Melinda Dillon

Melinda Dillon

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Melinda Dillon

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Melinda Rose Dillon (born October 13, 1939) is an American actress, perhaps best known for her roles in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the holiday classic A Christmas Story.

Early life and career

Dillon was born in Hope, Arkansas, the daughter of E. Norine (née Barnett) and W. S. Dillon, an army officer. Dillon went to school in Chicago attending Hyde Park High School.

Though best known for her supporting performances in films, Dillon got her start as an improvisational comedian and stage actress. Her first major role was as Honey in the original 1962 Broadway production of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, for which she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, and she also appeared in You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running and Paul Sill's Story Theatre.

Dillon's first film was The April Fools in 1969. Playing "Memphis Sue" opposite David Carradine, she was nominated for the Best Female Acting Debut Golden Globe for the 1976 Woody Guthrie biopic Bound for Glory. She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the role of a mother whose young child is abducted by aliens in Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1977, made an uncredited short role in The Muppet Movie. The same year she appeared with Paul Newman in the comedy...
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