March 29, 2023


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Melinda Dillon Dead: A Christmas Story, Close Encounters actor was 83

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Oscar and Tony-nominated actor Melinda Dillon, who played Mother Parker in “A Christmas Story” and appeared in “Magnolia” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” died Jan. 9. He was 83 years old.

The Neptune Society reported his death.

Dillon is celebrated for her role as Jillian Guiller in Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977), for which she earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She received a second supporting actress nomination in 1982 for her role as Teresa in Sidney Pollack’s “Absence of Malice” (1981). In 1977, he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance in a Motion Picture for Hal Ashby’s “Bound for Glory” (1976).

The actor played the matriarch of the Parker family in Bob Clark’s holiday classic “A Christmas Story” (1983) and appeared in “Harry and the Hendersons” (1987), “Captain America” ​​(1990) and “Nightbreaker” (1983). 1989). Her most recent appearance was in “Heartland” in 2007, and before that she appeared as Rose Gator in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Magnolia” (1999).

Dillon’s career began as a stage actress and improvisational comedian at “The Second City” in Chicago. The actor played Honey in Edward Albee’s 1962 original “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” and received a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play. He starred in “Paul Sill’s Story Theater” and “You Know I Can’t Hear You When the Waters Are Running”.

His first feature film was “The April Fool” in 1969. On TV, her portfolio includes episodes of “Bonanza,” (1969), “Twilight Zone” (1985) and “Law and Order: SVU” (2005).

Born October 13, 1939 in Hope, Ark., the actor was born in Cullman, Ala. Raised in the city and spent four years in Germany before graduating high school in Chicago. He graduated from the Goodman School of Drummer Art Institute in Chicago (now at DePaul University). Dillon married actor Richard Libertini and the two divorced in 1978.

Dillon is survived by his son, Richard Libertini Jr.;

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