Beloved Star of ‘A Christmas Story’ Has Died at Age 83
Melinda Dillon, the two-time Oscar-nominee, and star of the beloved movie A Christmas Story, has died at the age of 83.
Her death was announced through an obituary stating that she died on Jan. 9, however no cause of death was provided.
Long before she played the role of Mother Parker in the 1983 movie A Christmas Story, Dillon had already been nominated for a Tony Award for the original 1962 production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on Broadway, as well as two Oscars—the first for Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the second for the 1981 film Absence of Malice.
The actress also received a Golden Globe nomination for playing Woody Guthrie’s wife Mary in singer’s 1976 biopic Bound for Glory.
She also had notable parts in the movies Harry and the Hendersons, The Prince of Tides, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, and Magnolia.
Dillon married actor Richard Libertini, whom she met at the Second City in Chicago where she got her first acting break, but the pair divorced in 1978. She is survived by their son, Richard Libertini Jr.
Tributes poured in from celebrities who had worked with her or had admired her work.
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. pic.twitter.com/CuLJRlAP93
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) February 4, 2023
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 https://t.co/PiTu3iF7Uq
— Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) February 4, 2023
Melinda Dillon’s work had such a profound effect on me. Every moment of her performance in Close Encounters was perfection.
I’m so grateful she decided to give her artistry to the world. https://t.co/QccHdzcgBd
— Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer) February 4, 2023
The original Honey in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, too. I directed her 25 years ago on Tracey Ullman's show. She was lovely. RIP Melinda Dillon. https://t.co/1sgq03z3pU
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) February 4, 2023
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