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Bob Penny dies: ‘Forrest Gump’, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ actor turns 87

Bob Penny dies: Bob Penny, a poet, and professor who after retirement appeared in small parts on the TV series Forrest Gump, Sweet Home Alabama and My Cousin Vinny, and In the Heat of the Night, died Dec. 25 in Huntsville, AL. He was 87.

His death was announced on the website of Huntsville’s Laughlin Service Funeral Home and Crematory. The cause of death is not known. Born in Anniston, AL, Penny grew up in North Carolina before returning to Alabama, where he taught poetry and prose at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for 21 years.

He won a regional award for his own poetry and appeared in dozens of theatrical productions throughout the Southeast, receiving an Applause Award for Theater from the Alabama School of Fine Arts in 1996. After a 32-year teaching career, Penny retired to pursue film.

Bob Penny dies: 'Forrest Gump', 'Sweet Home Alabama' actor turns 87
Bob Penny dies: ‘Forrest Gump’, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ actor turns 87

TV roles, landing small parts in movies including playing Curtis Foy in 1988’s Mississippi Burning; bailiff and judge in Fried Green Tomatoes and My Cousin Vinny respectively; 1995 Oscar Best Picture winner “Crony” in Forrest Gump; and The Legend of Bagger Vance and Sweet Home Alabama.

On the TV side, he appeared in several small-screen films and series including NBC’s seven episodes (and later CBS’) In the Heat of the Night as Carol O’Connor and IMDb’s Howard E. Rollins Jr. Penny is alive. his brother William Earl Penny (Betty); sister, Jean Marion Yount; six nieces; and a nephew.


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