Powered By
Where Are They Now - Friday, January 20, 2017

Hello fans,

One movie that I have to watch every Christmas is A Christmas Story, and last Christmas was no different. I just love that movie!

After my latest viewing of this holiday classic I was inspired to look into what the cast of A Christmas Story is doing now. This week we are catching up with Melinda Dillon, who played the Ralphie and Randy's mother in the movie...

Take care,

Questions? Comments? Email Steve

P.S. Did you miss an issue? You can read every issue from the Gophercentral library of newsletters on our exhaustive archives page. Thousands of issues, all of your favorite publications in chronological order. You can read AND comment. Just click GopherArchives

View Past Issues: Where Are They Now Archives


See if you know if the following celebrities have had a visit from the "Grim Reaper":

Michael Palin: Member of the Monty Python comedy troupe

Abe Vigoda: He played Fish on the TV series "Barney Miller"

Richard Boone: Played Paladin in the TV series "Have Gun Will Travel"

(Answer at the bottom)

Melinda Dillon

Learn More About Melinda Dillon on Celebrity Nooz

DATE OF BIRTH: 13 October 1939, Hope, Arkansas, USA

BIRTH NAME: Melinda Rose Dillon

CLAIM TO FAME: Dillon is best known for her roles as the mother whose young child is abducted by aliens in Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind and as the compassionate mother of Ralphie and Randy in Bob Clark's 1983 film A Christmas Story.

FAMILY LIFE: She was married to character actor Richard Libertini from 1963-1978, with whom she had one child.

INFO: Dillon's career began as an improvisational comedian and stage actress. She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for her role as Honey in the original 1962 Broadway production of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

She made her film debut in 1969's The April Fools, and went on to be nominated for the Best Female Acting Debut Golden Globe for the 1976 Woody Guthrie biopic Bound for Glory. In 1977, she played the role of a mother whose young child is abducted by aliens in Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The same year she appeared with Paul Newman in the comedy classic, Slap Shot. Four years later she was once again nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as a suicidal teacher in 1981's Absence of Malice, opposite Paul Newman.

In 1983, she starred as the mother of Ralphie and Randy in Bob Clark's film A Christmas Story. This is perhaps her best known role. She is also well known for appearing opposite John Lithgow in the Bigfoot comedy Harry and the Hendersons. Some of her roles in the 1990s include 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.

TRIVIA: She has played two Hoosiers (Indiana residents) - in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) (which takes place in Muncie, Indiana), and in A Christmas Story (1983) (which takes place in Hohman, Indiana). Hohman is actually the name the main Avenue that passes through the historic district of the city Hammond, Indiana.

Was nominated for Broadway's 1963 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

Has performed on stage with Chicago's legendary Second City improvisational comedy troupe.

Studied acting with both Lee Strasberg and at the Goodman Theater School.

Daughter of W. S. (an army officer) and E. Norine (Barnett) Dillon.

Played two different characters in Bound for Glory (1976).

Although she won a Theater World Award as the very first actress to play the role of "Honey" in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (her Broadway debut) she was passed over for the film casting when the role was given to Sandy Dennis who went on to win an Oscar.

Grew up in the same town and went to the same high school as President Bill Clinton.

WHERE IS SHE NOW: Melinda Dillon has been out of the acting game for over a decade now. THere's not much information about her current whereabouts, but hopefully she's enjoying retirement.


2007 Heartland (TV Series)...Janet Jacobs

2007 Reign Over Me...Ginger Timpleman

2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series)...Jenny Rogers
Blood (2005)

2005 Adam & Steve...Dottie

2004 Debating Robert Lee...Mrs. Lee

2003 The Lyon's Den (TV Series)...Charlotte Barrington
Pilot (2003)

2003 A Painted House (TV Movie)...Gran Chandler

2001 Judging Amy (TV Series)...Violet Loomis
Surprised by Gravity (2001)

2001 Cowboy Up...Rose Braxton

1999 Magnolia...Rose Gator

1998 The Effects of Magic...Mom

1996 Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story...Sister Aloysius

1996 Picket Fences (TV Series)...Mrs. Klausner
Liver Let Die (1996)

1995 The Client (TV Series)...Verna Caldwell
The Peach Orchard (1995)

1995 How to Make an American Quilt...Mrs. Darling

1995 To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar...Merna

1995 Naomi & Wynonna: Love Can Build a Bridge (TV Movie)...Polly Judd

1994 Sioux City...Leah Goldman

1994 State of Emergency (TV Movie)...Betty Anderson

1994 Confessions: Two Faces of Evil (TV Movie)

1993 Judgment Day: The John List Story (TV Movie)...Eleanor List

1991 The Prince of Tides...Savannah Wingo

1990 Captain America...Mrs. Rogers

1990 Spontaneous Combustion...Nina

1989 Staying Together...Eileen McDermott

1989 Nightbreaker (TV Movie)...Paula Brown

1988 Shattered Innocence (TV Movie)...Sharon Anderson

1987 Harry and the Hendersons...Nancy Henderson

1986 Shattered Spirits (TV Movie)...Joyce Mollencamp

1985 The Twilight Zone (TV Series)...Penny (segment "A Little Peace and Quiet")
Shatterday/A Little Peace and Quiet (1985)

1985 Space (TV Mini-Series)...Rachel Mott

1984 Songwriter...Honey Carder

1981-1984 Insight (TV Series)...Woman / Susie / Janet / ...

1983 Right of Way (TV Movie)...Ruda Dwyer

1983 A Christmas Story...Mother Parker

1983 The Mississippi (TV Series)
Cradle to Grave (1983)

1982 The Juggler of Notre Dame (TV Movie)...Dulcy

1981 Absence of Malice...Teresa

1981 Hellinger's Law (TV Movie)...Anne Gronouski

1981 Fallen Angel (TV Movie)...Sherry Phillips

1980 The Shadow Box (TV Movie)...Agnes

1980 Marriage Is Alive and Well (TV Movie)...Jeannie

1979 CHiPs (TV Series)
Death Watch (1979)

1979 The Muppet Movie...Woman with Balloon (uncredited)

1979 Transplant (TV Movie)...Ann Hurley

1978 The Critical List (TV Movie)...Dr. Kris Lassiter

1978 F.I.S.T...Anna Zarinkas

1977 Close Encounters of the Third Kind...Jillian Guiler

1977 Enigma (TV Movie)...Dora Herren

1977 Slap Shot...Suzanne Hanrahan

1976 Bound for Glory...Mary - Woody's Wife / Memphis Sue

1976 Sara (TV Series)...Lily Henchard
Lady (1976)

1975 The Jeffersons (TV Series)...Daphne
Harry and Daphne (1975)

1971 Story Theatre (TV Series)

1970 Men at Law (TV Series)...Connie Swann
The Law Can't Touch Him (1970)

1969 Bonanza (TV Series)...Cissy Summers
A Lawman's Lot Is Not a Happy One (1969)

1969 The April Fools...Leslie Hopkins

1969 Un hombre solo

1964 East Side/West Side (TV Series)...Stacey Barbella
The Beatnik and the Politician (1964)

1963 The Defenders (TV Series)...Jeannie Birch
The Empty Heart (1963)

To see Then & Now pictures of Melinda Dillon, visit: Celebrity Nooz


--Answers to DEAD OR ALIVE--

Michael Palin - ALIVE
Born: 05/05/1943

Abe Vigoda - DEAD
Born: 02/24/1921 Died: 01/26/2016

Richard Boone - DEAD (Cancer)
Born: 06/18/1917 Died: 01/10/1981



Ion Besoiu, 85, Romanian actor (Toate pînzele sus).
Ronan Fanning, 75, Irish historian.
Hamza al Qadiri al Boutchichi, 95, Moroccan Sufi leader.

M. M. Ruhul Amin, 74, Bangladeshi judge, Chief Justice (2008-2009).
Brenda C. Barnes, 63, American businesswoman, CEO of Sara Lee (2005-2010), stroke.
Colo, 60, American-bred western gorilla, oldest gorilla in captivity.
Pascal Garray (fr), 51, Belgian comics artist (Benoît Brisefer, The Smurfs).
Kingi Ihaka, 74, New Zealand broadcaster, cancer.
Herlina Kasim (id), 75, Indonesian freedom fighter.
Walter Lange, 92, German watchmaker and executive (A. Lange & Söhne).
Gita Sen, 86, Indian actress.
Donna Villa (tl), 58, Filipino film producer, cancer.

Amin Nasir, 48, Singaporean football player (Woodlands Wellington, national team) and manager (Hougang United), colon cancer.
Eugene Cernan, 82, American astronaut (Apollo 10, Apollo 17), last person to walk on the Moon.
William A. Hilliard, 89, American journalist (The Oregonian).
Franz Jarnach, 72, German actor (Dittsche) and musician (The Rattles), heart attack.
Peter Jones, 83, Australian politician, MLA (1974-1986).
Jirí Navrátil, 93, Czech Scout leader, President of Junák.
Dan O'Brien Sr., 87, American baseball executive (Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians).
William Onyeabor, 70, Nigerian singer-songwriter.
C. V. Vishveshwara, 78, Indian physicist.
Brian Whitehouse, 81, English footballer (West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace).
Steve Wright, American bass guitarist (The Greg Kihn Band), heart attack.

George Beall, 79, American attorney.
Babette Cole, 66, English children's author.
Roman Darowski, 81, Polish philosopher.
Richard Divall, 71, Australian conductor and musicologist.
Aleksandr Ezhevsky, 101, Soviet engineer and statesman.
Charles-Henri Favrod (fr), 89, French journalist and photographer.
Dermot Gallagher, 72, Irish civil servant and diplomat.
Luis Gámir, 74, Spanish politician.
Gorky González Quiñones, 77, Mexican potter.
Han Peixin, 95, Chinese politician, Governor of Jiangsu (1982-1983).
Kozo Kinomoto, 68, Japanese footballer and sports executive, heart failure.
Thandi Klaasen, 86, South African jazz singer, pancreatic cancer.
Vicki Lansky, 75, American author and publisher.
Håkon Liu (sv), 41, Norwegian film director (Miss Kicki).
Eddie Long, 63, American pastor (New Birth Missionary Baptist Church), cancer.
Nasir al-Din Nasir Hunzai, 100, Pakistani writer and poet.
Placid Olofsson (hu), 100, Hungarian Cistercian priest, Gulag survivor.
David Poythress, 73, American military officer and politician, Secretary of State of Georgia (1979-1983).
Jimmy Snuka, 73, Fijian-born American professional wrestler (WWF, AWA, PNW), stomach cancer.
Jan Szczepanski, 77, Polish boxer, Olympic champion (1972).
Vladimir Trifunovic (sr), 78, Bosnian Yugoslavia-era military officer.
Greg Trooper, 61, American singer-songwriter, pancreatic cancer.
Hadi Utomo (id), 71, Indonesian politician, Chairman of the Democratic Party (2005-2010).
Marga van Rooy (af), 75, South African actress (Fanie Fourie's Lobola, 7de Laan), cancer.

Surjit Singh Barnala, 91, Indian politician, Chief Minister of Punjab (1985-1987), Governor of Uttarakhand (2000-2003) and Tamil Nadu (2004-2011).
Barry Cassin, 92, Irish actor (Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog, The Count of Monte Cristo, Byzantium).
Seah Chiang Nee, 76, Singaporean journalist (The Star).
Mohammed bin Faisal Al Saud, 80, Saudi royal and businessman.
Herbert Mies, 87, German politician, Chairman of the Communist Party (1973-1989).
Kevin Starr, 76, American historian and librarian, heart attack.
Deepal Silva, 50, Sri Lankan singer, heart attack.
Yama Buddha, 29, Nepalese rapper, suicide.
Zhou Youguang, 111, Chinese linguist and supercentenarian.

Top Viewed Issues