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Melinda Dillon, the mom in ‘A Christmas Story’, ‘Close Encounters’, dead at 83

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The Hollywood Reporter notes actress Melinda Dillon passed away on January 9. One might not recognize her name, but the actress logged memorable performances as the matriarch in 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind for Steven Spielberg, as well as 1983’s holiday classic A Christmas Story.

A Tony-nominated actress, Dillon was twice nominated for an Academy Award, as well: for Close Encounters, in which she played the mom of an alien-abducted kid, and in 1981 for her performance in Absence of Malice opposite Paul Newman.

Dillon also appeared as John Lithgow‘s wife in 1987’s Harry and the Hendersons and 1991’s The Prince of Tides opposite Barbra Streisand. She was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s 1999 drama Magnolia.

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