Melinda Dillon, Actress in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and A Christmas Story, Dies at 83
Melinda Dillion, an actress known for playing Ralphie's mother in A Christmas Story and being the lead actress in one of the best science fiction films of all time, Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind has died at the age of 83.
The actress was also nominated for two Academy Awards and won a Tony nomination for a production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The news of her death comes from her family (via The Hollywood Reporter), who shared that the actress passed away on January 9, 2023. The actress had retired, with her last on-screen appearance being in a 2007 guest spot on the medical drama Heartland.
The actress leaves behind a large body of work, with more than 60 credits in films and television series dating back more than sixty years, as well as the famous line "You'll shoot your eyes out!" part of A Christmas Story throw
Her memorable roles also include Rose Gator in Magnolia alongside Tom Cruise and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Dillon was also Nancy Henderson in the 1987 comedy Harry and the Hendersons.
The actress was born on October 13, 1939 and grew up in Arkansas. Melissa Dillon broke into acting when she played Honey in her 1962 Broadway debut, a production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Her first feature film role was the Jack Lemmon-directed romantic comedy in 1969.
April Pisces. At 37, the actress was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress Debut in the 1976 Woody Guthrie biopic. On her way to stardom.
1977 was a particularly important year for the actress as she starred in Steven Spielberg's science fiction epic Close Encounters of the Third Kind, playing the mother of a three-year-old who is abducted by aliens. Also in 1977, the actress appeared in Paul Newman's ice hockey movie Shot.
Dillon won an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Close Encounters before being considered again for the same golden trophy for 1981 Absence of Malice also with Newman.
Melinda Dillon was married to actor Richard Libertini from 1968 to 1978, and during their union, the couple had a son, Richard Libertini Jr. Her ex-husband died of cancer in 2016. Other details about Dillon's personal life are rather scarce.
Hollywood returned to A Christmas Story last year, after Melinda Dillon's film was on everyone's festive binging year after year with the recent HBO sequel Max, A Christmas Storywith Peter Billingsley's Ralphie growing up and other familiar faces, but Dillon was not involved. Instead, Ralphie's mother was played by Julie Hagerty.
we send love to the family, friends and fans of Melinda Dillon after her death in January. The actress will now live on through her work in film and television.