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Subject: Billy Redden .... Banjo Boy


Author:
Kathy
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Date Posted: Tue November 21, 2006 7:28pm CST
In reply to: john zaroian 's message, "DELIVERANCE" on Tue November 21, 2006 5:56pm CST

http://www.answers.com/topic/billy-redden

Billy Redden (born 1956 in Rabun County, Georgia) is an American actor best known for his role as Lonny—the "banjo kid"—in the 1972 movie Deliverance.


Redden, then sixteen, earned his role in Deliverance during a casting call at Clayton Elementary School. To add authenticity to the film, the filmmakers found Redden to fit the look of the inbred and mentally retarded banjo boy called for by the book (although Redden is neither inbred nor mentally retarded). The scene depicting Redden playing the instrumental Dueling Banjos opposite actor Ronny Cox on guitar is considered one of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history. Redden could not play the banjo or even convincingly fake playing, and thus director John Boorman had another child slip his hand through Redden's sleeve to finger the chord changes. At the end of the dueling banjos scene the script called for Redden to harden his expression towards Drew Ballinger, Cox's character; however, Redden was unable to fake dislike for Cox. To solve the problem they got Ned Beatty (whom Redden truly disliked) to step towards Redden at the close of the shot. As Beatty approached, Redden hardened his expression and looked away exactly as intended.

Redden also appeared in Tim Burton's 2003 film Big Fish. Burton was intent on getting Redden, who hadn't appeared in a film since Deliverance, to play the role of a banjo-playing welcomer in the utopian town of Spectre. Burton eventually found him in Clayton, Georgia, where Redden works as a cook and dishwasher at the Cookie Jar Café.

In 2004, Redden made a guest appearance on Blue Collar TV playing an inbred car repairman named Ray in a "Redneck Dictionary" skit, for the word "raisin bread" (Ray's-Inbred). When he was shown, he was playing a banjo.



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deliverancejohn zaroianThu November 23, 2006 7:44am CST


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