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PASSINGS: Bill McKinney, Socrates

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Bill McKinney

Character actor was in 'Deliverance'

Bill McKinney, 80, a character actor who carved out a career playing rough-and-tumble villains, most notably the backwoods man who sexually assaults Ned Beatty's character in the 1972 film "Deliverance," died Thursday of esophageal cancer at Valley Presbyterian Hospice in Van Nuys, said close friend Julie Mondin. Mondin was assisting McKinney with his autobiography, which has not yet been published.

A Tennessee native, McKinney inhabited the key role of one of the backwoods locals who terrorize Beatty, Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight and Ronny Cox during a river rafting trip gone bad in John Boorman's "Deliverance."

McKinney also appeared in a string of Clint Eastwood movies — "The Outlaw Josey Wales," "The Gauntlet," "Every Which Way but Loose," "Bronco Billy" and "Any Which Way You Can." He had other movie roles in "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean," "The Parallax View," "The Shootist," "First Blood" and "Against All Odds."

McKinney also acted in television series including "McCloud," "Columbo," "Ironside," "Starsky and Hutch," "B.J. and the Bear" and "The A-Team."

Born Sept. 12, 1931, in Chattanooga, Tenn., McKinney was raised by his grandmother. After serving in the Navy, he studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse and began appearing on TV and in films in the late 1960s.

"Acting helps you release whatever's there to be released," he said in a 1983 interview with The Times' Charles Champlin. "What you do is build yourself a playground and turn yourself loose."

Socrates

Brazilian soccer great

Socrates, 57, former Brazilian soccer great and clever playmaker who was captain of the country's 1982 World Cup team, died of septic shock resulting from an intestinal infection Sunday at a hospital in Sao Paulo.

Socrates, known for his elegant style on the field and his deep involvement with Brazilian politics, acknowledged being a heavy drinker, even when he starred as a player in the 1980s, but said he'd stopped drinking earlier this year after several hospitalizations.

He became a doctor after retiring from soccer and later became a popular TV commentator and columnist.

Socrates, whose full name is Socrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, starred for the Corinthians team in the early 1980s, but he also played for Flamengo and Santos, as well as Fiorentina in Italy.

Besides serving as Brazil's captain in 1982, he was a member of its World Cup squad in 1986. The 1982 team became widely known as the best not to win a World Cup, falling to Italy, 3-2, in the second round despite needing only a draw to advance to the semifinals.

Socrates was included in soccer governing body FIFA's list of the best 125 living soccer players in the world, compiled by countryman Pele. Socrates played 63 matches with the national team, scoring 25 goals.

He was known for his great vision on the field. Always clever with the ball at his feet, his trademark move was the back-heel pass, and he set up and scored many goals with it throughout his career.

Times staff and wire reports

news.obits@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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