Bob Penny -- an Alabama college professor turned actor with a nearly 30-year career in Hollywood -- died on Christmas Day in Huntsville, Alabama. He was 87.
Penny spent three decades as an English professor, teaching Poetry and Prose at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During his career as a professor, Penny was an award-winning educator and acclaimed poet in his own right.
He retired from academia in 1990, after 32 years in the classroom, and turned toward his passion for performing. Penny began getting work in small bit parts in some beloved classics.
Throughout his Hollywood career, Penny appeared in over 30 films and TV shows. His movie credits include Sweet Home Alabama, Forrest Gump, Mississippi Burning, My Cousin Vinny and The Legend of Bagger Vance, among others.
As for TV projects, Penny appeared on shows such as Higher Education, Drop Dead Diva, Devious Maids and the TV adaptation of In the Heat of the Night. His most recent credit was a recurring role on the series Still the King in 2016.
Penny is survived by his brother, his sister, six nieces and a nephew.