After retiring from a lifetime of teaching poetry and literature, Bob Penny took it upon himself to grace the silver screen with his presence, appearing in several films such as Forrest Gump, Sweet Home Alabama and My Cousin Vinny. He also made some waves on TV through In the Heat of the Night. Sadly, he passed away on December 25th at age 87 in Huntsville AL., leaving behind an incredible legacy that will be remembered for years to come.
The Laughlin Service Funeral Home & Crematory website reported his passing, yet no cause of death was specified.
Penny, from Anniston, AL originally, and later a North Carolina resident, made his return to Alabama where he educated poetry and prose for 21 years at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He was crowned with a regional honor for his own poetic writing and acted in many plays throughout the Southeast, finally procuring an Applause Award for theater from the Alabama School of Fine Arts in 1996.
After dedicating 32 years to the teaching profession, Penny hung up her hat and ventured into film and television. She secured minor roles in a number of movies such as Curtis Foy in Mississippi Burning (1988); a bailiff in Fried Green Tomatoes; a juror for My Cousin Vinny; and even playing one of many “cronies” for 1995’s Oscar Best Picture winner. Forrest Gump; and in The Legend of Bagger Vance and Sweet Home Alabama among others.
In the realm of television, he has appeared in numerous films and shows, such as seven episodes from NBC’s (and then CBS’) In the Heat of the Night featuring Carroll O’Connor and Howard E. Rollins Jr., according to IMDb.
Penny will be remembered and honored by his brother, William Earl Penny (Betty); sister, Jean Marion Yount; as well as six nieces and one nephew.