1991)
- Miss Rose White (1992)
- Baby Snatcher (1992)
- Rio Shannon (1993)
- Star (1993)
- The Beverly Hillbillies (1993)
- The Gift of Love (1994)
- Shadow Conspiracy (1997)
- The Color of Love: Jacey's Story (2000)
- King of the Corner (2004)