Penny Peyser

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For the Family Matters fictional character of the same name, see List of Family Matters characters § Penny Peyser.
Penny Peyser
Born Penelope Allison Peyser
(1951-02-09) February 9, 1951 (age 66)
Irvington, New York, US
Alma mater Emerson College
Occupation actress, filmmaker
Years active 1976–present
Spouse(s) James Carroll Jordan (m. 1977–84)
David Brady (m. 1990–98)
Doug McIntyre (m. 2002)

Penelope Allison "Penny" Peyser[1] (born February 9, 1951) is an American actress and filmmaker.

Early life[edit]

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.[2][3]

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?[4]

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[4]), 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."[2]

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,[3] 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[edit]

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.[3]

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.

Her other feature films include The In-Laws, and The Frisco Kid.

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 has written for the Los Angeles Times as well as other publications.[citation needed]

Filmmaking[edit]

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,[5] and Peyser's sister, Caroline, who is suffering from multiple sclerosis and was dubbed "Mouna" by Umi, was one of the members.[6]

Personal life[edit]

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.[3] They were married in 1977, and divorced in 1984. They have a son, James Buckly Jordan, who is Managing Partner of Canyon Creek Capital.[7]

Peyser was married to David Brady from 1991 to 1998; they had a son, Devon P. Brady of Lionsgate Films.

Peyser is currently married to Doug McIntyre, the radio talk-show host of McIntyre in the Morning at KABC in Los Angeles.[7]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
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.
1998 Freedom Strike Linda
2013 Snap Mrs. Jacobs A short film.
2014 The Divorce Party Carol

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1981 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.filmreference.com/film/41/Penny-Peyser.html
  2. ^ a b Buck, Jerry (December 23, 1989). "She Plays the New Mystery Woman...". The Free Lance–Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. p. 3. Retrieved January 12, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d 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. Vol. 9 (No. 19). Retrieved January 12, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Kimmel, Bruce. "Interview – Penny Peyser". Haines His Way. Retrieved January 12, 2015. 
  5. ^ Orion, Damon (September 8, 2010) "Everything’s ZEN" Good Times
  6. ^ Stillpoint trailer
  7. ^ a b Rauh, Brinka (September 12, 2014). "Stillpoint – Life Inside a Zen Community by Penny Peyser". Casting New Lives. Retrieved January 12, 2015. 

External links[edit]