Deliverance Actor Bill McKinney Dies
Actor Bill McKinney, perhaps best known for his role as the Mountain Man in 1972’s Deliverance, has died. According to a Facebook entry posted by his family, McKinney lost his battle with esophageal cancer on Thursday.
"Today our dear Bill McKinney passed away at Valley Presbyterian Hospice. An avid smoker for 25 years of his younger life, he died of cancer of the esophagus. He was 80 and still strong enough to have filmed a Dorito's commercial 2 weeks prior to his passing, and he continued to work on his biography with his writing partner. Hopefully 2012 will bring a publisher for the wild ride his life was,” the statement read.
McKinney started his acting career in the 60s after taking classes at the Pasadena Playhouse and Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio. His movie debut came in 1967’s She Freak, but his big break came with Deliverance. McKinney’s other credits include The Parallax View, The Life and Times of Judge Roay Bean and For Pete’s Sake. He became close with Clint Eastwood after they starred together in Thurderbolt and Lightfoot. McKinney went on to appear in seven Eastwood films, the most notable being The Outlaw Josey Wales.
McKinney is survived by his son and several ex-wives.
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