Friday, December 2, 2011

More Than Just "Squeal Like a Pig"

Actor Bill McKinney has died at the age of 80. You may not recognize the name, but you almost surely recognize his most famous movie line: "I bet you can squeal like a pig."

Here's a lovely still picture because I am so not posting the clip.
That shit is disturbing.
Yes, Mr. McKinney played Mountain Main in the 1972 classic dude film Deliverance. He's the one who got all up in Ned Beatty's, uh, grill. God rest his soul, and my condolences to his family.

You know, Bill McKinney is forever going to be known as the "squeal like a pig" guy, and I guess that's not a bad way to be remembered. What am I saying, that's a freaking horrible way to be remembered. Do you think people didn't come up to him all the time and say, "C'mon, say it! Say it! Say 'squeal like a pig!' C'mon, I'll be Ned Beatty," and then strip down to their undies and start humming "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"? The man studied acting with Dustin Hoffman, and this is his legacy.

Squeal like a w-w-w-what? O-o-oh, dear.
Look, it's not as if I'm a huge fan of Bill McKinney. Quite honestly, I couldn't have told you his name until earlier today, when I heard of his passing. But geez, the guy had an actual career that didn't involve onscreen anal rape. He really played in a lot of good stuff. We should at least try to remember that.

For example, Bill McKinney was one of Clint Eastwood's go-to co-stars for years. He played Captain Terrell, leader of the Red Legs, in The Outlaw Josey Wales. Oh, my God! That was him? I love that movie.

"Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men wherever he goes."
 He also co-starred in The Gauntlet, Bronco Billy, Every Which Way But Loose, and Pink Cadillac with Eastwood. Mr. McKinney also appeared in John Wayne's last film, The Shootist, and Sylvester Stallone's First Blood (aka Rambo I). Oh yeah, and he was in Cleopatra Jones, which is a kick-ass movie, and Carny, which is a godawful one. So the guy had range.

Check this out: Bill McKinney's TV debut was on an episode of "The Monkees"! He did a ton of TV guest spots - dude was in everything from "Baretta" to "BJ and the Bear" to "Falcon Crest." My favorite of his TV credits was playing Luke Basket, the suspicious brother-in-law in the "Swan Song" episode of "Columbo," aka the one with Johnny Cash killing his wife in a plane crash. Great episode - Mr. McKinney's character offers Columbo a bowl of chili "made of squirrel's good, ain't it?" Then he punches Johnny Cash. Now that's badass.

Bill McKinney himself was OK with his Mountain Man legacy. His personal website is called Really. But the guy did a lot more with his life. So, you know, respect. Rest in peace, Mr. McKinney. St. Peter is waiting with a banjo and a six-string to play you in.

1 comment:

  1. Bill was a great guy, great actor and great father


You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.