Melinda Dillon, 83, Star Of ‘Close Encounters,’ ‘A Christmas Story, Dies

  • Melinda Dillon, the actress best remembered for her roles in the much-loved holiday film “A Christmas Story” and sci-fi classic “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” died Jan. 9, her family confirmed Friday.
  • Dillon began her storied career as an improvisation comedian with Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe after stepping in as an understudy for a sick Barbara Harris. In her first major role, Dillon debuted on Broadway as Honey in Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” That role earned her a Tony nomination in 1963 for featured actress in a play, according to The Hollywood Reporter.