Bill McKinney, ‘Deliverance’ Star, Dead at 80

Actor Bill McKinney, best known for playing a crazed mountain man in one of the most iconic and disturbing scenes in 1972’s Deliverance, has died of cancer of the esophagus, according to statement released on Facebook by his family. He was 80.

“An avid smoker for 25 years of his younger life, he died of cancer of the esophagus,” the Facebook announcement reads, going on to reveal that only recently the actor “continued to work on his biography with his writing partner. Hopefully 2012 will bring a publisher for the wild ride his life was.”

McKinney, who made is acting debut in the 1967 horror film She Freak, is also remembered for his performances seven Clint Eastwood films, most notably as Union cavalry commander Captain “Redlegs” Terrill in The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Other titles in McKinney’s filmography include original Rambo movie First Blood and The Green Mile. His most notable role of late was in 2010 romantic comedy How Do You Know, where he starred alongside the likes of Jack Nicholson and Reese Witherspoon.

McKinney is survived by his son, Clinton, as well as several ex-wives.

Watch Bill McKinney in Deliverance below: