Sonny Shroyer was born in Valdosta, Georgia, a small town on the Georgia-Florida border. Shroyer, whose given name is Otis Burt Shroyer Jr., grew up steeped in the traditions of the deep South.
He worked in the tobacco warehouses pushing tobacco buggies and helped his father in their fruit stand-ice cream parlor business.
His prowess in high school football landed him a football scholarship at Florida State University. He later ended up playing football in the movie, "The Longest Yard," with another FSU football player, Burt Reynolds.
However, his football career was cut short by an injury, and Shroyer finished his education at the University of Georgia, where he earned his degree in business.
In 1961, Sonny posed in football gear for a photographer who was shooting pictures for the back cover of the program for the Georgia-Georgia Tech football game. That picture launched Sonny's professional modeling career.
After many more print ads and commercials, Sonny landed his first movie roles in "Like a Crow on a June Bug" with Mercedes McCambridge and "Payday" with Rip Torn.
His movie career blossomed with many more films, including "Gator," "The Lincoln Conspiracy," "Million Dollar Dixie Deliverance," "Smokey And The Bandit," "They went That Way and That-Away," and a miniseries, "Freedom Road."
While working on "Freedom Road," Shroyer, who had gained quite a reputation for playing a "bad guy," was cast to create the role of "Enos," the big-grinned, bumbling, dipstick deputy of "The Dukes of Hazzard" television series.
His popularity on the show prompted Warner Brothers and CBS to spin him off into his own series, "Enos."
"Enos" ran 17 episodes and was nominated for two "Peoples Choice" awards - and for Sonny Shroyer as "Favorite Male Performer in a New Television Program."
Shroyer remains active in a variety of television network appearances and feature films.
In 2002, he played the bus driver in the ABC movie "The Rosa Parks Story". Also to his credits are "The Gingerbread Man"(1998) and "The Rainmaker"(1997) both John Grisham storys. The Rainmaker was directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
In 1991, he made appearances in the Emmy winning NBC hit television series "I'll Fly Away," where he played the bigoted, abusive father named Bobby Slocum and as a possessed ex-deputy sheriff in the television series "American Gothic."
He has played a smooth-talking ladies man in a "Love Boat" episode and the part of a murderer-rapist in "Today's FBI."
Additionally, his credits include television appearances as a disturbed parent on "In The Heat Of The Night." Also, Sonny played Alabama Head Coach, Bear Bryant, in the Paramount Block Buster Feature, "Forrest Gump," with Tom Hanks.
Sonny makes numerous benefit appearances, helping out with projects such as the Los Angeles Special Olympics, Muscular Dystrophy, The Cystic Fibrosis Telethon, and the American Cancer Society.
He also assisted the "Get High On Life, Not Drugs," sponsored by the Boston Police Department, and the "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign promoted by The White House.
When free from public appearances and film or television commitments, he returns to his hometown of Valdosta, where he lives with his wife, Paula, and their two sons, Christopher and Mark.