Happy June, everybody! Summer is officially right around the corner but the new movies and shows streaming now are already coming in hot, in large part thanks to the amazing actresses starring in them. With today’s first Woman Crush Wednesday of the month, we’d like to celebrate one of those incredible ladies who’s delivering consistently high-quality performances that more people should be talking about.
This week, we’re talking about a talented and hard-working Julliard-grad who has been putting out memorable performances (especially in the glorious world of TV) since 1983. So, without further ado, give it up for your WCW, the peerless Penny Johnson Jerald!
WHO’S THAT GAL: Penny Johnson Jerald
WHY WE’RE CRUSHING: Jerald reprises her role as Doctor Claire Finn on the third season of Hulu Original title The Orville, which will premiere on the platform this Thursday, on June 2. This latest season of the sci-fi comedy-drama series is called “New Horizons” and rightly so, as the show gets a fresh start on Hulu after spending its first two seasons airing on Fox. The Orville: New Horizons still revolves around Captain Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane), a once-promising space cruiser officer who spirals after the dissolution of his marriage, prompting him to eventually take a job commanding mid-level exploratory spaceship, the Orville. Season 3 will continue to follow the crew onboard the Orville ship as they attempt to navigate the challenges and mysteries of space exploration as well as their own sometimes complicated interpersonal relationships.
Alongside Jerald and MacFarlane, The Orville: New Horizons features returning cast members Adrianne Palicki, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Jessica Szohr, and J. Lee in addition to welcoming new cast members Anne Winters and Bruce Boxleitner. Be sure to catch their intergalactic awesomeness by streaming The Orville: New Horizons as soon as it drops, only on Hulu.
WHERE YOU’VE SEEN HER BEFORE: Jerald’s professional onscreen career began in 1983 when she played Jill Hatch in an episode of PBS anthology series American Playhouse. Then just one year later she had her feature film debut twice over, playing Genevieve in war romantic-drama Swing Shift and Sue in horror The Hills Have Eyes Part II, in addition to picking up guest appearances in TV shows T. J. Hooker and Hill Street Blues. 1984 also marked the actress’s first major recurring role as Vivian Conway in Seasons 2-4 on drama series The Paper Chase, which opened the door to appearing on well known shows like The Jeffersons, General Hospital, and The Cosby Show.
From there, Jerald also accumulated credits in films like 1993 mockumentary Fear of a Black Hat, 1993 bio-pic What’s Love Got to Do With It, 1997 political action-thriller Absolute Power, 2005 musical-drama Rent, 2015 animated superhero movie Justice League: Gods and Monsters, and 2019 animated musical-drama The Lion King. Jerald is, however, best known for her fantastic work on TV, and may be best remembered for her performances as Virginia Harper in Homeroom, Beverly Barnes in The Larry Sanders Show, Kasidy Yates in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Lynette Evans in ER, Sherry Palmer in 24, Beverly Williams in Eve, Dean Leslie Etwood in October Road, Maxine in Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, and Capt. Victoria Gates in Castle. And in addition to all that, she even had guest appearances in popular series like The X-Files, Frasier, Law & Order, NCIS, Bones, and more.
Clearly, Jerald has had an extremely diverse, rich, and impressive career in film and television over the years, and we can’t wait to see what else she will take on and accomplish in the years to come!
WHERE YOU’LL SEE HER AGAIN: As of right now, we’re not sure what’s next for the actress role-wise, but you can keep up with the latest from Jerald by following her now on Twitter and Instagram. Never miss a moment from your wonderful WCW!