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Sydney Margaret Penny (born August 7, 1971) is an American Daytime Emmy-nominated actress best known for the roles of Julia Santos Keefer on the soap opera All My Children and Samantha "Sam" Kelly on the CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. She portrays Leona Vanderwaal on Pretty Little Liars.


She was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and raised in Chatsworth, California, the daughter of former Western Swing bandleader and comedian Hank Penny and his wife, Shari. An early acting appearance was on the miniseries The Thorn Birds when she was only 12 years old as young Meggie. She also appeared as Dani in The New Gidget and as a pigeon-obsessed youngster in an episode of the police series TJ Hooker. At the age of 13, Penny played Megan Wheeler in the Clint Eastwood western Pale Rider, released on June 26, 1985. For this performance she was awarded a Young Artist Award at the 7th Youth in Film Awards in December 1985.

Penny is rumored to have Hungarian, Scots-Irish French, English and Cherokee descent although little significant evidences are given for such ancestries

She voiced Lucy van Pelt in the television special It's Magic, Charlie Brown (1981).

She played the role of Julia Santos Keefer on the soap opera All My Children, from 1993 to 1996, with guest appearances in 1997 and 2002 and returned to the show in 2005. Penny left the show in May 2008 when Julia was killed off.

Penny has also appeared on the serials Santa Barbara as B.J. Walker during 1992-1993, Sunset Beach as Meg Cummings (filling in for Susan Ward in 1999), Beverly Hills, 90210 and Hyperion Bay as Jennifer.

In August 2003, she was cast as Samantha Kelly on The Bold and the Beautiful. The character never caught on and Penny was bumped to recurring status in late 2004. She last appeared on April 26, 2005, and rejoined All My Children a few months later. She stayed with the show for an additional three years.

Penny has remained good friends with her former co-star on AMC, Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Television filmography

  • It's Magic, Charlie Brown as Lucy van Pelt (voice) (1981)
  • Fame as Susan Marshall (as guest star) (1982)
  • The Thorn Birds as young Meggie Cleary (1983) [1] [2]
  • New Gidget as Danny (1986–1987)
  • Santa Barbara as B.J. Walker (1992–1993)
  • All My Children as Julia Santos Keefer (1993–1996, 1997, 2002, 2005–2008)
  • Hyperion Bay as Jennifer Worth (1998–1999)
  • Sunset Beach as Meg Cummings (temporary recast) (1999)
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 as Josie Oliver (2000)
  • Largo Winch as Joy Arden (2001–2003)
  • The Bold and the Beautiful as Samantha Kelly (2003–2005)
  • The Wish List as Chloe (2010)
  • Days of Our Lives as Dr. Norman (2011)
  • Drop Dead Diva (3x06) as a CEO (2011)


  • News at Eleven (made-for-TV) as Melissa Kenley (1985)
  • The Fourth Wise Man (1985)
  • Pale Rider (western) as Megan Wheeler (1985)
  • Bernadette and La Passion de Bernadette (French) as Bernadette Soubirous (1988)
  • Hyper Sapien: People From Another Star (1986)
  • Hearts Adrift as Maxine (Max) Deerfield (1996)
  • Hidden Places (2006)
  • The Wife He Met Online as Georgia (2012)
  • The Perfect Summer as Alyssa (2013)