Linda Manz‘s death at the age of 58 on Aug. 14 was announced in a message on a GoFundMe fundraiser page that was started by her son, Michael Guthrie. “Linda passed away August 14 after battling with lung cancer and pneumonia,” the message, which was written by Michael, read. “She leaves behind a husband, two sons and three grand-children who all love and miss her tremendously. Linda was a loving wife, a caring mom, a wonderful grandma and a great friend who was loved by many. Thank you and God bless. Rest in peace. We love you, Mom.”
Here are five things you should know about Linda and her acting career, which included prominent roles in the 1978 film Days of Heaven and the 1980 film Out of the Blue.
1. She was only 15 when she starred in Days of Heaven. It was her first film role and her character’s name was her real name, Linda. The iconic movie (the trailer can be seen below) also starred a young Richard Gere, 70, and she played the younger sister of his character. In addition to acting, she also provided the narration for the film, which she told Village Voice was improvised as she watched the film in a “voice recording studio”, and it went on to win an Academy Award for best cinematography and a best director award for the film’s writer and director, Terrence Malick at the Cannes Film Festival.
2. Out of the Blue had her acting alongside the late Dennis Hopper in a lead role. She played the role of Cebe, who was a rebellious teen obsessed with punk rock music and Elvis Presley. Dennis played her ex-convict father in the film.
3. Her co-stars and fans posted tributes to her on social media after her death was announced. Ken Wahl, who starred in the 1979 film, The Wanderers, with Linda, was one of the first to speak out about her passing. “She was great to work with and I am grateful that I got to speak with her before she passed this morning. RIP Peewee,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Fans then quickly took to Twitter to share sweet messages about the legacy she left behind. “There’s really no argument that can explain how or why Linda Manz’s voiceover in DAYS OF HEAVEN is so moving. In a medium where we’re meant to focus on body and gesture it is one of the greatest performance ever and it’s all about the voice. RIP,” one fan wrote.
“wow r.i.p. Linda Manz,” another fan wrote along with three crying emojis. “one of the best actresses of ALL time.” Others praised her performances in her two most popular films and expressed sadness over the end of her acting.
4. She was married to a camera operator. She married Bobby Guthrie in 1985 and they shared three children together.
5. She admitted her early retirement from acting was due to getting “lost in the shuffle.” “I kinda got lost in the shuffle of being in the movies because I didn’t have an agent at the time and things were slow and . . . I dunno,” she told Village Voice in a 2011 interview. The last film she appeared in was The Game in 1997.