Knoxville native Dale Dickey is finally getting her due in Hollywood. After nearly six decades of life on the stage and the silver screen, she landed the lead role in a romantic film called A Love Song. If at all familiar with Dale’s work, you know this is a big departure. She’s better known to audiences as a werewolf in True Blood, a member of a biker gang on Grey’s Anatomy, and maybe most memorably, Patty the daytime hooker on My Name is Earl. Her credits are too numerous to list, but she’s shared a screen with everyone from Jack Nicholson and Robert Downey Jr. to Betty White and Angelina Jolie. Her face is one you know instantly.
Her biggest recognition to date is winning the Independent Spirit Award for her role as Merab in Best Picture nominee, Winter’s Bone. But A Love Song may just eclipse it all. The reviews are rolling in, and they are good. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a coveted 96%. The debut independent film by Max Walker Silverman was the darling of the Sundance Film Festival. The Oscar buzz is beginning to stir.
This weekend, A Love Song opens at Downtown West 8 with limited showings. To show a little hometown love, a sellout weekend would be just fine.
For many of us who’ve known her from the earliest days of Clarence Brown Theatre where she already showed star power as a child actor in productions of Sound of Music, Oliver, and Our Town, we’ve wondered what took so long. She grew up in Bearden and played the leads in most productions at Bearden High School in the late 1970s. As a college student at UT, she was already well known to Knoxville audiences, and it wasn’t long before she set her sights on New York. And her star has been rising steadily ever since. This movie may just seal the deal.
To catch up on Dale’s career, you can check out her films at the Knox County Public Library:
Mary Pom Claiborne is assistant director for marketing, communications and development for the Knox County Public Library.