Award-winning American actress Sydney Penny was born on August 7, 1971 in Nashville, Tennessee. The daughter of country stars Hank and Shari Penny, her beginning in show business came early. After doing several television commercials, she started appearing on different guest roles in television, as well as on some films. During this early part of the career, she won two Young Artist Awards: one in 1984 for the miniseries The Thorn Birds, and another in 1986 for the film Pale Rider.
Penny also had some high-profile television roles, including guest roles in The Twilight Zone, Half Nelson, and voice work for the television movie It’s Magic, Charlie Brown. In 1992, she got her first soap role, appearing in Santa Barbara as talented writer B.J. Walker. She stayed for less than a year, as the soap ended its run in 1993. Shortly after, she joined the cast of another daytime soap, All My Children, where she played the nurse Julia Santos. She stayed on in the role until 1996, and again from 2005 to 2008, when she was killed off. In between, she appeared as a guest player.
When Penny first left All My Children, she took on roles in prime time shows. She starred in the short-lived drama Hyperion Bay, and in the French television series Largo Winch. She also had a recurring role on Beverly Hills 90210. In daytime, she signed on for a role in the drama Sunset Beach, substituting for Susan Ward for two months as the protagonist Meg !$#!#mings.
In 2003, Penny signed on for another daytime soap, The Bold and the Beautiful. There, she took on the role of Samantha Kelly, a character which never caught on with audiences and was quickly delegated to recurring status. She left the soap in 2005, returning to All My Children until 2008.