‘Sweet Home Alabama’ actor Bob Penny dead at 87

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WASHINGTON: Poet-professor Bob Penny who after retirement appeared in small parts in projects including ‘Forrest Gump’, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and the TV series ‘In the Heat of the Night’, died aged 87 on December 25.

According to Deadline, a US-based news outlet, his death was announced on the website of Huntsville’s Laughlin Service Funeral Home & Crematory. No cause of death was given.

As per a report by Deadline, Penny, who was born in Anniston, Alabama, spent his young years in North Carolina before moving back to his own state and spending 21 years as a poetry and prose instructor at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

He was the recipient of an Applause Prize for theatre from the Alabama School of Fine Arts in 1996 and won a regional award for his own poetry. He also participated in other dramatic plays throughout the Southeast.

Penny retired from teaching after 32 years and pursued film and television roles, including playing Curtis Foy in 1988’s Mississippi Burning; a bailiff and a juror in Fried Green Tomatoes and My Cousin Vinny, respectively; a “crony” in 1995 Oscar Best Picture winner Forrest Gump; and in The Legend of Bagger Vance and Sweet Home Alabama, among others.

On the TV side, he made appearances in a number of independent films and TV shows, including seven episodes of the NBC (and then CBS) drama series In the Heat of the Night, starring Carroll O’Connor and Howard E. Rollins Jr.
Penny is survived by six nieces and one nephew, as well as his brother William Earl Penny. (ANI)

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