Herbert Coward, the actor whose modest profession included the small however memorable function of Toothless Man within the 1972 thriller “Deliverance,” was killed on Thursday in a motorcar accident in North Carolina. He was 85.
Mr. Coward died after he drove onto U.S. Freeway 23 in Haywood County within the western a part of the state and was struck by a truck, mentioned Sgt. Marcus Bethea, a North Carolina State Freeway Patrol spokesman. A passenger in Mr. Coward’s automobile, Bertha Brooks, 78, was additionally killed, as had been a Chihuahua and pet squirrel Sergeant Bethea mentioned.
Mr. Coward, who lived in Canton, N.C., in Haywood County, was usually seen together with his pet squirrel, in line with local news reports.
The 16-year-old driver of the truck was taken to a hospital with minor accidents, in line with Sergeant Bethea. He mentioned that it was unclear what had led to the crash and that no expenses had been filed.
Mr. Coward, who glided by the nickname Cowboy, was greatest recognized his function in “Deliverance,” which featured Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Jon Voight. The movie is an adaptation of a novel by James Dickey about 4 Atlanta businessmen on a harrowing canoe journey in rural Georgia.
Within the film, two of the businessmen come throughout two hostile mountain males within the woods, one among them being Toothless Man. The boys tie one of many mates to a tree, after which pressure the opposite to strip all the way down to his underwear and “squeal like a pig.”
As the 2 males ponder what to do with the good friend tied as much as the tree, Mr. Coward’s character delivers the road, “He acquired an actual purty mouth, ain’t he?”
The 4 mates are finally reunited and escape by killing one of many males with an arrow and chasing off Mr. Coward’s character. The scene is transient, however Mr. Coward’s line grew to become one of many extra memorable film strains of the Nineteen Seventies and essentially the most remembered of Mr. Coward’s profession.
Mr. Coward’s appearing profession was largely restricted after “Deliverance.” He appeared within the 2007 movie “Ghost City: The Film” and in a single episode of the TV collection “Hillbilly Blood” in 2013, in line with IMDB.
Herbert Coward was born in Haywood County on Aug. 21, 1938, to Fred and Moody Parker Coward, he mentioned in an interview with The Smoky Mountain News in 2019. His mom died when he was younger, and Mr. Coward mentioned that he labored completely different jobs throughout the nation, together with acting at a Wild West-themed park in Maggie Valley, N.C.
Full info on survivors was not instantly obtainable on Thursday.
Whereas on the theme park, Mr. Coward briefly labored with Mr. Reynolds, who later really useful Mr. Coward for the function of Toothless Man, Mr. Coward mentioned within the interview.
In a television interview in 2022 reflecting on the fiftieth anniversary of “Deliverance,” Mr. Coward mentioned that he was illiterate and realized his strains for “Deliverance” by listening to a script on tape recorder.
“I write my identify,” he mentioned, “and that’s it.