By Tyler Aquilina
August 15, 2020 at 12:05 PM EDT
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Credit: Everett Collection

Linda Manz, an actress known for her roles in Out of the Blue and Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven, has died. She was 58.

According to Manz's family, the actress died Friday after a battle with lung cancer and pneumonia. "Linda was a loving wife, a caring mom, a wonderful grandma and a great friend who was loved by many," her son Michael Guthrie wrote on a GoFundMe page, set up to raise funds for funeral expenses.

Born in 1961 in New York City, Manz was cast in Days of Heaven at age 15, giving an acclaimed performance as the young sister of Richard Gere's on-the-run farmworker. Writer-director Malick used improvised narration by Manz to help structure the film in post-production, resulting in perhaps her most beloved performance. "Her voice tells us everything we need to know about her character (and is so particular and unusual that we almost think it tells us about the actress, too)," Roger Ebert wrote in 1997. "Her voice sounds utterly authentic; it seems beyond performance."

Manz also appeared in films including The Wanderers, Gummo, and David Fincher's The Game, but her only other leading role came with 1980's Out of the Blue. Directed by Dennis Hopper, the film stars Manz as Cebe, a rebellious, punk-obsessed girl growing up in the Northwest. The movie fell into obscurity after its premiere but has maintained a devoted cult following, with particular praise for Manz's performance.

Manz eventually retreated from the film scene, with The Game being her last onscreen role. As Days of Heaven's casting director told Time in 1979, “I suspect that Linda wouldn’t feel bad if no more acting jobs come up.” She is survived by her husband, Bobby Guthrie, two sons, and three grandchildren.

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