Known for his supporting appearances in films like “Forrest Gump” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” Bob Penny taught at a university in Alabama until his death at age 87.
An obituary from Laughlin Service Funeral Home in Huntsville says that Penny died on Christmas Day. No reason was given for the death.
Penny, who was born in Anniston in 1935, spent three decades as an English professor, mostly teaching poetry and prose at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, according to AL.com.
During the 1980s, Penny found extra work by appearing in TV commercials for a local department store and for a United Way campaign in Atlanta. Penny got more into acting after she left college in 1990.
Actor Bob Penny, who scored minor roles in the films “Forrest Gump” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” has died. https://t.co/cpQY4zwKfb
— TMZ (@TMZ) December 31, 2022
Penny told AL.com in 2008, “Then the movies started to come.” “I really got lucky. I had these small parts, but they helped me pay the rent.”
Penny was in more than 30 films and TV shows. In the 1994 movie “Forrest Gump,” he was listed as a “crony,” and in the 2002 movie “Sweet Home Alabama,” he played a bumbling small-town lawyer.
Penny also appeared in the movies “Mississippi Burning,” “My Cousin Vinny,” and “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” as well as the TV series “In the Heat of the Night.”
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When he wasn’t acting in movies, Penny was in plays in Birmingham, Alabama. He was in “The Odd Couple” and “Don Juan in Hell,” among others.
Rhonda Erbrick, chairwoman of the theater’s board, said in a statement, “Bob Penny stole our hearts at Birmingham Festival Theatre and gave his all to his work.” She also said that Penny “is an actor and has always been fun to be around.”
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