Two-time Oscar nominee Melinda Dillon Dies at 83

Two-time Oscar nominee Melinda Dillon Dies at 83
Source: Parade
  • Actress Melinda Dillon has died at the age of 83.
  • The actress was a two-time Oscar nominee and is famous for her work in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “A Christmas Story.”

Melinda Dillon passed away aged 83

Actress Melinda Dillon has died aged 83. The actress was famous for her work in  “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “A Christmas Story.”

The news made the headlines on Friday but an obituary page from a cremation provider in Long Beach, California, stated that the actress died on January 9.

Nothing else has been revealed about her death including the cause and place of death.

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Melinda in Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Melinda in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Source: JoBlo)

Melinda Dillon’s career as an actress

According to a Turner Classic Movies biography, she began her acting career at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. She was a founding member of The Second City, the now-famous improv training ground for future stars such as Tina Fey, Steve Carell, and Chris Farley.

Dillon, on the other hand, would make her dramatic bones on Broadway, studying under superstars such as Uta Hagen and Lee Strasberg.

According to People, she was nominated for a Tony Award in 1962 for her performance in the original cast of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and performed in “You Know I Can’t Hear You When the Water’s Running” in 1967.

Melinda Dillon In A Christmas Story
Melinda Dillon In A Christmas Story (Source: The News International)

Dillon debuted in Hollywood with appearances in Hal Ashby’s “Bound for Glory” (1976) and with Paul Newman in George Roy Hill’s “Slap Shot” (1977).

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Steven Spielberg cast Dillon in his science-fiction classic “Close Encounters” upon Ashby’s suggestion. Dillon, who secured the job three days before production, was nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actress.

For decades, Dillon was a fixture on the want lists of casting agents.

She appeared in “F.I.S.T.” (1978) alongside Sylvester Stallone, “Harry and the Hendersons” (1987) as John Lithgow’s wife, and “The Prince of Tides” (1991) opposite Nick Nolte, directed by Barbra Streisand.

Tributes poured in for the late actress

After the death of Melinda Dillon surfaced in the news, many actors and actresses paid her tribute on social media.

Actor Michael McKean tweeted:

“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.”

Actress Barbara Crampton also paid her tribute:

“Many recent passings of wonderful actresses including Melinda Dillon. Her warmth and humanity was evident in every role. It really gives me pause to lose these ladies.”

American actor Treat Williams who also worked with her tweet:

“Goodbye Melinda Dillon. I worked with her and she was of course humble and kind. A pros pro. RIP.”

Famous actor Jon Cryer also praised her work as an actress:

“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.”

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