Tuesday, November 22, 2022


Melinda Dillon is perhaps best known for her role as the mother of Ralphie and Randy in Bob Clark's 1983 movie A Christmas Story. The film was based on a series of short stories and novels written by Jean Shepherd about young Ralphie Parker (played by Peter Billingsley) and his quest for a Red Ryder BB gun from Santa Claus.

Four years later, Dillon co-starred with John Lithgow in the Bigfoot comedy Harry and the Hendersons. She continued to be active in stage and film throughout the 1990s, taking roles in the Barbra Streisand drama The Prince of Tides, the low-budget Lou Diamond Phillips thriller Sioux City, and the drama How to Make an American Quilt.

In 1999 she appeared in Magnolia, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, as Rose Gator, the estranged wife of terminally ill television game-show host Jimmy Gator (Philip Baker Hall). In 2005, she guest-starred in the episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit titled "Blood".

Melinda retired from acting in 2007 after appearing as Ginger Timpleman in the movie Reign Over Me. She also appeared that year in television series Heartland as character Janet Jacobs on three episodes. Even though it has been close to 40 years since her most famous role as the mother in A Christmas Story, her role in that film will never be forgotten. Sadly, she could not be persuaded to come back for the upcoming sequel (her role is being racast with Julie Haggerty, Melinda is now 83 and living in quiet retirement...

UPDATE: Sadly, Melinda Dillion died on January 9, 2023. She will be missed.

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