A Tribute to Bill McKinney (1931-2011)

One more of the more terrifying villains in screen history was put to rest on December 1, 2011 when legendary character actor Bill McKinney passed away due to cancer of the esophagus. Thanks to him, “squeal like a pig” became one of the most horrifying phrases a person could ever hope to hear. Of course, McKinney is best known for playing the “Mountain Man” in the 1972 classic, Deliverance, who sodomizes Ned Beatty while uttering those infamous four words, and even though his total screen time in the movie is less than ten minutes, he left such a vivid impression that any male who’s ever taken a trip through the woods during the past 40 years has probably looked over their shoulder at least once to check for horny mountain men in the bushes.


His work in Deliverance pretty much ensured that McKinney would be typecast as villains for most his career, but he worked very extensively and built up a filmography of over 100 titles. He was a favourite of director Clint Eastwood, who cast McKinney in seven of his films, most notably as the evil Captain Terrill in The Outlaw Josey Wales. Other major films that McKinney appeared in include Cleopatra Jones, The Parallax View, First Blood, The Shootist, The Green Mile and his brief role as the train engineer in Back to the Future Part III (“Is this a hold-up?” “It’s a science experiment”). One of my personal favourite roles of his was in the underrated Clint Eastwood/Jeff Bridges heist film, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, where McKinney had an hysterically funny bit part as a deranged rabbit collector who is unaware of the massive carbon monoxide leak in his car. R.I.P. Mr. McKinney.

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