According to the actor’s family, Manz died of pneumonia and lung cancer.
Manz was best known for her role as the narrator of Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978).
The director cast her when she was just 15, and enhanced her role after becoming so impressed with her skill for improvisation.
Manz’s other credits included Philip Kaufman’s The Wanderers (1979), Dennis Hopper’s cult film Out of the Blue (1980) and Gummo (1997), directed by Spring Breakers‘ Harmony Korine.
She also had a small role in David Fincher’s thriller The Game the same year as Gummo.
Writing on a GoFundMe page set up for her funeral, Michael Guthrie wrote; “Linda was a loving wife, a caring mom, a wonderful grandma and a great friend who was loved by many.”
Tributes for Manz have poured in on social media.
Russian Doll‘s Natasha Lyonne, who once described Manz’s performance in Out of the Blue as one of her “safe havens” in the world, posted a series of stills of the actor at work
— natasha lyonne (@nlyonne)
Director Stephen Cone (Princess Cyd) added: “I can count on two hands the movies that mean as much to me as Days of Heaven, & on *one* the performances and scenes that mean as much as Linda Manz’s and this final grace note.”
He added: “I’m so sad she’s gone. Just barely of this Earth.”
Film critic Peter Labuza called her role in the Malick film “one of the greatest performances ever”.
Manz is survived by her husband, the camera operator Bobbie Guthrie, two sons and three grandchildren.