Bill McKinney was a prolific American television and film actor from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He appeared in seven Clint Eastwood films, although his most memorable role was the filthy, creepy and vicious mountain man in the film "Deliverance." McKinney received his formal training at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California, and the Actors' Studio in New York City. However, he worked as a middle school teacher for ten years before he was able to fully support himself by acting. He also worked as a professional arborist during this time, and continued to offer these services for several years after he was cast in his first major film. Bill McKinney appeared on many syndicated television shows, including Columbo, Murder She Wrote and Starsky and Hutch. He soon developed a reputation as a fine character actor and began to audition for larger film roles, eventually developing a specialisation in dark, villanous characters. In December 2011, McKinney passed away at a hospital in Los Angeles after a lengthy battle with esophageal cancer.