Melinda Dillon has died at the young age of 83.
Sad to hear that Melinda Dillon was the star of Close Encounters of the Third Kindand A Christmas Story has also died.Melinda Dillon was the mother Jillian Guiler in Steven Spielberg’s
Close Encounters of the Third Kind10, where her child is abducted by aliens. On the recommendation of Hal Ashby (who had directed her in Bound For Glory), she was cast in the role three days before filming began. Dillon’s performance earned her an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress. She was Ralphie’s mother, and was also featured in Bob Clark’s A Holiday Story. She told Ralphie that he would have his eye out if they got a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200 shot Range Model air rifle. For her role in Sydney Pollack’s Absence of Malice, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She starred alongside Paul Newman and Sally Field as a young woman who takes her own life after a reporter writes a story about her abortion.After coming to New York City, Melinda Dillion was cast as Honey in the original Broadway production of
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opposite Uta Hagen, Arthur Hill, and George Grizzard. According to The New York Times, her time in the production was so intense that it required her to stay in a mental hospital. Dillon stated, “I was at Virginia Wolf, and it was so intense that I went insane; it was really that simple.10″. “I believe it was because of the way I was living. The play was so long that the union wouldn’t allow us to play the matinee. It was necessary to have a different cast, but I was called in many times to perform it because the gal would get sick. It would take me three hours to complete it, then I would study with Lee Strasberg for about two hours, then I would go to bed and do the play for three hours. Then, George Grizzard left to do Hamlet, and a strange thing happened. I had learned to lean hard on George, and I just collapsed inside. I don’t know why.“She also appeared in movies such as
The Aprils Fools, Slap Shot, F.I.S.T., The Muppet Movie, Songwriter, Harry and the Hendersons, Staying Together, Spontaneous Combustion, Captain America, The Prince of Tides, Sioux City, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, How to Make an American Quilt Magnolia and Reign over Me. Dillon also appeared on TV shows such as Bonanza and The Jeffersons, CHiPs and The Twilight Zone. Dillon had retired from acting in 2007, so she didn’t return for last year’s A Christmas Story Christmas, and Julie Hagerty filled her role.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grRO6Dd752I