‘Cowboy’ Coward, Deliverance actor and local legend, killed in wreck

Herbert “Cowboy” Coward, a Haywood County native who shot to stardom after his hair-raising performance as a villain in the 1972 Burt Reynolds film Deliverance, was killed in a traffic accident in Haywood County yesterday afternoon.

“Deliverance” villain Cowboy Coward is not what he seems

The last of Fred and Moody Parker Coward’s nine children, Herbert “Cowboy” Coward, was born in rural Haywood County in August 1938. His mother died early on, so Cowboy’s father worked at a number of jobs to support his large family, including a long stint at Barber’s Orchard in nearby Waynesville. 

The softer side of Cowboy Coward

While Haywood County native Herbert “Cowboy” Coward may be best known for his spine-tingling performance as a toothless mountain man in the 1972 film “Deliverance,” that was almost 50 years ago. 

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