Oct 16, 2015

Joe Penny: A Lifetime of Gay Rumors

Born in 1956, Joe Penny got his start playing rednecks, cops, Scott Jacoby's buddy in a high school sports drama, and a  werewolf's buddy in a horror movie.

But it was his role as a closeted gay cop on Lou Grant (1979) that brought him notoriety -- and a long career in gay-subtext buddy-bonding roles.










Nick Ryder in Riptide (1984-86)  was a throwback to the Swinging Detective Adventurers of the 1960s who worked out of glamorous locales and came in pairs.  His partner, Cody Allen, was played by Perry King (the one with the muscles), whose resume has a long list of gay and nearly-gay characters.








Jake on Jake and the Fatman (1987-92), a Swinging Detective Adventure in Hawaii, partnered with Fatman William Conrad.

Frank Darnell, head of the Central Security Agency who employs soccer mom Cathy Davis and hangs out with her husband, Jack (William R. Moses) in a series of Jane Doe movies (2005-2008).





Never married, he has often been the subject of gay rumors; and, when he was ill during the 1980s, the rumor that he had AIDS.  Both are untrue, he states; he just hasn't found the right woman yet.

He's only 59  years old.  He's got plenty of time, right?

See also: Don Stroud