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‘A Christmas Story’ star Melinda Dillon dies at 83.

Melinda Dillon was a brilliant actor and performer, and I believe I can speak for all when I say that. She was a joy to see and always had such a lovely demeanor.

The willowy blonde actress made her debut in Steven Speilberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

But most of us will remember her as the mom of Ralphie and Randy in Bob Clark’s A Christmas Story. It was released shortly before Thanksgiving in 1983 and became a surprise smash, and many believe it to be the finest Christmas movie ever. Melinda was commended for her portrayal of “the mom,” whom we were fortunate to have.

She is also renowned for saying, “You’ll shoot your eye out!”

Melinda Dillon was born on October 13, 1939, in Arkansas, though spent her youth between Alabama and Chicago.

Her dad worked in the oil sector, while her mom owned and operated a beauty salon. Melinda’s parents split when she was five, and she moved in with her mom and her mom’s new husband, an Army man.

The family moved wherever her stepfather was sent by the Army, but by the time Melinda was 18, she was sick of traveling. After graduating from high school, the ambitious actress worked as a coat check girl for The Second City, a well-known improv comedy group. She soon joined the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and began working on stage.

Her fame grew by word of mouth, and she soared to celebrity in 1962 after making her Broadway debut in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Melinda was almost unknown when she was cast as Honey, the child wife of an unscrupulous college lecturer.

She participated in Hal Ashby’s outstanding 1976 film, “Bond for Glory,” about Woody Guthrie. Melinda’s life was forever transformed when she appeared in that film, and she afterwards had a tiny role in Paul Newman’s famous hockey film, Slap Shot.

Melinda Dillon remained active in movies throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Nonetheless, as previously said, most people recall her as Ralphie’s high-strung mom in A Christmas Story and as the star in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Melinda completed her last project in 2007 and retired quietly, despite the fact that holiday replays of A Christmas Story kept her legend alive for millions of Americans.

Unfortunately, the legendary actress died on January 9, 2023, at the age of 83. When the news broke, coworkers, film reviewers, and loved ones sent their respects.

Richard Libertini Jr., Melinda Dillon’s son, survives her.

Melinda was a very talented actress who will be regarded highly for her work.

I’m heartbroken to read about this lovely lady’s death. She will, however, live on as Ralphie and Randy’s mother. What a loss for all of us. Melinda, rest in peace!

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