Bob Elkins, who had a small but pivotal role as a radio disc jockey in Coal Miner’s Daughter, died Wednesday in a nursing home in Cold Spring, Kentucky, a publicist announced. He was 89.
In the 1980 Michael Apted-directed drama, nominated for best picture, Elkins’ Bobby Day is eventually convinced by Loretta Lynn (Oscar winner Sissy Spacek) and her husband, Doo (Tommy Lee Jones), to play her first record, which sends the country singer on her way to superstardom.
A native of West Virginia who was well known in Cincinnati’s theater community, Elkins also appeared with Soupy Sales in This Train (2001), with Lynda Carter in Tattered Angel (2008) and in such other films as The Dream Catcher (1999), April’s Fool (2001) and The Greater Good (2006).
He received a best actor award from the Dublin Film and Music Festival in Ireland for his turn as a homeless man in the independent short film Homefree (2002).
Also in 2002, he played the father of a trapped coal miner in the ABC telefilm The Pennsylvania Miners’ Story and a German admiral in James Cameron’s Expedition: Bismarck for the Discovery Channel. Later, he showed up on a 2011 episode of Showtime’s Homeland.