Warrant of the week

Joe Penny: "If we won't have better scripts I'll give a notice!"

 Women persecute him

Conrad gets another fat part

Joe Penny: 15 - hour days, spaghetti sauce, and sleep

Shiny Penny!

TV tough guy Joe Penny confesses: My place is in the kitchen

Hawaii is back with 'Jake and the Fatman'

Pondering Penny: star of Jake and the Fatman just wants time to 'zone out'






BRAVO, January 12th, 1989 


 All about

Joe Penny 

Birthday. June 24th, 1956
Born: London, England
Height: 1,83 m
Weight: 86 kg
Colour of hair: dark brown 
Colour of eyes: blue - green
Family: His parents divorced, when he was six. He lived with his mother, step - father, one brother and six sister / three half - sister / in Los Angeles. When he was 15, left home, worked and studied a high school.

Car: BMW, 3rd serie
Hobby: travelling, cooking, bodybuilding
Favourite singer: Bruce Springsteen
Favourite clothes: T shirt, jeans, baseball cap turned to the back
Specilat: He prays two times a day. He's practicing Nichiren Shoshu /subsidiary of Buddhism/

TV: His the first role was Bugsy Siegel in a miniseries 'The Gangster Chronicles'. He's starring many guest roles and film roles, but we don't remember him for that. In 1984 he starred in hit - series 'Riptide'. In Germany this series called 'Trio mit vier Fausten'. There Joe played Nick Ryder in this series.  His new series called 'Jake and the Fatman'  will air in USA in October 1987. ZDF will air one from December 21st, 1988. Joe's partner is William Conrad.

Autographs address:
Joe Penny
c/o William Morris Agency
151 El Camino Drive
Beverly Hills
Ca 90212


  Gong aktuell, January 20th, 1989

  Handsome detective Jake Styles stepped out a shadow of his big boss and he beats time

  Joe Penny:

„If we won't have better scripts, I'll give a notice!“

  Better 'Alexis'! Call for help of conned spectators really gets a critique to the head of heavyweight 'Fatman'. William Conrad ('Cannon'), whose ' fattiness revives film fairly' (Kollner Express), invites from all fat actors a feelings of the higest uneasiness. 'Why', Suddeutche Zeitung asks angrily, 'do you knock us about that film' - there is # 48 of TV Top long ago in America, its origin country.

Only handsome, noble detective Jake Styles passed muster with critics and fans also. Joe Penny ('Riptide') steps out a shadow 'Fatman' slowly and becomes the limelight, but he pretty wrangle for the series.

„I like nothing before", is angry 33 years old actor. "Bill /Conrad/ is an old actor and I´m not just novice also. But we can not any miracles, if the scripts are poor in the best way", says handsome Joe, and he finally gave an ultimatum to producer of  ´Fatman´: "Either we´ll get better scripts or I finish!"

Joe Penny got eventually not only better script, but he cares to remove of all serie's team from Los Angeles to Hawaii. "I don't want to do a successor of 'Magnum'", explains ambitious actor," but there we can do just better work in Hawaii".

In any case he denys any big competition between series stars. "Bill is here in this series like 'Colombo', and I learns he moves in his role with absolut survey", he praises his good nurtured colleague. "He is pro and he is the artist at the same time.He blinks his dialogue and he knows his line be heart at once." And then he adds smilingly: "If we would must cancel our shooting tomorrow, Bill will smile only and he'll go fishing".

Joe lets alone of very much told the corpulency of his partner. "Bill likes now he is in. What his weight is, this is an affair of producer before the first shooting day. He is original and intelligent bullet - head". And with this compliment Joe adds else: But sometimes I don't know really, if his eyes are opened or closed..."

  BRAVO, February 16th, 1989



 " People are sending me naked photos and writing 'what would we be together?' Some women sent me even a wedding rings", says Joe Penny, whom we can see now in TV series 'Jake and the Fatman' as handsome detective Jake Styles.

His TV screen signs are suits from designers, very expensive cars and dates with oretty girls as running belt.

„In privat I currently wear Tshirts and jeans, I like wear also baseball cap turned to the back. I have maybe three or four suits. I have nothing which the serie shows", says 33 years old actor, who didn't fall in love happily so far.

Joe Penny parents divorced when he was six. He lived with his mother, got a step - father, and he grew up together with one brother and six sisters in Los Angeles. Whe he was 15, Penny wanted to learn himself  'what is real life'. He decided to earn money and study high school.

He was 18, he met a actor who earned so much money an hour what he earns in three days. So he decided to try to become an actor also. 

In the first line is TV miniseries "The Gangster Chronicle", he played there Bugsy Siegel. Next roles and movies came, Joe rather don't remebmer ones at what, perhaps the unforgettable scene of S. O. B., ep. 82, he shot it as "Officer Number One".

The break came only in 1984, when he starred in 'Riptide' series as Nick Ryder. In Germany the series called 'Trio mit vier Fausten, it was aired from 1985, and it could became, that 1, 83m high Penny was your favourite at first.

When the series was canceled after three years, he changed it almost at once for the 'Jake and the Fatman' series.

He supposes without any arrogance: "It's unmistakable a lot of peole think they would do my job as well, maybe even better. I can be really happy I have this job, what I like it moreover. Many actors don't like their jobs, because they are still under finantial presure /alimonys, divorces, etc./. I set up rather average actor. But now I concentrate for getting experiences, so I believe I'll find occasion in next series anytime".

You can not find the bachelor in a party. He is much homely type. He bought three - rooms house in a Los Angeles periphery from his Riptide salary. There he likes cooking, trains to weights, or just listens to the birds singing.



The Calgary Sun, September 22th, 1987

Conrad gets another fat part

 After a six - year exile from television, William Conrad has finally stashed the fishing gear and returned to his favorite passtime - acting.

"I retired about five years ago and went around the world doing the things I wanted to do," explains the salty TV veteran. "I went fishing."

Conrad - unshaven and looking dangerously obese - says he began his lenghty hiatus in 1981 after NBC axed his short - lived series Nero Wolfe. But viewer will feel Conrad's imposing presence once again as the heavyweight actor tackles  his best role in years.

In his new CBS series, Jake and the Fatman - premiering Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. 4(5) - Conrad plays a crusty district attorney who, with the help of a smooth - talking detective (Riptide's Joe Penny), not only convicts criminals, but chases them as well.

"It's a great part," says Conrad. "And the reason I couldn't resist taking it is because we limited my participation  to four days a week, 10 hours a day.

At my age I just don't have the energy to work 14 - hour days anymore."

Ironically, Conrad, known primarily as indefatigable private eye Frank Cannon in the popular series Cannon, says he has always despised the character.

"Cannon was a cheap phony and I didn't like him at all," he gripes in his familar booming baritone.

Why, then, did he play the role for five years? "Money!" he says.

"But," he adds with a wink, "I did get an award in Germany for being a sex symbol, so smoke that one in your pipe."

If the two - hour season opener is any indication, Conrad may win another award for portraying The Fatman - a role which thrilled him so much, he agreed to play it before it was written.

"This is the only part I've ever played in my life that I thought had some possibilities," he says. "When (the writters) conceived this part, they must have thought I was a real slob because they wrote it as a slob. And they were right - the part is really me."

In the series pilot, Conrad's character - much like the actor himself - unleashes a barrage of expletives every time he's ruffled.

But despite Conrad's protest, the network has ordered the offensive sequences re - shot.

"Television shows can't say anything and a movie (script) says and does what it damn well pleases. It's ridiculous," he growls.

"After all," says Conrad, stroking his three - day stubble, "I think for me to say 'damn it to hell' is not going to hurt anybody."




TIGER BEAT, October 1985



  „The mark of a good actor is to take a difficult role and make it look easy," says Joe Penny, who plays 'Nick Ryder on NBC's Riptide.

 He was born in London, England, lived subsequently in Georgia and Los Angeles, and never thought about becoming an actor until the age of 18. That's when a friend of Joe Penny's suggested he take acting classes.

„I was sceptical about acting at first, but I quickly found that I loved it," he recalls. "I made an emotional connection right away and decided that this was how I wanted to spend my life."

Beginning with small roles in Los Angeles theaters, Penny supported himself by working as a truck driver, foreman of a maintenance crew, and dishwasher. His first TV acting assignment, in 1977, was on the premiere episode of the Nancy Drew Mysteries. He later made guest appereances on Lou Grant, Vega$, Flamingo Road, Archie Bunker's Place, and T. J. Hooker. Then, in 1981, he starred as 'Bugsy Siegel' in Gangster Chronicles.

Now, he is Riptide's Nick Ryder, a streetwise ex - helicopter - pilot - turned - private - detective in an agency with two other detectives. "I love that work and I love working with the other two guys," Penny says. "We are like brothers. It is exhausting, complicated work. To me it's just a job. It's a fun job. I love it."

Like most full -  time TV actors, Penny's schedule leaves little free time. He squeezes in fishing, hunting, spending time with his family, and making spaghetti sauce when he can. Penny also has another favorite passtime. "I sleep. That's my hobby," he announces. "When I'm working I do nothing but work and sleep. Occasionally on a Sunday I'll come out among the living, and spend quality time with quality people. But then it's right bach to the rat race again. I work 15 - hour days. That's nonstop."

"When you're popular," he explains, "you're always on the go. When you have spare time you want to use that spare time  to continue on with your career. You tend to think that I am my job, I have become my job.

"I try to keep my life and things in my life as simple as possible," Penny continues. "I try to keep relationships very simple, very communicative, and very clear. Because I live and work  in such an insane, totally illogical business, a totally insane, neurotic business, I need some stability to come home to. I need my life to be as clear, organized, and as well - kept as possible and as simple as possible."

Penny says he is generally happy with his life, but acknowledges that his long workdays leave little time for a full social life. "There are times when I come home and I lay in my room with the door closed, alone, and I think, 'Isn't this interesting?' If people only knew - it's lonely at the top."

For now, however, Penny has decided that a relationship and a starring role on a weekly TV series don't mix. "You have two prioroties, the relationship and thr career," he outlines. "You need energy for both So if you take energy away from one of them you're cheating the other. It's a double -  edge sword. But someday I would like to have a family. I'd like to fall in love."



TV WEEK, May 20th, 1989

Shiny Penny!

 He had a tough up - bringing, but Joe's star is burning bright.

 'It's important to give 100 per cent every day'

 As private investigator Jake Styles in the U. S. series Jake and the Fatman, Joe Penny treads a film line between smart and cheeky as he stars alonside William Conrad as the irascible ex - cop 'Fatman' McCabe.

But away from the set Joe is a reserve, softly - spoken man who, nevertheless, possesses the drive needed to get him through hectic 14 - hour days.

"I'm an over - achiever. It's important to give 100 per cent every day," he says.

The series, also starring Allan Campbell as Derek Mitchell and filmed mainly in Hawaii, is now its second season.

"Hawaii has its advantages," says Joe, "but after a long day on the set I just want to go home."

Which is a problem, because home is in far off Los Angeles, where Joe has "a pool, a basketball court in the yard and there's a gym in the house where I can work out".

At 33, the handsome, 180cm - plus Joe has made a favorable impression on the showbusiness world. As well as being an actor, he also "contributes creative ideas to the show's storylines".

When told of the show's popularity in Australia, where it is seen on the Nine Network, he looks surprised and says: "So, all my good, old - fashioned hard work has paid off!"

Born in England, Joe was six when he moved to Los Angeles with his mother after his parents divorced. Even in his early teens he had to help support his younger brothers and sisters.

At 15 he left home "to find out what the real world was like". Overcoming the tough times, he says, helped make him "a stronger person and a better actor".

His move into showbusiness came by accident - he was watching a friend at a drama class and decided he should try it himself.

During the lean times on the way up, he supported himself working a variety of jobs such as driving trucks, maintenence work and washing dishes, but it wasn't long before he landed guest role in series such as Vegas and T.J. Hooker and then the starring role of Bugsy Siegel in the mini - series The Gangster Chronicles.

"I'm proud of that piece of work. Both the writing and the ensemble cast were very good," he says.

Joe also starred in the telemovies Blood Vows, with Melissa Gilbert and Roses Are  For The Rich, with Lisa Hartman. for gourmet cooking.

"And I'm not a bad cook for a guy!" he says. "And I'm happier being with my close - knit family rather than being part of the Hollywood lifestyle.

"I would evetually like to do more film work, though. I'm hooked! Through acting I've discovered my second childhood."

Then, smiling that familiar smile and with his hand over his heart, he adds: "After all, acting is not about's about giving."

Despite being an eligible bachelor with appeal, he says he is "happy to be a home kinda guy" and indulge himself in his passion


 Globe, September 8th, 1987


 My place is in the kitchen

 He keeps his first car and an old photo to remind him where he came from.

JOE PENNY'S house is hidden behind another home in the San Fernando Valley, village of Toluca Lake, California - and that's just the way he takes it.

Tell him his house is hard to find and the handsome ex - Riptide star says: That's the idea."

Joe, 30 and single, is a self - confessed loner, a man's man who loves to spend his free time camping in the wood, where his only foodis the fish he can catch.

There isn't much time to spare a Joe's grueling schedule these days as he puts the finishing touches on a new fall TV series.

It's called Jake And The Fatman with portly ex - Cannon detective William Conrad. Joe, obviously, plays Jake, an investigator for the Fatman, a hard district attorney.

AFTER 17 - hour days on the set, Joe is only too happy to return to the home he calls his castle.

He balks when told that he's been described as shy. "I'm boring, that's what I am," he says." I'm not a typical actor."

That's true enough. After all, how many actors seek seclusion instead of the limelight?

He lifts a script from a huge pile in his living room and says: "These are the only things that mean anything to me. Reading these got me this.," he adds, gesturing around the house.

Joe began his rise to fame playing Bugsy Siegel in The Gangster Chronicles, which led to his role on Riptide.

He has since starred with Melissa Gilbert in the TV movie Blood Vows - Diary Of A Mafia Wife and with Lisa Hartman in the mini - series Roses Are For The Rich. He's lived in his removed house for more than a year and a half, but it still isn't finished.

The dining room has a table and chairs, but there's lots more work to do on it, and Joe is adding on a new master bedroom suite, complete with a Jacuzzi.

The kitchen is his favorite room. He spends hours there cooking just for himself - there's no romance in his life at the moment, he admits.

Slicing vegetables for a vegetarian dinner, Joe confides: "I'm a good cook" It's the only thing he brags about.

JOE, who was born in England while his father was stationed there with U. S. military, remebers the brutally hard times during his slow and painful climb to stardom.

Even if he could forget, he keeps a photo of hmself in leaner times on the dining room wall as a reminder. "It's a picture of a sad 19 - year - old acting student," he says. "That was when I was real bad boy, getting into a lot of trouble."

He also keeps his first car, 1968 Volkswagen Beetle, in the driveway as another reminder earlier days.

The old car has been carefull restored. It stands proudly beside the Mercedes that symbolizes Joe's newfound fame and fortune.

"I'll never go back to the old days," Joe adds firmly.




 The Hollywood Reporter, November 29th, 1988


 Back when 'the Hawaii series' on CBS was still 'Hawaii Five - O,' William Conrad came to town to do a two - hour movie for television called 'Battles'. It was the pilot for a new series in Hawaii to replace the aging 'Five - O'. When production wrapped, one of the supporting actors said to Conrad, "I envy you. You'll be here in Hawaii, and I have to go back to L.A." The actor was John Hillerman, and the rest, as they say, is history. ' Battles'  wasn't picked up and Hillerman got the Hawaii job as Higgins on 'Magnum, P.I.'

Fast forward to 1988. 'Magnum' is gone, and Conrad's new vehicle, 'Jake and the Fatman', with Joe Penny, is in ratings trouble. "There was a hard core audience that watched the show just to see those two guys," says supervising producer Arthur Kean. But the numbers weren't good enough to save an ailing show. Kean believes part of the problem was that the audience really didn't know anything about the characters. "They were two plastics guys solving problems no one cared about".

'Fatman' didn't make the fall schedule. But it wasn't dead. After 20 years of having a detective show filmed in Hawaii, CBS decided they couldn't get along without one. 'Fatman' was nominated to come back as a mid - season replacement.

"I don't know when we'll go on the air," Kean says. "It won't be before Jan. 11, because that's the first date I can deliver film. We have an order for 13 episodes. On paper, it looks like we can do it within budget. Now we'll find out." Kean is enthusiastic about local acting talent, which he says "is much better than I had been led to believe. that's good, because we didn't fly to Hawaii to film haoles (Hawaiian for white people)."

Presumably, the Hawaii mystique will swell the audience with viewers who like to look at the island. And the producers and writers are using the shift to Hawaii to round out the characters, give them a background, and, it is hoped, make them more interesting to viewers.

For instance, it turns out that Conrad's character, McCabe, wasborn and raised in the islands and has friends and family here. (Followersof the series will recall that he had no friends back on the Mainland). According to Kean, McCabe's son, whom McCabe wants nothing to do with, shows up in an early episode. And this spark conflict with Jake (Joe Penny) whose father rejected him.

Cameras rolled Nov. 10 on titles for the first episode, which will be a two - hour explanation of how and why the principal cast members find themselves in Hawaii to stay. Briefly, Jake has a sour experience on the Mainland, comes to Hawaii to get over it, and becomes involved with the murder of friend. McCabe shows up for the funeral, which according to Kean, is an authentic Hawaiian funeral. The local prosecutor, an old friend of the Fatman wants to retire, and asks McCabe to fill in for him. McCabe says no. Then Jake is charged with a cop killing and McCabe needs the help of his friend the prosecutor. He cons McCabe into staying in Hawaii, McCabe cons Jake, and the series has a new home.


 The Toronto Star, April 8th, 1992



 It's 4 pm and Joe Penny is sitting in the living room of his three bedroom house in California's  San Fernando Valley. Dressed in a maroon cashmere sweater, jeans ans suede boots, Penny seems very comfortable in his home he decorated himself with the help of some friends. Indeed, the dressed oak forniture, brass chandelier and French doors belie the tough guy image Penny projects as Jake Styles on the CBS TV series 'Jake and the Fatman', now in its fifth season.

Penny is annoyed by rumours that plague him in the tabloids. They focus on the fact that he is 36 and has never been married. Without being asked, Penny fervently corrects any misunderstandings.

"I'm single," he says, "It's not because I'm gay. Frankly, I just haven't found the woman I want to marry." Yet he admits he wouldn't settle down right now even if he did find her. "Right now he knows what Joe has to do," he says. "I am involved in real estate and other business. My time is really taken. For a woman to be with me, she'd have to take a backseat. And I wouldn't feel good about that."

Penny clearly uncomfortable is quick to move away from the subject. But later, when it crops up again, he offers more. "I really don't want to talk about this." He says. "My mother and father have each been married a couple of time. And they haven't seen each other in twenty years. It was pretty hard for me. I'm not real idealistic about (marriage). Hey, man, it's a job. And it takes a lot. One of the reasons I haven't got married is that I'm the oldest of eight kids. And un uncle five times over.

I know what it's like to raise kids. I say myself, 'You'll be in a wheel chair when you have your first kid.' But right now I don't think I can be responsible for a relationship and responsible for my work (at the same time)."

It's not surprising that the six foot, blue eyes Penny's love life is a hot topic. With his Brando - esc brow and no nonsens persona, Penny stirs millions of hearts each week on his show. His portrayal of suave investigator Jake works well as the counterpoint to gruff district attorney J. L. McCabe, played by William Conrad.

PENNY IS IN A GOOD MOOD THIS AFTERNOON, TALKATIVE AND FOURTH RIGHT DESPITE THE FACT THAT TODAY  WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HIS DAY OFF. While he has succeeded in sleeping until seven (Penny usually gets up at 5 am workdays), that's as good as it gets. The rest of the day has been spent responding to his many business demands.

He hasn't always been so wanted. Born in England, he moved continuously because his father was in the service. His parents divorced when he was eight. "i grew uo with stepfathers and stepmothers, getting in and out of trouble, and left home at 16." He says.

"Whatever a kid can do out on the street, I've done it. I guess it built character and things to draw from when I work. I'll tell you, acting gives me a way to get out of my head. If it weren't for acting I'd probably be on the couch four times a week."

Penny attended high school in California, where discovered acting. He kicked around for many years, taking jobs as a dishwasher and a truck driver, before breaking into television with a role on the first episode of the 'Nancy Drew Mysteries'.

That spawned a slew of guest spots on several TV series which in turn led to featured roles on the series 'The Gangster Chronicles' and 'Riptide'.He has also been in a handful of TV movies and feature films. But it was 'Jake and the Fatman' that gave Penny high visibility. "See, I grew up with people who had a job but never got to do what they really wanted because there were car payments, kids," Penny says. "Everybody has dreamed of becoming an actor, but we don't all get a chance to do something we want to do. I'm lucky."

He readily conceded that he's tired of the long hours that come with the show  and says once Jake ends, a series will be the furthest thing from his mind. "Maybe I'll produce or act in some cable movies." He says, "but they'll have to be something I'm going to get exciting about, otherwise I won't to do it. I'm going to sleep a lot."

He is cynical about the trappings of showbusiness. "It's not about limas and pretty blonde women or eating at sago." He says. "It's back breaking work. I work 75 hour a week. It used to be 90 per cent fun, but now it's 60 per cent hard work and 40 percent fun."

There's been speculation that the realtionship between Penny and Conrad is rocky. While Penny flatly dismisses teh charge, he acknowledges the two don't see each other much because they only work together in four or five scenes each episode. "I'm in every day, but Bill only works one or two days a week." He says. Penny suggests that work, for him is sort of a substitude  for a wife and kids.

"I don't know if that's a healthy thing," he says. "A lot of people  think I'm not a friendly guy. I'm pretty quiet, not an extrovert. I don't think about how great I am and all that...I like to go places by myself. I don't go out  with an entourage. And I get so tired of me. This is a pretty self centred job. They're making you up. The executives are talking about you. The writers are writing for you. I get so tired of talking about me. I like to unplug the phones and 'zone out'.