Linda Williams is the mother of Sarah, the ex-wife of Robert Williams and the girlfriend of Jeremy. She is seen only in the form of newspaper and magazine clippings at the start of Labyrinth, however her role is somewhat expanded in the film's novelization.
In the film, Linda was portrayed by an unknown actress.
Linda also appears in the film's novelization, as well as its manga sequel Return to Labyrinth. Her appearances in both are brief and indirect, primarily serving as explorations of Sarah's perception of her.
Linda, an actress in the theatre, married businessman Robert Williams sometime prior to 1970. In either 1970 or 1971, their only child, Sarah, was born. Linda and Robert appeared to have a strong marriage throughout the 1970s, however cracks in their relationship started to appear in the early 1980s. Linda shared a strong bond with Sarah, and fostered her love of acting and literature.
Through her career as an actress, Linda met an actor called Jeremy. Linda and Jeremy embarked on an affair, and sometime in the early 1980s Linda ended her marriage to Robert so she could live openly with Jeremy.
Linda maintained a close relationship with her daughter Sarah. Sarah went to stay with Linda and Jeremy frequently, and spent her fifteenth birthday in their company. Linda and Jeremy led an extravagant lifestyle, often dining out and fully participating in the glamorous world of the theatre.
Role In The Film
A scrap-book shown in Sarah's room features multiple newspaper and magazine clippings that feature a woman named Linda Williams. In the novelization of the film, Linda is revealed to be Sarah's absent mother. Clippings and photos of Linda are also stuck to Sarah's vanity and the walls of her room.
While she is never referred to explicitly in the film, the fact Sarah keeps a scrap-book dedicated to clippings relating to Linda's career and personal life indicates that Sarah holds her in high regard.
The magazine clippings featuring Linda largely appear to be taken from theatre magazines. A Playbill cover featuring Linda is pasted into the scrapbook. The headlines of the clippings include 'A Theatregoer's Notebook', 'Linda Williams: On-Off Romance Back Together?', 'Williams: Love, It's All Over' and 'The Onstage Kiss'. The clippings titled 'On-Off Romance' and 'The Onstage Kiss' both feature Linda with her partner Jeremy.
At the end of the film Sarah is shown putting a clipping of Linda and Jeremy that was stuck to her vanity into her draw, along with other items she feels she no longer needs.
Appearances In Other Media
Linda's character is significantly fleshed out in the film's novelization, which goes into some detail describing her lifestyle and relationship with Sarah. Linda is described as a woman "who could shout and laugh and hug you and slap you all within a minute or two." The novel indicates that Linda has a quick temper, referring to the fact that she and Sarah often get into arguments but always work things out in the end. Linda and Jeremy are shown to live a luxurious, fast paced life consisting of meals at expensive restaurants, visits to country clubs and theatre performances.
The novel states that Linda gave Sarah the music box featured prominently in her room. In the novelization, the music box plays Greensleeves instead of the tune of As The World Falls Down.
The novel also confirms that Linda earns her living as an actress, and by referring to a photo of a ten-year old Sarah with both her parents indicates that Linda and Robert separated in the early 1980s.
Marvel Comic Book Adaptation
Linda is mentioned indirectly in the Marvel comic book adaptation, as Sarah is shown sitting on her bed and gazing pensively at a photo of Linda and Robert. Sarah asks why Linda had to leave her and her father, and appears saddened.
Return To Labyrinth
In the fourth volume of Return to Labyrinth, Linda is featured in three distinct scenes with a young Sarah. The first is a dream of Moppet's that features Linda, Robert and Sarah, whose appearance alternates between that of a teenaged Sarah and Moppet herself. Linda is shown encouraging Sarah's passion for theatre, and tells Sarah of her plans to take her away so she can learn to be actress. When Sarah questions Linda about her relationship with her father, Linda replies that she and Robert are still happy together and in love.
In the second sequence to feature Linda, an adult Sarah witnesses a grotesque puppet show where caricatures of herself and her family appear. In the show, Linda is shown to callously abandon Sarah to run away with her boyfriend Jeremy.
The final scene to feature Linda is a continuation of Moppet's dream, and shows Linda becoming gradually more frustrated with Sarah/Moppet as she rapidly recovers the painful memories taken from her when Mizumi split her soul. In this scene, it is revealed that 'Moppet' was the affectionate nickname Linda had for Sarah when she was a child.
The veracity of all of the scenes in Return to Labyrinth that feature Linda is highly dubious, with the first and third taking place in a dream of Moppet's and the second being a puppet show put on by Jareth to stir Sarah's memories of him.