Linda Manz, 'Days of Heaven' Star, Dead at 58

Linda Manz, who starred in Terrence Malick's 1978 classic Days of Heaven and Dennis Hopper's 1980 film Out of the Blue, died on Friday. She was 58. Although Manz only appeared in a handful of films, her performance in Days of Heaven, her first film, has left an impression on generations of stars. In 1995, Chloe Sevigny called Manz her "favorite actress."

Manz's son, Michael Guthrie, launched a GoFundMe fundraiser for his mother on Friday, confirming she died after a battle with lung cancer and pneumonia. "She leaves behind a husband two sons and three grandchildren 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," Guthrie wrote. "Whatever you can do to help with the funeral will be greatly appreciated. Thank you and God bless." The fund has raised over $11,000 in less than 24 hours.

Manz's first film was Days of Heaven, which was filmed when she was only 15. She starred as Linda, the younger sister of Richard Gere's Bill, a grifter and con artist who drifts from Chicago to Texas with Linda and his girlfriend, played by Brooke Adams. Manz's performance won acclaim, and she also provided the delicate, otherworldy narration for the film. Days of Heaven won the 1978 Oscar for Best Cinematography.

In 1979, Manz starred in The Wanderers and had a lead role in the short-lived show Dorothy. In 1980, she played Cebe opposite Hopper in Out of the Blue. Although she stepped away from acting in 1985, her role in Out of the Blue left an impact on Sevigny, as well as Natasha Lyonne. Manz briefly returned to acting in 1997, taking small parts in David Fincher's The Game and Harmony Korine's Gummo, during which Sevigny met Manz.


"As for acting, I’d like to have a career like Linda Manz. She’s my favorite actress. She did three movies and all of them are masterpieces, except for The Wanderers," Sevigny told Paper Magazine in 1995. "Now she lives in a trailer park with three or four kids, I think. But I’d rather do that than do ten movies and make millions of dollars and have them all be trashy films."

After news of Manz's death broke, the film community mourned her passing. Actor Ken Wahl, who starred in The Wanderers with Manz, shared behind-the-scenes photos from the film. "She was great to work with and I am grateful that I got to speak with her before she passed this morning. RIP Peewee," Wahl wrote on Facebook.