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HomeLatest NewsMelinda Dillon, A Christmas Story's Mom, Dead at 83

Melinda Dillon, A Christmas Story’s Mom, Dead at 83

Melinda Dillon, the actress who advised Ralphie that he’d be shooting his eyes out as the mother on A Christmas Story, died on the 9th of January at 83. Her work was also acclaimed for her Oscar-nominated performances as a supporting actress for Steven Spielberg’s 1997 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Sydney Pollack’s film Absence of Mischief. The cause of her death was not mentioned in the obituary that announced the news of her passing. The family members of Dillon have told Giant Freakin Robot that she requested that she be cremated, with her ashes being scattered over the Pacific Ocean.

Born at Hope, Arkansas, in 1939, Dillon spent her teenage years in Chicago. As per The Second City, she worked as the club’s first ever coat-checker. The actor Barbara Harris got sick, and Dillon was able to join the scene as an assistant. After college, she studied acting, Dillon left the Midwest and relocated into New York. When she was 23, Dillon made her Broadway debut in the original show, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, earning an Tony nomination for the performance in the role of Honey.

Dillon played her first feature film The April Fools, in 1969. The film earned her an Golden Globe nomination for her part in 1976’s Woody Guthrie biopic Bound for Glory. Other notable TV and film roles include Magnolia, The Muppet Movie, Harry and the Hendersons, Slap Shot, Sioux City along with To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. She quit acting in 2007 but Christmas repeats from A Christmas Story have kept her on the screens. Dillon got married to actress Richard Libertini, whom she was introduced to in her time in the Second City; the pair separated in 1978. They have a son Richard Libertini Jr.



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