Forrest Gump and Sweet Home Alabama actor Bob Penny dies age 87

Veteran actor Bob Penny, who appeared in blockbuster films such as Forrest Gump and Sweet Home Alabama, has died at age 87.

The US actor died on Christmas Day, however no official cause of death has been given, according to his obituary.

Penny starred in over 40 films and TV shows during his long career on the screen, most notably alongside Reese Witherspoon as the small-town lawyer Wallace Buford in the 2002 film Sweet Home Alabama.

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The actor also worked with Tom Hanks briefly in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump and is credited as “Crony” on IMDB for the Oscar-winning film.

Other films credited to Penny include My Cousin Vinny, Fly Away Home, Mississippi Burning, The Legend of Bagger Vance and the TV series In The Heat Of The Night.

During his career, Penny was a frequent star of the Birmingham Festival Theatre, where he appeared in many plays in his native Alabama.

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Penny’s niece Meghan shared a tribute to her uncle on Facebook after his death on December 25.

“It’s taken me a few days of quiet reflection to be able to share this news. Uncle Bob (Dad’s brother) passed peacefully in his sleep Christmas day,” Meghan wrote.

“Bob wasn’t just an Uncle to me. We held a special bond that sustained and enriched my life beyond measure. He was my confidant and mentor; my laughter companion and best friend. 

“I draw great comfort in knowing that he is now free,” she added. “‘Goodnight sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest’.”

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