Dillon, Melinda 1939-

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Dillon, Melinda 1939-


Full name, Melinda Rose Dillon; born October 13, 1939, in Hope, AR; daughter of W. S. (an army officer) and E. Norine (maiden name, Barnett) Dillon; married Richard Libertini (an actor), September 30, 1963 (divorced, January 18, 1978); children: one son. Education: Attended Goodman School of Drama, Chicago, IL, 1958-61; studied acting with Lee Strasberg, 1962-64. Avocational Interests: Singing, playing the banjo, studying acting, reading, watching old films.


Agent—Innovative Artists, 1505 10th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401.


Actress. Second City (comedy troupe), Chicago, IL, understudy, 1958-61, performer, beginning 1961.


Screen Actors Guild, Actors' Equity Association.

Awards, Honors:

Sarah Siddons Award, best young actress, 1960; Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best supporting or featured dramatic actress, Variety New York Drama Critics Poll Award, and Theatre World Award, 1963, all for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Golden Globe Award nomination, best actress debut in a motion picture, 1977, for Bound for Glory; Academy Award nomination, best supporting actress, and Saturn Award nomination, best science fiction actress, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, 1978, both for Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Academy Award nomination, best supporting actress, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award, best supporting actress, 1982, both for Absence of Malice; Saturn Award nomination, best actress, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, 1988, for Harry and the Hendersons; National Board of Review Award (with others), best ensemble, 1999, Screen Actors Guild Award nomination (with others), outstanding performance by a cast in a theatrical motion picture, Florida Film Critics Circle Award (with others), best ensemble cast, 2000, all for Magnolia; Prism Award nomination, performance in a drama series episode, 2006, for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; Best Ensemble Cast Award (with others), Method Fest, 2006, for Debating Robert Lee.


Stage Appearances:

Grusche, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Arena Stage, Washington, DC, 1961-62.

Caroline, What Shall We Tell Caroline?, Arena Stage, 1961-62.

Sonja, Uncle Vanya, Arena Stage, 1961-62.

Blanaid, The Moon in the Yellow River, Arena Stage, 1961-62.

Irma, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Arena Stage, 1961-62.

Felice, The Burning of the Lepers, Arena Stage, 1961-62.

Kitty, The Time of Your Life, Arena Stage, 1961-62.

Understudy for Rosalie, Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad, Phoenix Theatre, New York City, 1962.

(Broadway debut) Honey, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Billy Rose Theatre, 1962-63.

Conerico Was Here to Stay, Playwrights Unit, Village South Theatre, New York City, 1964.

Dorothy, "The Shock of Recognition," Jill, "The Footsteps of Doves," and Clarice, "I'll Be Home for Christmas," in You Know I Can't Hear You Whenthe Water's Running (triple-bill), Ambassador Theatre, New York City, 1967-68, then Broadhurst Theatre, New York City, 1968.

Lilly Seltzer, A Way of Life, American National Theatre and Academy Theatre, New York City, 1969.

Marat/Sade, Arena Stage, 1969.

Orson Bean, A Round with Ring, American National Theatre and Academy Matinee Series, Theatre de Lys, New York City, 1969.

Peasant's wife, "The Little Peasant," Daughter, "The Robber Bridegroom," Goosey Poosey, "Henny Penny," Wife, "About Time," and Princess, "The Golden Goose," all in Paul Sills' "Story Theater," Ambassador Theatre, 1970-71.

Ensemble member, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Ambassador Theatre, 1971.

Film Appearances:

Un hombre solo, 1969.

Leslie Hopkins, The April Fools, National General, 1969.

Mary Guthrie/Memphis Sue, Bound for Glory, United Artists, 1976.

Suzanne Hanrahan, Slap Shot, Universal, 1977.

Jillian Guiler, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (also known as CE3K), Columbia, 1977.

Anna Zerinkas, F.I.S.T., United Artists, 1978.

Teresa Perrone, Absence of Malice, Columbia, 1981.

Mrs. Parker, A Christmas Story, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1983.

Honey Carder, Songwriter, TriStar, 1984.

Nancy Henderson, Harry and the Hendersons (also known as Bigfoot and Bigfoot and the Hendersons), Universal, 1987.

Eileen McDermott, Staying Together, Hemdale, 1989.

Nina, Spontaneous Combustion, Taurus, 1990.

Mrs. Rogers, Captain America, Columbia TriStar Home Video, 1990.

Savannah Wingo, The Prince of Tides, Columbia, 1991.

Leah Goldman, Sioux City (also known as Ultimate Revenge), IRS Releasing, 1994.

Mrs. Darling, Sophia's mother, How to Make an American Quilt, Universal, 1995.

Merna, proprietor of beauty parlor, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, Universal, 1995.

Sister Aloysius, Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story (also known as Entertaining Angels), Warner Bros., 1996.

Mom, The Effects of Magic, Cricket Releasing/Vision Films, 1997.

Rose Gator, Magnolia (also known as mag-no'li-a), New Line Cinema, 1999.

Herself, That Moment: "Magnolia" Diary (documentary; also known as That Moment: Magnolia Diary October 1998-March 2000), New Line Home Video, 2000.

Rose Braxton, Ring of Fire, Destination Films, 2000.

Herself, The Making of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (documentary), Columbia TriStar Entertainment, 2001.

Rose Braxton, Cowboy Up (also known as Ring of Fire), 2001.

Mrs. Lee, Debating Robert Lee, Radio London Films, 2004.

Dottie, Adam & Steve, TLA Releasing, 2005.

Ginger Timpleman, Reign Over Me, Columbia, 2007.

Television Appearances; Series:

Story Theatre (also known as The Paul Sills Story Theatre), syndicated, 1971.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Dr. Kris Lassiter, The Critical List, NBC, 1978.

Rachel Mott, James A. Michener's "Space" (also known as Space), CBS, 1985.

Polly Judd, Naomi and Wynonna: Love Can Build a Bridge (also known as Love Can Build a Bridge), NBC, 1995.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Stacy, The Poet and the Politician, CBS, 1963.

Ann Hurley, Transplant, CBS, 1979.

Agnes, The Shadow Box, ABC, 1980.

Jeannie, Marriage Is Alive and Well, NBC, 1980.

Anne Gronouski, Hellinger's Law, CBS, 1981.

Sherry Phillips, Fallen Angel, CBS, 1981.

Ruda Dwyer, Right of Way, HBO, 1983.

Joyce Mollencamp, Shattered Spirits, ABC, 1986.

Sharon Anderson, Shattered Innocence (also known as Images of Eileen, Mourning Song, and Shattered Image), CBS, 1988.

Paula Brown, Nightbreaker (also known as Advance to Ground Zero), TNT, 1989.

Eleanor List, Judgment Day: The John List Story, CBS, 1993.

Betty Anderson, State of Emergency (also known as Slow Bleed), HBO, 1994.

Carol Mothershed, Confessions: Two Faces of Evil (also known as Mothershed or Berndt?), NBC, 1994.

Gran Chandler, A Painted House (also known as John Grisham's "A Painted House"), CBS, 2003.

Also appeared in Point of Departure; Mississippi.

Television Appearances; Specials:

The Making of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," 1977.

Presenter, Science Fiction Film Awards (also known as The 5th Annual Science Fiction Film Awards), WGN, 1978.

The 50th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1978.

The Making of "Absence of Malice," 1982.

Dulcy Wintergreen, The Juggler of Notre Dame, syndicated, 1982.

Also appeared in The Merv Griffin Special.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Madam Arkadina, Freeman, ABC, 1976.

Dora Herren, Enigma, CBS, 1977.

Jeannie, Marriage Is Alive and Well, NBC, 1980.

Anne Gronouski, Hellinger's Law, CBS, 1981.

Charlotte Barrington, The Lyon's Den, NBC, 2003.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Jeannie Birch, "The Empty Heart," The Defenders, CBS, 1963.

Stacey Barberlla, "The Beatnik and the Politician," East Side, West Side, 1964.

Cissy Summers, "A Lawman's Lot Is Not a Happy One," Bonanza (also known as Ponderosa), NBC, 1969.

Connie Swann, "The Law Can't Touch Him," Storefront Lawyers (also known as Men at Law), 1970.

Daphne, "Harry and Daphne," The Jeffersons, 1975.

Sara, 1976.

"Death Watch," CHiPs (also known as CHiPs Patrol), 1979.

Penny, "A Little Peace and Quiet," The Twilight Zone (also known as The New Twilight Zone), CBS, 1985.

Middle Ages, CBS, 1992.

Verna, "The Peach Orchard," The Client (also known as John Grisham's "The Client"), CBS, 1995.

Tracey Takes On, HBO, 1996.

Mrs. Klausner, "Liver Let Die," Picket Fences, CBS, 1996.

Violet Loomis, "Surprised by Gravity," Judging Amy, CBS, 2001.

Jenny Rogers, "Blood," Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (also known as Law & Order: SVU and Special Victims Unit), NBC, 2005.

Janet Jacobs, "Domino Effect," Heartland, TNT, 2007.

Janet Jacobs, "As We Are So Wonderfully Done With Each Other," Heartland, TNT, 2007.

Janet Jacobs, "Smile," Heartland, TNT, 2007.

Also appeared in Dick Cavett Show; Dinah Shore Show; Good Morning America; The Paul Sand Show; The Today Show.