Penelope Allison Peyser
February 9, 1951
|Alma mater||Emerson College|
James Carroll Jordan (m. 1977–1984)
David Brady (m. 1990–1998)
Doug McIntyre (m. 2002)
Penelope Allison "Penny" Peyser (born February 9, 1951) is an American actress and filmmaker.
Peyser was born in Irvington, New York, and attended Irvington High School, where she starred in student musical theatre productions. She is the daughter of Marguerite (née Richards) and Peter Peyser, who at the time was mayor of Irvington, and later a five-term United States Congressman in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Peyser was attracted to acting when, at the age of six, she saw Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady. Peyser performed in high school productions of The Boy Friend and Bye Bye Birdie. She told Bruce Kimmel in an interview that she enjoyed singing and acting throughout grade school:
My triumph was in sixth grade when I decided to insert a musical number in our non-musical production of Oliver Twist. I was playing the Artful Dodger and couldn't resist the opportunity to sing Consider Yourself along with a self-choreographed tap dance. Now that really brought the house down and imagine the director's surprise.
High school – I was a theatre geek with a minor in field hockey. Bye Bye Birdie, The Boyfriend, Born Yesterday – wouldn't you have loved to see me in the Judy Holiday role?
Peyser began higher education at Skidmore College, where she majored in theater and performed the lead in Lysistrata ("while still a virgin and knowing not of what I spoke," she told Kimmel), then transferred to Emerson College in Boston. At Emerson, she continued to study drama and acted in Sam Shepard's La Turista, among other plays. After graduating in 1973 with a degree in theater, she made her professional debut by joining a Boston improv group called The Proposition. Peyser told an interviewer, "They'd take suggestions from the audience and turn them into skits. It was the most high-pressured job I ever had and the lowest paying. I figured it couldn't get any worse than that. After that, I went to New York and began my waitressing career."
Peyser did indeed work as a waitress in Manhattan. She also gained experience as "a glorified chorus girl" in Off-Broadway productions such as Diamond Studs, and performed in the original production of Lanford Wilson's The Hot l Baltimore, and well as, more recently, in Ethel Sings - The Unsung Song of Ethel Rosenberg at the Off-Broadway Samuel Beckett Theatre.
Film and television acting
Peyser is known for her role as Cindy Fox in the 1980s series Crazy Like a Fox.
Peyser moved to Hollywood upon landing a minor role in All the President's Men. Robert Redford, who produced and starred in the film, objected to casting a politician's daughter, but, as she told an interviewer for People, she informed Redford that her father was a liberal Republican who had criticized Richard Nixon, and she got the part.
Two months later, she was cast as Ramona Scott in Rich Man, Poor Man Book II. This was the first of a few long-running guest parts on television, including The Tony Randall Show, Crazy Like a Fox, and Knots Landing.
She played smaller guest roles in numerous TV series, including B. J. and the Bear, Barnaby Jones, The Incredible Hulk, Knight Rider, The A-Team, The Fall Guy, Tour of Duty, Quantum Leap, L.A. Law, Criminal Minds, and The Mentalist. Peyser worked with Paul Bartel and Steven Spielberg in a 1986 episode of Amazing Stories, of which she was the star. She co-starred as Tracy Beaumont in the 1979 TV movie The Girls in the Office and also starred as Emma Gayser Bedell in the 1982 TV mini-series The Blue and the Gray.
Peyser continued acting in theater in Los Angeles, in which she portrayed the lead role in A Moment in the Sun, Red Flags and The Twilight of the Golds.
Peyser co-produced, wrote and directed the documentary Trying to Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon (2008), which features interviews with Clint Eastwood, Billy Crystal, Merv Griffin, Chris Botti, Dave Frishberg, Tierney Sutton and others. The film won jury and audience prizes at the Nashville Film Festival, the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Indianapolis International Film Festival and the Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee. She also wrote, produced, filmed, and directed the feature documentary Stillpoint: Life Inside a Zen Community (2014) about a community in the hills above Santa Cruz, California of which "Umi", British former radio deejay Tom Lodge, was the master, and Peyser's sister, Caroline, who is suffering from multiple sclerosis and was dubbed "Mouna" by Umi, was one of the members.
Peyser began dating James Carroll Jordan when they were working on Rich Man, Poor Man Book II together; Jordan told an interviewer that they fell in love during their eighth episode together. They were married in 1977, and divorced in 1984. They have a son, James Buckly Jordan, who is Managing Partner of Canyon Creek Capital.
Peyser was married to David Brady from 1991 to 1998; they had a son, Devon P. Brady of Lionsgate Films.
|1976||All the President's Men||Sharon Lyons|
|1977||The Quinns||Laurie O'Neill||Television film|
|1979||The Girls in the Office||Tracy Beaumont||Television film|
|1979||The In-Laws||Barbara Kornpett|
|1979||The Frisco Kid||Rosalie Bender|
|1981||Two Reelers||The Girl||Television film|
|1983||Emergency Room||Nicky Tice||Television film|
|1984||Unfaithfully Yours||Jewelry Salesgirl|
|1984||Pigs vs. Freaks||Janice Zimmer||Television film|
|1987||Still Crazy like a Fox||Cindy Fox||Television film|
|1988||Messenger of Death||Trudy Pike|
|1993||Indecent Behavior||Samantha Morrow||A murder mystery starring Shannon Tweed.|
|1996||The Late Shift||Susan Binford||HBO television film|
|1996||Doomsday Virus||Lisa Erickson||Television film; also known as Pandora's Clock.|
|1997||Under Wraps||Amy's Mom||Disney Channel Original Movie.|
|2013||Snap||Mrs. Jacobs||A short film.|
|2014||The Divorce Party||Carol|
|1976-1977||Rich Man, Poor Man Book II||Ramona Scott||16 episodes|
|1977||Switch||Sandy||Episode: "Three for the Money"|
|1977||The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries||Suzie Wilkins||Episode: "The Mystery of the Flying Courier"|
|1977-1978||The Tony Randall Show||Roberta Franklin||11 episodes|
|1978||Having Babies||Episode: "Alien, Virgin, Workaholic"|
|1978||B. J. and the Bear||Stilts||Episode: "The Foundlings"|
|1978||Barnaby Jones||Sybil Crawford||Episode: "Stages of Fear"|
|1979||$weepstake$||Ludmila||Episode: "Episode #1.4"|
|1980||Wild Times||Libby Tyree||A Western miniseries starring Sam Elliott, Ben Johnson, Bruce Boxleitner, and Dennis Hopper; 2 episodes.|
|1980||The White Shadow||Episode: "Christmas Story"|
|1981||The Incredible Hulk||Lannie||Episode: "Two Godmothers"|
|1982||The Blue and the Gray||Emma Gayser||an American Civil War television miniseries; 3 episodes.|
|1982||Knight Rider||Cheryl Burns||Episode: "The Final Verdict"|
|1983||The Powers of Matthew Star||Lara Boston||Episode: "36 Hours"|
|1983||The A-Team||Laura Crenshaw||Episode: "Labor Pains"|
|1983||The Fall Guy||Meg Benton||Episode: "Dirty Laundry"|
|1984||Masquerade||Episode: "Caribbean Holiday"|
|1984-1986||Crazy Like a Fox||Cindy Fox||35 episodes|
|1986||Amazing Stories||Jane||Episode: "Secret Cinema"|
|1989||MacGyver||Mary Ruth Giordano||Episode: "The Battle of Tommy Giordano"|
|1989||Tour of Duty||Carol Anderson||3 episodes|
|1989-1990||Knots Landing||Amanda Michaels||18 Episodes|
|1991||Quantum Leap||Attorney Nancy Hudson||Episode: "Raped – June 20, 1980"|
|1993||L.A. Law||Leslie Wheaton||Episode: "Safe Sex"|
|1997||Walker, Texas Ranger||Dr. Vera Haines||Episode: "Brainchild"|
|1998||7th Heaven||Dr. LaRoe||Episode: "The Legacy"|
|2009||Raising the Bar||Diana Ramsay||Episode: "Maybe, Baby"|
|2010||General Hospital||Realtor||Uncredited role.|
|2012||Criminal Minds||Dr. Linda Merrill||Episode: "Unknown Subject"|
|2012||The Mentalist||Female lawyer||Episode: "Ruby Slippers"|
|2013||Castle||Mrs. Albrook||Episode: "Watershed"|
|2014||The Mentalist||Laura Dubin / Linda Dubin||2 episodes|
- Buck, Jerry (December 23, 1989). "She Plays the New Mystery Woman..." The Free Lance–Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. p. 3. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
- Windeler, Robert (May 15, 1978). "Actor James Jordan Was Offered Blondes, But, to His Surprise, He Chose Penny Peyser Instead". People. United States: Time Inc. 9 (19). Retrieved January 12, 2015.
- Kimmel, Bruce. "Interview – Penny Peyser". Haines His Way. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
- Orion, Damon (September 8, 2010) "Everything’s ZEN" Good Times
- Stillpoint trailer
- Rauh, Brinka (September 12, 2014). "Stillpoint – Life Inside a Zen Community by Penny Peyser". Casting New Lives. Retrieved January 12, 2015.