Born in Hope, Arkansas, Melinda Dillon later relocated to Chicago. She performed with The Second City while working as the club’s first coat checker. She overheard Bernie Sahlins, Howard Alk, and Paul Sills arguing hysterically. In Chicago, she handed him her first stage break. She walked in that evening to fill in for Barbara Harris, who was ill, and she was completely familiar with the role.
Dillon is best known for her work as an actress because she was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Her first big part. Later, her fellow Second City alumnus Mike Nichols would direct a film version of the play that won an Academy Award. Dillon made appearances in You Know I Can’t Hear You When the Water’s Running and Paul Sill’s Story Theatre on Broadway in the 1970s after that.
The April Fools, Dillon’s debut film, was released in 1969. She also had a career in television, most notably as a guest star in the Bonanza episode “A Lawman’s Lot Is Not a Happy One” in 1969. She and David Carradine co-starred in the 1976 Woody Guthrie film Bound for Glory, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Melinda Dillon performance
as “Jillian Guiler” in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind earned her an Oscar nomination the following year. She was nominated for a second time for her work with Paul Newman in the absence of Malice. In Jack Burns’ The Muppet Movie, Dillon made a cameo appearance.
For her appearance as the kind mother of Ralphie and Randy in the 1983 Bob Clark-directed movie A Christmas Story, Dillon is well-known as a comic. Dillon and John Lithgow starred together in the Bigfoot comedy Harry and the Hendersons four years later. She continued to work on stage and in films throughout the 1990s, making appearances in the drama How to Make an American Quilt, the low-budget thriller Sioux City, and the Barbra Streisand drama The Prince of Tides. In 1999, she made an appearance in Magnolia, a Paul Thomas Anderson production. She made a cameo appearance on an episode of Law & Order in 2005.
Melinda Dillon, best known for her role in “A Christmas Story,” passed away at 83.
Melinda Dillon was an actress who was best known for her role as a loving mother in the holiday classic “A Christmas Story.”
An obituary written by her family, which states that the actress died on January 9 and was cremated, was how her death, for which she was nominated for two Oscars, was made public.
There is no information on what caused her death.
In the original 1962 performance of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Dillon made her acting debut. Prior to landing her most well-known position as the matriarch of the Parker family in the 1983 film A Christmas Story. This resulted in her receiving a Tony Award nomination.
Dillon added Close Encounters of the Third Kind, directed by Steven Spielberg, to her list of theater roles in the latter part of the 1960s. This role earned Dillon her first of two Oscar nominations, the second for her performance in 1981’s Absence of Malice.
Many people paid tribute to the actress after her death on Friday, including television writer Bryan Fuller, who tweeted, “Rest in power” for Dillon. A Christmas Story’s Mom