Backups Taking up too much space

All Timemachine backups stored on External HDD.  Storage info is still showing 80GB Backup files on Laptop.  How can I find and delete these backups so I free up space?

Those local Time Machine backups (which is what you are seeing) are supposedly deleted if OSX decides space is needed, and Finder doesn't count them (or at least tries not to count them--there are quirky issues) when it computes free space to show you, though most other utitlies will count them if you check disk space that way.  That includes using the About This Mac Storage Info button.
I do have some concern that on a mechanical drive (as opposed to an SSD) writing that data and holding it might create some performance issues (potentially creating fragmentation on the drive faster than normal due to having limited drive space for the OS to work with to find contiguous blocks to write to), but it should not impact the ability to store things out there--if you need the space, local backups are deleted.
That said, if you want to disable local backups in Lion, the following article on OSX Daily has the terminal commands to do so and to later reenable it.  The article does caution about the downside of doing so, but if you generally connect back to your external Time Machine drive on a daily basis and backups are always made the exposure may not be that great.  Now if you regularly travel and are away from the backup drive for long periods, the risks are a bit higher.  But you choose your own poison.

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