Bill McKinney, who died yesterday at age 80, was a hard-working, well-liked character actor whom many remember for his supporting roles in several Clint Eastwood films of the ’70s and ’80s — Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, Pink Cadillac, etc. But let’s face it — McKinney’s biggest claim to fame is for playing the hilllbilly rapist in Deliverance (’72), more specifically as the guy who sodomized Ned Beatty in the woods while going “wheeeee!”

Bill McKinney (1931 – 2011)

I mean, I’m sorry to put it crudely (if that’s what I’ve done) but that is what McKinney is famous for. I would add that McKinney’s “wheeee!” probably inspired tens of thousands of straight men and women in the ’70s to mimic his “wheeeee!” during lovemaking. I know it caught on to some degree. I myself was with two women who goaded me into this and thought it was kind of kinky-funny. On separate occasions, I mean.

McKenny also had semi-distinctive roles in The Parallax View, Junior Bonner, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, The Shootist, First Blood, Against All Odds, Heart Like a Wheel and The Green Mile. His Wiki bio says he “took up singing in the late 1990s, eventually releasing an album of standards and country & western songs appropriately titled Love Songs from Antri.”

McKinney succumbed to cancer. Condolences to his family and friends.