Linda Haynes, ‘Rolling Thunder’ and ‘Brubaker’ Actress, Dies at 75

Linda Haynes, ‘Rolling Thunder’ and ‘Brubaker’ Actress, Dies at 75

Linda Lee Sylvander, known as Linda Haynes during her acting career in the 70s and early 80s, including roles in Rolling Thunder and Brubaker, has died. She was 75.

The actress died “peacefully, with her family by her side” on July 17 in Summerville, South Carolina, according to her obituary. No cause of death was given by her family.

“As an only child, I have dreaded these times my entire life,” her son Greg Sylvander wrote on Facebook Friday. “I find peace in the knowing that my mother was at peace and had the most beautiful life these final years together with her grandchildren, Courtney Sylvander and I. We are going to miss my mom immensely.”

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Born on Nov. 4, 1947, in Miami, Florida, Haynes made her acting debut as Dr. Anne Barton in 1969’s Latitude Zero. But her most notable roles were as Linda Forchet in 1977’s psychological thriller Rolling Thunder, opposite William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones, as well as Carol in 1980’s Brubaker, which also starred Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman.

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has also previously praised her performance in the John Flynn-directed film. “The performance of the film for me is Linda Haynes as Linda Forchet,” he said. “Linda Forchet is my favorite female character in a Paul Schrader movie. … She has that look that Ava Gardner got, you know blousey, but it took Ava years to do it, and Linda Haynes just did it naturally. And I mean that in a good way.”

During her time in the industry, she also starred in Human Experiments, The Drowning Pool, The Nickel Ride and Coffy, and made appearances in a handful of TV shows, including This Is the Life, My Three Sons and Room 222.

Haynes remained a lifelong member of the Actor’s Studio, but she eventually stepped away from acting in the early 80s and went on to work as a legal secretary. Then in 2019, she moved to South Carolina to live with her son and family. She often described the years that followed as “where I know I belong, truly home”.

She is survived by her son, Gregory, her daughter-in-law, Courtney Lynn Sylvander, and her grandchildren, James Riley Sylvander and Amelia Grace Sylvander.