Rest In Peace, ‘Deliverance’ Actor has Passed Away
Herbert Coward, famed for his iconic role as the “Toothless Man” in the 1972 movie “Deliverance,” has recently passed away at the age of 85. The actor met his untimely demise in a car crash on a western North Carolina highway.
The fatal incident occurred when Coward and 78-year-old Bertha Brooks were leaving a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday afternoon. According to North Carolina Highway Patrol Sgt. M.J. Owens, Coward pulled out onto U.S. Route 19, inadvertently crossing paths with a pickup truck that collided with his car. The crash claimed the lives of both Coward and Brooks, along with their cherished pets—a Chihuahua and a pet squirrel.
Coward, a resident of Haywood County, was locally renowned for his unusual choice of pets, particularly that late pet squirrel. The 16-year-old driver of the truck involved in the accident was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure. Initial investigations suggest that neither speed nor distraction played a role in the tragic collision.
Although Coward’s role in “Deliverance” was small, it left a big mark on cinematic history. The classic, directed by John Boorman, featured a great cast including Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, and Ronny Cox. The storyline follows a group of businessmen on a canoeing expedition down a remote Georgia river, turning into a harrowing experience when they encounter hostile local mountain men.
Coward’s character, aptly named the “Toothless Man” due to his missing front teeth, was pivotal in one of the film’s most memorable and chilling scenes. He portrayed one of the assailants who hold the paddlers at gunpoint during a brutal assault. Coward’s unforgettable line, “He got a real purty mouth, ain’t he?” became etched in the annals of 1970s cinema, solidifying his place in the iconic movie.
Check out how he describes one of the most memorable scenes in Hollywood in the video below.
Have you seen ‘Deliverace’? What is your most memorable scene from the film,’ and how did Coward’s portrayal leave an impression on you?