Coward, Sir Noël (Sir Noël Pierce Coward), 1899-1973, English playwright, actor, composer, and director, b. Teddington, England. Coward first gained wide prominence in 1924 acting in his The Vortex. His name soon became synonymous with sophistication, wit, and a world-weary sentimentality. The characters in his 27 plays are usually wealthy and somewhat snobbish couples, who express themselves with witty and brittle badinage. The best-known of his theater works include Fallen Angels (1925); Easy Virtue (1925); Private Lives (1930), perhaps his most enduring comedy; Design for Living (1932); and Blithe Spirit (1941). He also wrote revues, sketches, musical comedies, and operettas and was the most successful English composer of theater music in the mid-20th cent. Among the best known of his 281 songs are "Mad Dogs and Englishman" and "I'll See You Again."

Coward's films include the romantic Brief Encounter (1946) and the patriotic In Which We Serve (1942), for which he was director (with David Lean), actor, and producer. (His patriotism took another form as well; using his reputation as a flamboyant bon vivant as a cover, Coward was employed as a British agent during World War II.) He also wrote short stories and a novel, Pomp and Circumstance (1960), performed in cabaret, made recordings, and wrote three autobiographical works, Present Indicative (1937), Middle East Diary (1945), and Future Indefinite (1954), which were collected in one volume in 1986. His play Song at Twilight (1966), an autobiographical drama about an aging homosexual writer who has had to write dishonestly about himself, initiated a revival of interest in Coward's works. He was knighted in 1970.

See G. Payne and S. Morley, ed., The Noël Coward Diaries (1988, repr. 2000); memoir by G. Payne (with B. Day, 2000); B. Day, ed. The Letters of Noël Coward (2007); biographies by S. Morley (1968), C. Castle (1973), W. Marchant (1975), C. Lesley (1976), C. Fisher (1992), and P. Hoare (1996); C. Lesley, G. Payn, and S. Morley, Noël Coward and His Friends (1979); studies by C. R. Morse (1973), R. Greacen (1978), J. Lahr (1983, repr. 2002), F. Gray (1987), J. Russell (1987), and M. Levin (rev. ed. 1989).

Coward is a town in Florence County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 650 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Florence Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Coward is located at (33.975560, -79.747097).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.9 km²), of which, 3.4 square miles (8.9 km²) of it is land and 0.29% is water. It is also home to writer James M. Strickland.


As of the census of 2000, there were 650 people, 246 households, and 178 families residing in the town. The population density was 189.9 people per square mile (73.4/km²). There were 263 housing units at an average density of 76.8/sq mi (29.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 84.15% White, 14.00% African American, 0.15% Asian, 0.62% from other races, and 1.08% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.38% of the population.

There were 246 households out of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.1% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the town the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 9.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $28,182, and the median income for a family was $30,208. Males had a median income of $28,977 versus $17,039 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,711. About 16.1% of families and 24.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.2% of those under age 18 and 43.2% of those age 65 or over.


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