Herbert Coward dead at 74: Deliverance actor – who played Toothless Man – killed in car crash along with friend, beloved pet Chihuahua and squirrel after being hit by 16-year-old driver while leaving medical appointment

  • Actor was attempting to turn onto the U.S. Route 23 Highway but failed to yield the right of way as the vehicle was hit by an oncoming truck driven by a 16-year-old driver
  • In Coward’s silver Nissan were his friend Bertha Brooks in addition to his pet squirrel and Chihuahua as all four died in the crash 
  • He was best known for his role in adventure film Deliverance where he played one of two sadistic mountain men and became known as ‘Toothless Man’ 

Herbert Coward – who is best known for playing Toothless Man in classic 1972 film Deliverance – died aged 74 in a car crash along with a friend and his beloved pet Chihuahua and squirrel after being hit by a 16-year-old driver.

The actor was attempting to turn onto the U.S. Route 23 Highway in Haywood County, North Carolina from a doctor’s office but failed to yield the right of way as the vehicle was hit by an oncoming truck law enforcement told FOX Carolina on Wednesday.

Their police sources say that both the driver and passenger in addition to the two pets passed away following the collision.  

In Coward’s silver Nissan were his friend Bertha Brooks in addition to his pet squirrel and Chihuahua as all four died in the crash.

Herbert Coward died aged 74 in a car crash along with a friend and his beloved pet Chihuahua and squirrel in North Carolina this week

The actor (pictured left) is best known for playing Toothless Man in classic 1972 film Deliverance

The actor (pictured left) is best known for playing Toothless Man in classic 1972 film Deliverance 

State Troopers explained to the publication that the other driver involved in the collision was a 16-year-old who was later taken to the hospital to get checked out following the crash. 

The law enforcement sources did not give any further details about their condition.

The teenager was not charged as troopers determined that there was no crime committed. 

As previously said, Coward was best known for his role in adventure film Deliverance where he played one of two sadistic mountain men  and as he was missing front teeth he became known as ‘Toothless Man.’

In perhaps the best known scene from the film, his character and his fellow hillbilly sodomized a man in front of his friend who was tied to a tree in the forest.

Many of Coward’s lines from the film have become infamous in pop culture includingL: ‘He’s got a real pretty mouth, ain’t he?.’

Coward was cast in the role due to a friendship with leading man Burt Reynolds as he recruited him for the role.

According to a profile on Smokey Mountain News in September 2019, Reynolds went to bat for Coward as he told producers: ‘I said I know a guy, he can’t read and he can’t write or anything, but I’m telling ya, if we can get him, we got something special.

Coward was cast in the role due to a friendship with leading man Burt Reynolds  (pictured left) as he recruited him for the role

Coward was cast in the role due to a friendship with leading man Burt Reynolds  (pictured left) as he recruited him for the role

‘Let me bring him in. His name’s Cowboy, and he’ll just talk to you, and you see if you like him.’

Despite being such a recognizable figure in an iconic film, he did not have very many roles as he did not work again for another 35 years.

He starred as Harmon Teaster and produced Ghost Town: The Movie and portrayed a cowboy in one episode of Hillbilly Blood in 2013. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk