Billy Redden

Billy Redden

Real Name: Billy Redden
Category: Show Biz
Submitted by: Bob Sacamano
Posted Date: 2004-06-08
Last Modified: 2019-12-17

This 16-year-old boy from Rabun County, Georgia was the only “authentic” local to play the role of The Banjo Boy in John Boorman’s disturbing hit movie of 1972 Deliverance. Billy was hand-picked from his local elementary school largely due to his “look” ( Billy’s large head,skinny body, odd-shaped eyes and moronic grin had sadly branded him a poster-child for inbreeding and mental deficiency). The actual irony is that Billy was neither “retarded” nor even able to “fake” playing the banjo.

What happened to:

Billy was discovered by director Tim Burton in 2003 working at an Alabama cafe as a dishwasher-busboy. Burton wanted Billy for a cameo (as the “banjo boy”) in his upcoming movie Big Fish [He also worked for a time giving “Deliverance” tours along the river where the movie was shot. Over 30 people have died on the river since the film was made. Redden found it too risky and quit (so he says). – webmaster ]


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Billy Redden