Melinda Dillon Cause of Death: What Happened With “A Christmas Story” Actress?

Melinda Dillon, who received two Oscar nods for her outstanding performances in Absence of Malice and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, passed away at the age of 83. The actress passed away on January 9, 2023, according to a death notification, albeit no cause of death has been given.

How Did Melinda Dillon Die?

Melinda Dillon, who is best known for playing a stressed-out but loving mother in the movie A Christmas Story, died on January 9 at the age of 83, according to a death notice. Her family members broke the news of her passing in an obituary, but the cause of death has not yet been made public.

Melinda Dillon Cause of Death

As soon as word of her sad passing spread on social media, tributes poured in. “Melinda Dillon was such a terrific actor, with a tremendous delicacy about her,” American singer Barbra Streisand tweeted. Her performance in Prince of Tides was a joy to direct. Let her memory be eternal.

“The ending to A Christmas Story hits a WHOLE lot deeper now,” another user tweeted. Goodbye, Melinda Dillon. “Melinda Dillon has a warm, sympathetic, and genuine film presence,” author Richard Roeper tweeted. In films like “A Christmas Story,” “Absence of Malice,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and “Magnolia,” her work transcends a variety of genres. Rest in peace.

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“So very, very sad to learn about Melinda Dillon's loss,” wrote Lou Diamond Phillips. My second film as a director, Sioux City, featured her as my adopted mother. What a Blessing and Light. It was simple to overlook her brilliance since she made her task seem so natural. I'm so grateful I got to know her. RIP”.

How Did Melinda Dillon Rise to Fame?

It was a feast to see Melinda Dillon. The stunning star began her career on stage and as an improv comic. She appeared on Broadway for the first time in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf in 1962. In 1963, Melinda was nominated for a Tony award for the same.

Melinda Dillon Cause of Death

She left the project after nine months, despite the accolade, to seek care at a mental health facility. In a 1976 interview, she admitted, “I was in ‘Virginia Woolf,' and I simply went nuts; it was truly that simple. The play was so lengthy and the actors' union wouldn't allow us to perform the matinee, so I believe it was the way I was living.

Melinda said, “We had to use a completely different cast for that, but I kept getting called in because the girl kept getting sick. I would perform the play for three hours at night after spending two hours studying with Lee Strasberg in the afternoon.

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Melinda, though, was unstoppable. She received two Oscar nods for her performances in Absence of Malice and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Her performance as Mother Parker in the holiday classic A Christmas Story is also recalled (1983). Bound for Glory, F.I.S.T., The Prince of Tides (1991), and Magnolia are a few of her other cinematic performances. She had a son with the actor Richard Libertini, with whom she was married (they divorced in 1978).