Melinda Dillon, the Oscar-nominated actress best known for playing Ralphie's mom in 'A Christmas Story,' has died at 83
Melinda Dillon, best known for her role in "A Christmas Story," has died at age 83.
According to an obituary, the actress died on January 9, but her death made news on Friday.
Dillon was nominated for two Oscars and a Tony Award during the course of her career.
Melinda Dillon, the actress known for her roles in "A Christmas Story" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," has died at 83.
Dillon, who resided in Los Angeles, California, died on January 9, per an obituary published by People on Friday. No cause of death was given in the announcement.
According to a New York Daily News story from October 1962, Dillon was born in Hope, Arkansas, on October 13, 1939.
At 18, she moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she joined the Goodman Theatre and renowned improvisation troupe Second City. The comedy club also shared on its website that Dillon was working as the group's first coat check girl when she stepped in as an understudy for actress Barbara Harris.
She originated the role of Honey in the play "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" which opened on Broadway on her 23rd birthday, according to Playbill. Dillon's performance earned her a Tony nomination for best actress in a play in 1963.
The actress also scored two Oscar nominations for best supporting actress. Her first Academy Award nod was for her role in the 1977 sci-fi movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," and she earned the second for the 1981 drama "Absence of Malice."
Dillon was most widely recognized as Ralphie Parker's mother in the holiday classic "A Christmas Story," which premiered in 1983. Vulture reports that Dillon married fellow actor Richard Libertini before they divorced in 1978. She is survived by their son.
As news of Dillon's death broke on Friday, stars like Barbra Streisand, Michael McKean, and Lou Diamond Phillips shared kind words about the actress on Twitter.
"Melinda Dillon was such a great actress, with a wonderful delicacy about her. She was a delight to direct in Prince of Tides," Streisand wrote of their 1991 film. "May she rest in peace."
—Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) February 4, 2023
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