Monday, April 16, 2012


Actress Linda Cook Mann passed away on April 12 in New York City. The actress played memorable roles on a number of soaps including THE EDGE OF NIGHT, RYAN'S HOPE, LOVING, ALL MY CHILDREN and AS THE WORLD TURNS. In recent years she worked in real estate. We Love Soaps interviewed Linda in 2009 and she proved to be as delightful and courageous as she was talented.

She spoke about dealing with breast cancer in 1992 while continuing to work: "I was doing a show Off-Broadway at the time called 'Dearly Departed' and I was getting ready to go out to L.A. I think I had just had like a million dollars worth of pictures taken with my long, blonde hair. The show we were doing was a really black comedy about death.

"In the very first scene, grandma and grandpa are getting a letter and grandpa falls off his chair and dies. I was doing that show and found a lump in my breast. It was like New Year's Eve and I thought, 'Holy shit.' I knew immediately what it was, but then I had to go in and do this show. And I couldn't get into a doctor for days after that because it was New Year's. I had great doctors, and we caught it early. Luckily I didn't have to lose a whole breast, just a little chunk. I did six months or so of chemo and radiation treatments, and lost all my hair. That's when I made the switch to being a red head."

She got hired to play Cynthia on ATWT who had very short hair, Linda's real hair growing back.

She was married to designer/painter Patrick Mann, active in the work of SPSA Methodist Church in the women’s homeless shelter, after-school tutoring, and gay rights issues.

I last spoke with Linda last fall when the first AS THE WORLD TURNS Classics DVD set came out. She played Lucy Hunter on the 1981 episode "John Dixon Takes A Fall". She joked that she had played multiple characters on ATWT and couldn't remember which one was 1981.

Linda, we will miss you.

Here is a montage of clips of Linda on THE EDGE OF NIGHT:

(added April 22)

Linda Cook Mann, adored wife of Patrick Mann, passed away peacefully at home, the night of April 12th, after a courageous fight against cancer. Her family and her three cats kept a vigil for her with song, prayer and tears until dawn. As a creative and intrepid actor, a dedicated member of her church, and a vibrant friend to her loved-ones and co-workers, she is loved and missed by an extensive community in her beloved long-time home of New York City.

Born June 8th, 1948 in Lubbock, Texas, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Linda came to Manhattan in 1973 to pursue her love of acting. Linda’s bright talent landed her national commercial spots, sought-after television roles, and theater runs, on and off Broadway. In the 1980’s, Linda created her favorite television role, Egypt Jones, for the long running show Loving. An article describing the best TV casting of 1988 states, “Linda Cook has created a character who is funny, sexy, impulsive, frustrating, and endearing. Cook’s flair for both the dramatic and the comedic makes Egypt a valued addition to Loving.”

Linda had a successful and varied acting career which included co-staring with renowned talents including Carroll O’Connor in Home Front and George C. Scott in The Heat of the Night. Even through her illness, Linda remained active in FAB WOMEN, a women’s theatre group, contributing to several works in progress.  In Linda’s last commercial shoot, in December 2011, she played a cancer patient in the final stages of her life.

Linda’s family treasures their memories of her as an incredibly gifted and imaginative child, a mentor and partner in crime to her brother and sisters. She was a tough act to follow: a straight-A student, winning the Governor’s Honor Program to study at Wesleyan College while she was still in high school.  As a teenager, Linda was also a gifted visual artist and dancer. She was always a risk taker:  her interpretation of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane stirred a huge controversy at her high school, so that she was commanded to remove it from the wall!

Linda’s early commitment and talent as a dancer won her a position in the Atlanta Civic Ballet Company. She evolved as a modern dancer, and then taking her first acting roll at 18, performed in Carousel with Jane Powell at Theatre Under the Stars in Atlanta.  Her family was amazed to see her act and dance solo at this famous Atlanta venue. Linda had now caught the “acting bug” (as her parents put it!)

Linda attended Auburn University, and was a member of repertory theatre companies in Atlanta and New Orleans before making her home in Manhattan. On May 8th, 1976, Linda married the love of her life, Patrick Mann, an artist and scenic designer. We are grateful for the love and dedication we have witnessed in their marriage, and carry fond memories of summer time trips to Yosemite, family cabins, and great swims together in the Merced River.

Throughout her life, Linda was a staunch defender of free speech and was never afraid to speak out against injustice. In defense of the recent Occupy protestors, Linda writes, “The groups protesting across this country are made up of all kinds of people, of all kinds of politics - who are fed up with the unfair laws and lack of oversight that benefit the ultra wealthy. To try to lump them together and label them as Communists is a smear - probably funded by the Koch brothers, who have bought and paid for the policies that hurt us all, Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike.”

Linda is especially missed by her beloved St. Paul and St. Andrews Methodist Church.  She was a true believer her Savior, and in the efficacy of the Methodist Prayer List.  Linda was also an inspired member of the church after-school tutoring program, and established a true mentorship with her star student, Fatima, whom she  loved and took great pride in.

Linda worked in Real Estate for many years, first for Benjamin James, and then Custom Brokers. She loved and trusted the people she worked with and was successful, even while battling cancer.  As always, Linda was happy to mentor and share her knowledge of the business with her co-workers in this very competitive field.

Linda battled cancer for almost 20 years.  She never lost her sense of humor, even though she lost and re-grew her hair at least three times over the years. She was an amazingly energetic, active, generous, and loving person.  She never ceased to be of support to her parents, 2 sisters and brother, nieces and nephews.  She loved to help people whenever she could.  She refused to feel sorry herself in her plight with cancer.  Linda would always say, “Other people in the world have it so much worse.” She believed in the goodness of people and often saw that goodness reflected in her beloved fellow New Yorkers. She never gave up her dreams. One of her last comments to us all was, “This ain’t a dress rehearsal, ya know!”

For those of you who would like to make a donation in her memory, Linda’s favorite charity was:
Heifer International - - working to feed hungry children worldwide.

- WLS Interview Archive: Linda Cook


  1. Sorry to hear about this - from the little I have seen of Linda Cook, she was a quirky, beautiful, talented actress, the type daytime drama used to shine on and which helped make soaps so real and fun.

    I don't believe her character on ATWT had AIDS. Cynthia was the secret girlfriend of Royce Keller's (Terry Lester) alter personality.

  2. Thanks, PJ. Some of that time is a bit fuzzy for me because I was graduating from college. Linda was on ATWT at least three times so didn't remember a lot of specifics, and obviously that time was a hard time for her (although she never let it show). I had no idea she had cancer around that time until she told me.

    I think you summed it up well. She had fun with her characters, especially Egypt, so the audience had fun too.

  3. Here are a few clips with her as Cynthia (there's more in the full episodes, most likely).

  4. I knew her best as Laurie Ann Karr Lamont Dallas on Edge and the warmth she had shone through the tv screen. What a sad loss for her family and friends. Yet another death from breast cancer. That monster is relentless.

  5. I'm just devastated at this news. Originally, through a quick search of the internet, I found another Linda Cook who had passed away, bu who was about 6 years older. I was so hoping that it would be a mistake. Or as Mark Twain once said, 'The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.'
    I've been in touch with Jeanne Ruskin (Linda's predecessor as Laurie Ann, Bruce Martin (Keith Whitney/Jonah Lockwood) and Maeve McGuire. They're all devastated at the news, even Bruce, who did not even know Linda (he played opposite Emily Prager as Laurie Ann)
    Linda was my age. I have been battling ill health for 12 years, and I can empathize with her and the struggle she must have faced.
    May God Bless her.

  6. OMG--I simply am completely upset & shocked at your passing.

    Rest In Peace, Dear Linda!


  7. I always thought she was so cute. I remember her from "Loving." Very sad to hear this RIP.

  8. Linda grew up in Sandy Springs, Ga. She lived down the street from me in Glenridge Forest. She was a beautiful person and incredibly smart. She went to Alabama and I went to Texas.