Herbert “Cowboy” Coward, known for his role in the film Deliverance, has tragically passed away in a car accident in North Carolina at the age of 85. The incident occurred as he and his girlfriend, Bertha Brooks (78), were driving along a North Carolina highway.
The crash, which also claimed the lives of Coward’s pet dog and squirrel, happened when Coward, who was driving, turned onto a highway and collided with an oncoming truck. The 16-year-old truck driver was hospitalized with injuries, but speeding was not suspected. Both Coward and Brooks were reported not to have been wearing seatbelts during the crash.
Herbert “Cowboy” Coward, acclaimed for his role in Deliverance, a film nominated for three Oscars in 1973, including Best Picture, has passed away. His co-stars in the movie included Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, and Ronny Cox.
In Deliverance, Coward played the Toothless Man, a role known for a memorable and disturbing scene with actor Jon Voight, where he delivers the famous line, “He got a real purty mouth, ain’t he?” Coward’s character meets his demise in the film, killed by an arrow and lowered into a river, a stunt he performed himself.
In his younger years, Coward acquired his toothless smile after being struck by a pistol that knocked out his two front teeth. In later life, the actor became known for bringing his pet squirrel along on outings, as evidenced in tributes online.
“He was a nice man, and had a pet squirrel that went everywhere with him. The community will miss him,” an X user wrote.