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Kaley Christine Cuoco (born November 30, 1985)[1] is an American actress. She first came to attention for her role as Bridget Hennessy on the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules (2002–2005). She later starred as Billie Jenkins on the final season of the supernatural drama series Charmed (2005–2006). She has gained international acclaim and recognition for her role as Penny on the CBS comedy series The Big Bang Theory (2007–present). Cuoco has also appeared in the films Lucky 13 (2005), The Penthouse (2010), and Hop (2011).

Early life[]

Cuoco was born in Camarillo, California, the elder daughter of Layne Ann (née Wingate), a homemaker, and Gary Carmine Cuoco, a realtor.[2] Her father is of Italian descent, and her mother has English and German ancestry.[3][4] As a child, Cuoco was once a nationally-ranked amateur tennis player,[5] a sport she took up when she was three years old. She stopped playing in 2002 at the age of 16.[6]


Cuoco began working as a model at the age of six, and also appeared in a number of TV adverts including six for Barbie. She made her first feature film appearance as the young Karin Carter in the 1995 action thriller Virtuosity.[7]

In 1999 she appeared on the CBS sitcom Ladies Man and in 2000 she portrayed former Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick in the TV movie Growing Up Brady as well as starring in the Disney Channel Original Movie Alley Cats Strike. In 2002, Cuoco, at the age of 16, began a starring role as Bridget Hennessy on the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules. Bridget was the oldest child, despite Cuoco being six years younger than Amy Davidson, who played her younger sister. She had several boyfriends throughout the series and used her feminine wiles to exert significant control over the boys she encountered. After co-star John Ritter's death, the show returned on November 4, 2003, with a one-hour episode entitled "Goodbye", which was dedicated to Ritter's memory. Subsequent episodes dealt with the family's reaction to his death and them moving on from it. Due to low ratings, ABC cancelled the series on May 17, 2005.

In addition to the last season of 8 Simple Rules, Cuoco had starring roles on the NBC miniseries 10.5, the ABC Family original movie Crimes of Fashion, the independent film Debating Robert Lee,[1] and in the film The Hollow. She also voiced the character of Brandy Harrington, a 14-year old anthropomorphic mixed breed dog, on the Disney Channel cartoon Brandy and Mr. Whiskers. Cuoco voiced the character of Kirstee Smith in Bratz from 2004 to 2005. In the eighth season of the cult TV show Charmed, Cuoco appeared as Billie Jenkins, a powerful young witch with the powers of telekinesis and projection. When the sisters assume new identities during the first few episodes of the season, she keeps their secret and does some of their magical legwork for them. Billie spent most of the season trying to find her eldest sister Christy Jenkins, who had been kidnapped 15 years ago by The Triad. Billie is eventually reunited with her sister, but does not know that she has been turned evil under the influence of demons. After Christy briefly sways her to betray the Charmed Ones, Billie eventually sides with them in the series finale and is forced to kill her sister in self-defense. Executive producer Brad Kern stated Kaley's character was initially brought in as a possible spin-off.

In September 2007, Cuoco began a starring role in the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. She plays Penny, an aspiring actress and employee at The Cheesecake Factory who lives across the hall from two nerdy scientists, Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter. Prior to the 2010–2011 season, she earned $60,000 an episode for the series, the same as her co-stars. In 2010, the cast negotiated a raise for each actor to make $200,000 per episode.[8] On September 13, 2010, she broke her leg in a horse-riding accident and missed two episodes of the series.[9] In late October 2012, Cuoco enlisted the help of her dancer sister, Briana, to organize a flash mob on the set of the show, in which she and the cast and crew surprised the studio audience by suddenly lip-synching and dancing to Carly Rae Jepsen's then-ubiquitous song "Call Me Maybe". A video of the event was posted on YouTube and became a viral success.[10][11] A clip from the performance was also played during Cuoco's January 8, 2013 appearance on the late night talk show Conan.[12] As of August 2013, Cuoco and her costars Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki, each earn $325,000 an episode.[13]

Cuoco starred in the Lifetime film To Be Fat Like Me, which premiered on January 8, 2007.[14] She played a minor role in the Prison Break episodes "The Message" and "Chicago", as well as starring in the comedy horror spoof Killer Movie in 2008. She also appeared in the 2010 film The Penthouse. Cuoco was named number 77 on FHM-UsTemplate:'s 100 Sexiest Women in 2005, number 21 in 2008,[15] and number 6 in 2013. She was also named number 28 on MaximTemplate:'s annual Hot 100 list in 2010, and number 13 in 2011. In 2011, Cuoco appeared in Allure magazine's annual "Naked Truth" feature.[16] That same year, she appeared in the films Hop and The Last Ride.[17] She was also chosen to host the Teen Choice Awards in 2011,[18] as well as the People's Choice Awards in 2012[19] and 2013.[20] Cuoco became a regular on priceline.com commercials as William Shatner's character's daughter.[21] She was the violet-suited genie in a series of Toyota RAV4 commercials, which included a commercial at Super Bowl XLVII.[22] Template:Clear

Personal life[]

Cuoco has a sister, Briana, who is a dancer. Briana made appearances on the online web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries as Mary Bennet until the series end in March of 2013.[10] She is a longtime friend of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, and she grew up taking tennis lessons from their mother Kathy Bryan.[23][24] While working on The Big Bang Theory, she dated co-star Johnny Galecki for two years. They kept their relationship private until they broke up.[25][26] In October 2011 Cuoco announced her engagement to Josh Resnik, an addiction specialist.[27] She revealed that she was no longer engaged in March 2012.[28]



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Quicksand: No Escape Connie Reinhardt
1995 Virtuosity Karin Carter
1997 Picture Perfect Little girl
1997 Toothless Lori
1998 Mr. Murder Charlotte Stillwater
2000 Alley Cats Strike Elisa Bowers
2000 Growing Up Brady Maureen McCormick
2000 Can't Be Heaven Teresa Powers Credited as Kaley Cuaco
2003 A Merry Mickey Celebration Herself
2004 Debating Robert Lee Maralee Rodgers
2004 Crimes of Fashion Brooke
2004 The Hollow Karen
2005 Lucky 13 Sarah Baker
2006 Separated at Worth Gabby
2006 Wasted Katie Cooning
2006 Bratz: Passion 4 Fashion - Diamondz Kirstee Smith
2007 To Be Fat Like Me Alyson Schmidt
2007 Cougar Club Amanda
2008 Killer Movie Blanca Champion
2010 The Penthouse Erica Roc
2011 Hop Samantha O'Hare
2011 The Last Ride Wanda
2012 Drew Peterson: Untouchable Stacy Peterson
2013 Scribble Hannah Rinaldi
2013 Babies Unite Donna Matthews
2015 The Orange Dragon Charla Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1994 My So-Called Life Young Angela Chase Episode: "Father Figures"
1994 Northern Exposure Miranda (Randi) Episode: "Hello, I Love You"
1996 Ellen Little Ellen Morgan Episode: "The Bubble Gum Incident"
2000 Homewood PI Lauren Crane Episode: "Pilot"
2000 Don't Forget Your Toothbrush Ashley
2000–2001 Ladies Man Bonnie Stiles 8 episodes
2001 7th Heaven Lynn Episode: "Relationships"
2002 First Monday Alyssa 1 episode
2002 The Ellen Show Vanessa Episode: "Shallow Gal"
2002 The Nightmare Room Kristin Ferris Episode: "My Name is Evil"
2002–2005 8 Simple Rules Bridget Hennessy
2003 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Zoe Young Episode: "Feeling The Heat"
2004 The Help Carly Michaels Episode: "Pilot"
2004 Complete Savages Erin Episode: "For Whom the Cell Tolls"
2004 Punk'd Herself Season 3, Episode 3
2004 10.5 Amanda Williams
2004–2006 Brandy and Mr. Whiskers Brandy Harrington Voice
2005–2006 Bratz Kirstee Smith Voice
2005–2006 Charmed Billie Jenkins 22 episodes
2005–2007 Loonatics Unleashed Paula Hayes / Weather Vane 3 episodes
2006 Secrets of a Small Town Misty Anders Episode: "Pilot"
2007 Prison Break Sasha Episodes: "The Message" and "Chicago"
2007–present Big Bang Theory Penny


  • Last name, Cuoco, translates to "cook" in Italian.
  • She was home schooled since she was in the seventh grade because she didn't like private school and earned her High School Diploma at the age of 16.
  • She has a small tattoo on her lower back; it is of the symbol for faith.
  • One of her pet peeves is when people chew their gum very loudly.
  • During a family vacation when she was 14, she was picked out from the audience at a magic show to go up on stage and be sawn in half by the magician.
  • Kaley played the older sister on 8 Simple Rules, but in real life Amy Davidson (Kerry) was six years older.
  • She takes a kickboxing or a spinning class three times a week.
  • When she broke her lower leg in 2010, the hospital doctor who treated her told her that it was so badly broken there was a chance that her foot could have to be amputated.
  • She once received a lot of speeding tickets and it took her roughly a year in order to get them taken off of her record.


  • "For me, what I really want to come out of it is to show people that I can hold together a movie, be the number one character and play someone who is twenty or twenty-one."
  • (on her character in Charmed) "We don't really know yet why she's a witch. She just has this power, and luckily found the Halliwell sisters. She wants to learn more about herself, but she's very naive and always getting in trouble."
  • "I had such a normal and amazing childhood. I’ve been so lucky. My parents are cool and normal. They don’t talk about the business and I still have stuff to do at their house."
  • (On being sawed in half by a magician while on vacation aged 14) "It was a bit like that scene in Dirty Dancing where Baby gets sawed in half by the magician. One minute I'm sat there in the audience, and the next, I'm lying there in the box and can hear the magician sawing through it - and me! It didn't hurt, but it was certainly weird when he spun my halves around and I could see my feet sticking out of the other half of the box and moving as I wiggled them."
  • "I love all music. Right now I am loving Josh Groban and Kelly Clarkson."
  • (on adjusting to life after 8 Simple Rules and the loss of John Ritter) "I still talk to the rest of the cast all the time. They were more like my family than my own family for a while, because not every show goes through something as tragic as what we went through when John died."
  • (on her first day on the Charmed set) "I was really nervous at the beginning and I was sweating when I walked onto the set with them. It was also funny because, coming from a show like 8 Simple Rules, which was based in reality, suddenly I'm talking about demons and spells and words that don't come out very fluently for me. So it took some getting used to."
  • (on joining a close-knit cast like Charmed) "I'd never one a one-hour show before and, while it's taken a lot out of me, It's a great learning experience. My character, Billie, is much like me on the show - being the new girl and coming in to be mentored by the older girls - and in reality, they've totally become my sisters! They listen to me, we laugh and they're just the sweetest girls."
  • "Horseback riding is my passion. Other than work. People can't imagine me getting dirty, but that's what I love about it."
  • "I totally decorated my bathroom myself. Know where I got all my stuff? Target!"
  • (About playing the drums) "Just 10 minutes of it and I’m a different person."


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Kaley Cuoco". Ask Men. http://ca.askmen.com/women/actress_250/268_kaley_cuoco.html. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  2. "Kaley Cuoco | Movies and Biography – Yahoo!! Movies Canada". Yahoo!. http://ca.movies.yahoo.com/person/kaley-cuoco/. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  3. Roach, Carol (October 17, 2011). "Kaley Cuoco's Interview with Ellen DeGeneres – Yahoo!! TV". Yahoo!. http://tv.yahoo.com/news/kaley-cuocos-interview-ellen-degeneres-220400147.html. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  4. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0192505/bio
  5. 14 Singles "Southern California Tennis Association 1998 Year End Junior Rankings". californiatennis.com. http://www.californiatennis.com/usta/SCTARanks/SCTA1998junior.htm#Girls' 14 Singles. Retrieved 2012-10-07.  No. 54 in Girls' 14 Singles.
  6. Acuna, Kirsten (March 2, 2012). "25 Things You Don't Know About Newly Single Kaley Cuoco—CBS' 'Big Bang Theory' Sweetheart". businessinsider.com. http://www.businessinsider.com/25-things-you-dont-know-about-kaley-cuococbs-big-bang-theory-sweetheart-2012-3?op=1. Retrieved 2012-10-07. "Cuoco has been an ace in Hollywood and on the tennis court, playing the sport since she was three-years-old. She finally made the full switch to acting in 2002" 
  7. Entertainment Tonight. CBS. November 30, 2012.
  8. "Kaley Cuoco". kaleycuoco.org. http://www.kaleycuoco.org/kaley-and-her-castmates-get-a-raise. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  9. Masters, Megan (October 12, 2010). "Kaley Cuoco Returns to Big Bang Theory After Injury as a-Pregnant Amputee Bartender?!". http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/b205213_kaley_cuoco_returns_big_bang_theory.html#ixzz14NtVHecQ. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ratledge, Ingela (December 3, 2012) "Big Bang's Flash Mob Mentality". TV Guide. p. 6
  11. "The Big Bang Theory Flash mob! [Full version compilation]". NommiXproductions. YouTube. November 16, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  12. Template:Cite episode
  13. Battaglio, Stephen; Schneider, Michael (August 26, 2013). "What They Earn". TV Guide. pp. 16 - 20.
  14. "Movies — To Be Fat Like Me". lifetimetv.com. http://www.lifetimetv.com/movies/info/move4034.html. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  15. Kaley Cuoco. "FHM-US's 100 Sexiest Women 2005 (Chatham Journal)". Ca.askmen.com. http://ca.askmen.com/celebs/women/actress_250/268_kaley_cuoco.html. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  16. Brown, Robyn (May 2011). "The Naked Truth: 4 Celebrities Go Nude for Allure". Allure. http://www.allure.com/celebrity-trends/2011/the-naked-truth-four-celebrities-go-nude-for-allure#slide=1. Retrieved 2011-07-04. 
  17. "Kaley Cuoco Signs For "I Hop," "Last Ride" – March 31, 2010". Dark Horizons. http://www.darkhorizons.com/news/16773. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  18. "Kaley Cuoco to Host 2011 Teen Choice Awards". http://www.j-14.com/2011/07/kaley-cuoco-to-host-2011-teen-choice-awards.html. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  19. "Kaley Cuoco to Host 2012 People's Choice Awards". People's Choice. http://www.peopleschoice.com/pca%7C. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  20. "Kaley Cuoco to host People's Choice Awards". Entertainment Weekly. http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/10/09/kaley-cuoco-peoples-choice-awards. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  21. "Kaley Cuoco joins Shatner in Priceline ads". http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/01/09/cuoco-shatner-priceline-ads/1819799/. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  22. Cassie Carpenter (2013-02-04). "Kaley Cuoco is a violet-suited genie in Toyota's wish-granting Super Bowl spot | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2273093/Kaley-Cuoco-violet-suited-genie-Toyotas-wish-granting-Super-Bowl-spot.html. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  23. Brad Shafran (2010-07-28). "A Long Island Tennis Magazine Exclusive … A Sit-Down Chat With the Bryan Brothers". Long Island Tennis Magazine. http://longislandtennismagazine.com/article870/long-island-tennis-magazine-exclusive-%E2%80%A6-sit-down-chat-bryan-brothers. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  24. "Bryans Defeat Rivals To Tie All-Time Team Titles Record - Bryan Brothers Doubles Professional Tennis Champions". Bryanbros.com. 2010-05-18. http://www.bryanbros.com/team-titles-record.html. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  25. Thomson, Katherine. "Kaley Cuoco & Johnny Galecki Dated: 'Big Bang' Costars Together Two YEARS". Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/30/kaley-cuoco-johnny-galeck_n_744930.html. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  26. "Kaley Cuoco Secretly Dated Big Bang Theory Costar for 2 Years". US Weekly. http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-body/news/kaley-cuoco-secretly-dated-big-bang-theory-co-star-for-two-years-2010299#ixzz1quPGR0ue. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  27. "Kaley Cuoco Engaged to Josh Resnik". People. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20539862,00.html. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  28. Weiner, David (March 2, 2012). "ET Exclusive: Kaley Cuoco No Longer Engaged". ET Online. http://omg.yahoo.com/news/et-exclusive-kaley-cuoco-no-longer-engaged-170500487.html. Retrieved 2012-03-02. 

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