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Penelope Ann "Penny" Fuller (born July 21, 1940) is an American actress.[1] She received two Tony Award nominations for her performances on Broadway stage: for Applause (1970), and The Dinner Party (2001).[2] For her television performances, Fuller received six Emmy Award nominations, winning once, in 1982 for playing Madge Kendal in The Elephant Man.[3]

Penny Fuller
Penny Fuller.JPG
Penny Fuller in 1964
Born (1940-07-21) July 21, 1940 (age 79)
Years active1962–present

Early life and familyEdit

Penelope Ann Fuller was born in Durham, North Carolina. She moved to Lumberton, North Carolina when she was 12 with her mother Helen and her stepfather Andy Roundtree. She attended Northwestern University in Illinois.


Fuller relocated 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 gained notice on Broadway for her portrayal of the outwardly sweet but subtly undermining 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.) In later years, Fuller was also 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 and as the Dowager Empress in Anastasia.[4]

Fuller has extensive television work to her credit, including an 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, based on a true story.

Fuller has appeared in dozens of TV series, including The Edge of Night (1964), Love, American Style (1969), The Bob Newhart Show (1972), Banacek (1973), The Six Million Dollar Man (1974), 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 film work includes All the President's Men (1976) and The Beverly Hillbillies (1993).



  1. ^ Willis, John; Hodges, Ben (2007-02-26). Theatre World. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 184–. ISBN 9781557836854. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Penny Fuller – Broadway Cast & Staff". The Broadway League. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Penny Fuller - Television Academy". Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  4. ^ Lefkowitz, Andy (2018-12-06). "Anastasia Announces New Casting: Constantine Germanacos as Gleb & Penny Fuller as the Dowager Empress". Retrieved 2018-12-06.

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