The world of entertainment has been rocked by the news of the passing of Melinda Dillon, an Oscar and Tony-nominated actor who starred in beloved films such as “A Christmas Story” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” She was 83 years old when she passed away on January 9, 2021.
The Neptune Society confirmed Dillon’s death, and her career was marked by a number of notable accomplishments. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” in 1977 and for a Golden Globe for her acting debut in “Bound for Glory” in 1976. She also earned a nomination for a Tony Award for her role in Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf” in 1962.
In addition to these films, Dillon also appeared in “Harry and the Hendersons,” “Captain America,” “Nightbreaker,” “Heartland,” and “Magnolia.” She started her career as a stage actor and improvisational comedian in Chicago’s “The Second City” and her first feature film was “The April Fools” in 1969. She also had appearances in television shows such as “Bonanza,” “The Twilight Zone,” and “Law & Order: SVU.”
Dillon was born in Hope, Arkansas, and raised in Cullman, Alabama. She spent four years in Germany before graduating from high school in Chicago. She went on to attend the Art Institute of Chicago’s Goodman School of Drama (which is now at DePaul University). She was married to actor Richard Libertini, although the two divorced in 1978. She is survived by her son, Richard Libertini Jr.
The world of entertainment has lost a great talent in the passing of Melinda Dillon. Her work in film, television, and theater will be remembered and cherished for years to come.