We are saddened to hear of the passing of Melinda Dillon, a two-time Oscar nominee best known for her roles in the movies “A Christmas Story” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” She was 83.
Dillon was a beloved actress in the film industry, but she was also an accomplished Broadway performer. She was nominated for a Tony Award in the original cast of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in the 1960s.
In 1983, Dillon gained widespread recognition for her role as the mother in the holiday classic “A Christmas Story.” She also earned Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters” and “Absence of Malice.” In “Close Encounters,” she searches for her little boy after aliens abduct him. In “Absence of Malice,” she plays Paul Newman’s friend tormented by a reporter’s coverage of her abortion.
Dillon also appeared in “Slap Shot,” “Harry and the Hendersons,” and “Bound for Glory” and episodes of TV series “Judging Amy” and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” Her death became widely known on Friday.
Hollywood colleagues and fans tweeted tributes. Barbra Streisand wrote, “Melinda Dillon was such a great actress, with a wonderful delicacy about her. She was a delight to direct in Prince of Tides. May she rest in peace.” Lou Diamond Phillips wrote, “So very, very sad to hear of the passing of Melinda Dillon. She played my adopted mother in Sioux City, my second directorial effort. What a Light and a Blessing. So effortless in her work that it was easy to overlook how brilliant she was. I feel so lucky to have known her. RIP.”
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Melinda Dillon, a beloved actress whose performances will continue to be cherished by generations to come. Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time.