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CoastLine: Sydney Penny on her new production company, dodging child actor perils, and why creativity is everything

SYDNEY PENNY hs.jpg

Sydney Penny is on the verge of launching her own film production company. Dubbed Cucklebur and Company, the enterprise is dedicated to telling as-yet untold stories originating from the American South.

She’s claimed responsibility for her own destiny pretty much from the time she launched her career in entertainment: striding onto a stage while the performers were taking a break, grabbing the microphone, and singing a song. She was 3 ½ years old. The actual musical entertainers that night were her parents, who decided to go with it. And an actor was born.

Sydney Penny is on the verge of launching her own film production company. Dubbed Cucklebur and Company, the enterprise is dedicated to telling as-yet untold stories originating from the American South.

She’s claimed responsibility for her own destiny pretty much from the time she launched her career in entertainment: striding onto a stage while the performers were taking a break, grabbing the microphone, and singing a song. She was 3 ½ years old. The actual musical entertainers that night were her parents, who decided to go with it. And an actor was born.

She booked her first commercial when she was about six years old, then gained international attention by age ten in the wildly popular television adaptation of The Thorn Birds. She went on to star opposite Clint Eastwood in Pale Rider -- still barely a teenager.

As an adult, she became known for her portrayal of Julia Santos Keefer on All My Children and later, as Samantha Kelly on The Bold and the Beautiful.

Sydney Penny has been nominated twice for Daytime Emmy Awards. She’s won a Soap Opera Digest Award as well as two Young Artist Awards.

In 1997 she came to Wilmington, North Carolina to film Enchanted, a movie written and directed by Wilmington native John Ward.

Two years later, she returned as Wilmington’s Azalea Queen. It only took another six years for Sydney Penny and her husband, Robert Powers, to decide to make Wilmington home. They have lived in the Port City since 2005. They have one child, and in 2016 they bought Jester’s Café, what they describe as a “boutique bistro” in the Castle Street Arts and Antiques District.

On Sunday, October 17th at 4 PM, there is a free screening of Pale Rider at The Pointe Cinemas in Wilmington.  After the film, Penny will participate in a Q and A session.  

Resources:

Sydney Penny bio: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001607/

Sydney Penny fan page: http://www.sydneypenny.net/index.htm

Sydney Penny on Instagram: @sydsshots

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Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.