California native Kaley Cuoco rose to fame on the sitcom 8 Simple Rules as Bridget Hennessy, appearing opposite the late John Ritter from 2002 to 2005. The actress had roles on Charmed, Growing Up Brady and in the 2012 Lifetime movie Drew Peterson: Untouchable, but she became a household name for her role as Penny on the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory.
The actress spent 12 seasons on the sitcom from 2007 until 2019, earning $1 million per episode in later seasons. She and the leading men took pay cuts in 2017 to $900,000 per episode in order for newer cast members Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik to have pay equity.
Cuoco, who was formerly a nationally ranked amateur tennis player, dated her Big Bang Theory costar Johnny Galecki quietly for two years, choosing only to speak out about their relationship after their 2010 split. Cuoco was married to professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting from December 2013 to May 2016, and she later married equestrian Karl Cook in June 2018. They announced their split in September 2021.
Though the avid animal lover was never nominated for her long run on The Big Bang Theory, Cuoco finally received an Emmy nod for best actress in a comedy in 2021 for The Flight Attendant. She lost to Hacks star Jean Smart.
The Wedding Ringer actress is also an executive producer. Her company Yes, Norman Productions is responsible for her HBO Max series as well as her animated show Harley Quinn, which also airs on the streaming service.