Bill McKinney, 80, a character actor whose most recognizable performance was as a menacing hillbilly in the 1972 film


died Dec. 1 of esophageal cancer at a hospital near his home in Van Nuys, Calif.

An adaptation of a James Dickey novel, Deliverance tells the harrowing story of a canoe trip by a group of suburbanites in the backwoods of Georgia. Mr. McKinney's character, identified in the script only as "Mountain Man," and a companion capture two of the canoers, played by Jon Voight and Ned Beatty, at gunpoint.

He also performed in several Clint Eastwood movies, notably The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976); the Rambo movie First Blood (1982); and the film version of Stephen King's Green Mile (1999). - N.Y. Times News Service