Joe was born to an Italian mother and an American father in London, England on June 24th 1956. He was raised in Georgia. Joe attended Marina High School in California where he played football but avoided participating in extra curricular activities.
His parents divorced when he was six
Joe did cocaine and alcohol for about three years while working in Hollywood. He managed to quit his addiction on his own without going to a rehabiliation center.
As a reminder of the brutally hard times during Joe's slow and painful climb to stardom he keeps a photo of himself, when he was 19 years old, on the dining room wall.
The kitchen is Joe's favorite room in his house as he greatly enjoys cooking.
Joe still keeps his first car, which is a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle, in the driveway as a reminder of earlier days.
Joe has been quoted saying that he's happier being with his close-knit family than being part of the Hollywood lifestyle.
Joe decided to pursue a career in acting after watching a friend at a drama class.
Joe's hobbies include travelling, cooking and bodybuilding.
Joe practices Nichiren Shoshu which is a subsidiary of Buddhism.
Joe's favourite singer is Bruce Springsteen.
While filming the TV series Riptide Joe suffered from seasickness.
Joe Penny: I'd love to have kids one day. And I'd love to have a family. And I've got to get the mom thing worked out...mommy deals...little bit of an issue. I've got to find a woman crazy enough to put up with me because I'm not a walk in the park believe me.
Joe Penny won a Swedish Aftonbladet Award in 1993 in the category 'Best Foreign TV Personality'.
Joe: (on being popular) When you're popular, you're always on the go. When you have spare time you want to use that spare time to continue on with your career. You tend to think that I am my job, I have become my job.
Joe: (on acting) I would evetually like to do more film work, though. I'm hooked! Through acting I've discovered my second childhood.
Joe: (on work substituding for a wife and kids I don't know if that's a healthy thing. A lot of people think I'm not a friendly guy. I'm pretty quiet, not an extrovert. I don't think about how great I am and all that...I like to go places by myself. I don't go out with an entourage. And I get so tired of me. This is a pretty self centred job. They're making you up. The executives are talking about you. The writers are writing for you. I get so tired of talking about me. I like to unplug the phones and 'zone out'.
Joe: (on rumors that have plagued him the tabloids) I'm single. It's not because I'm gay. Frankly, I just haven't found the woman I want to marry. I am involved in real estate and other business. My time is really taken. For a woman to be with me, she'd have to take a backseat. And I wouldn't feel good about that.
Joe: After all, acting is not about ego...it's about giving.
Joe: There are times when I come home and I lay in my room with the door closed, alone, and I think, 'Isn't this interesting?' If people only knew - it's lonely at the top.
Joe: The mark of a good actor is to take a difficult role and make it look easy.
Joel (on women persecuting him at the time he appeared on Jake and the Fatman) People are sending me naked photos and writing 'what would we be together?' Some women sent me even a wedding rings.