Best known for playing Penny Hofstader in The Big Bang Theory, Kaley Cuoco has landed leading roles and produced films and shows after the hit sitcom ended.
After starring in the twelve seasons of The Big Bang Theory, Kaley Cuoco’s career continues to go from strength to strength. Having spent most of her career in front of the camera, Cuoco is increasingly gaining mainstream recognition after a slew of critically acclaimed roles aside from her iconic turn as Penny Hofstader. Judging by her upcoming projects, this trend is set to continue.
At the age of 6, Cuoco debuted in the television film Quicksand: No Escape, followed by a role in an episode of My So-Called Life. She then appeared in Virtuosity, Picture Perfect, Can’t Be Heaven, and Alley Cats Strike. In 2001, Cuoco landed her first television central role as Bonnie Stiles in Ladies Man season 2, and just a year later, she starred as the oldest Hennessy daughter, Bridget, in the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules. At this point, Cuoco’s acting career was beginning, as over the years, she would gain mainstream recognition. In September 2007, Cuoco was introduced as Penny, the waitress and aspiring actress who befriended a nerd-centric group in The Big Bang Theory. Penny became the love interest of Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki). Despite the drastic intellectual and socioemotional differences between her and the rest of The Big Bang Theory’s characters, she managed to build and maintain meaningful relationships with them. Cuoco’s portrayal of Penny earned her multiple nominations and awards, including a Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
Even before The Big Bang Theory ended, Cuoco founded Norman Productions. After the CBS sitcom’s ending, most of her acting credits fall under her own production company. In a multi-year agreement with Warner Bros. Television, Norman Productions obtained the rights to Chris Bohjalian’s 2018 novel The Flight Attendant. They developed a mystery thriller of the same name. From 2020, Cuoco plays Cassie Bowden, and her performance and The Flight Attendant garnered positive reviews and accolades. The DC Universe animated series Harley Quinn was also released under the production outfits’ collaborative deal, with Cuoco voicing Dr. Harleen Quinzel.
Additionally, Cuoco appeared in other sitcoms. In December 2019, she had a discreet cameo in The Big Bang Theory’s spin-off prequel. Her voice could be heard from the pool water in Young Sheldon season 3, episode 10. She was also featured in Curb Your Enthusiasm season 11, episode 4, portrayed Heidi.
Aside from reprising her roles in The Flight Attendant and Harley Quinn, Cuoco appears in three films. In Patrick Hughes’ 2022 action-comedy, The Man From Toronto, she will play Maggie, alongside Woody Harrelson and Kevin Hart, whose most recent work is Netflix’s, True Story. She will also star opposite Pete Davidson in the upcoming rom-com Meet Cute. Lastly, Kaley Cuoco will portray American actress Doris Day in a limited biographical series to be produced by her own company.