Shirley Knight

Actor
Kansas-born Shirley Knight originally intended to be an opera singer until she saw a touring company of "The Lark" starring Julie Harris and switched to acting. In 1957, she headed west to study at the Pasadena ... Read more »
Born: 07/05/1936 in Goessel, Kansas, USA

Filmography

Actor (108)

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 2015 (Movie)

Mom (Actor)

Redwood Highway 2014 (Movie)

Marie Vaughn (Actor)

Sweet Scene of Death 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Other Side of the Tracks 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Mercy 2013 (Movie)

Gramma (Actor)

Elevator 2012 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Mob Doctor 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

Our Idiot Brother 2011 (Movie)

Ilene (Actor)

One Life to Live 1967 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2009 (Movie)

Mom (Actor)

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee 2009 (Movie)

Dot (Actor)

Not Fade Away 2008 (Movie)

(Actor)

Desperate Housewives 2005, 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Unit 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

Grandma's Boy 2006 (Movie)

Bea (Actor)

Thanks to Gravity 2006 (Movie)

Leah (Actor)

Sexual Life 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Cold Case 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Crossing Jordan 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

A House on a Hill 2003 (Movie)

Mercedes (Actor)

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2001, 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

P.S. Your Cat Is Dead 2003 (Movie)

Aunt Claire (Actor)

Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion 2003 (Movie)

Voice-over (Actor)

Ally McBeal 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 2002 (Movie)

Necie (Actor)

ER 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Salton Sea 2002 (Movie)

Nancy Plummer (Actor)

Angel Eyes 2001 (Movie)

Elanora Davis (Actor)

The Fugitive 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

75 Degrees in July 2000 (Movie)

Jo Beth Anderson (Actor)

Chicken Soup For the Soul 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Maggie Winters 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Little Boy Blue 1998 (Movie)

Doris Knight (Actor)

The Wedding 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

As Good As It Gets 1997 (Movie)

Beverly (Actor)

Somebody Is Waiting 1997 (Movie)

Irma Gill (Actor)

The Uninvited 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

VR.5 1994 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Presenter

Cybill 1995 - 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

Diabolique 1996 (Movie)

Edie Danziger (Actor)

L.A. Law 1988 - 1989, 1992 - 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

Murder, She Wrote 1988 - 1990, 1992 - 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

NYPD Blue 1988 - 1989, 1994 - 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

Children of the Dust 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Indictment: the Mcmartin Trial 1995 (Movie)

Peggy Buckley (Actor)

Stuart Saves His Family 1995 (Movie)

Stuart's Mom (Actor)

Angel Falls 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Benders 1994 (Movie)

Donna/Mother (Actor)

Color of Night 1994 (Movie)

Edith Niedelmeyer (Actor)

Death in Venice, CA 1994 (Movie)

Mona Dickens (Actor)

The Yarn Princess 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Hogg's Heaven 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Secret Life of Houses 1992 (Movie)

Aunt Fergie (Actor)

Bump in the Night 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Shadow of a Doubt 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

With Intent to Kill 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Prisoners 1984 (Movie)

(Actor)

Endless Love 1981 (Movie)

Anne Butterfield (Actor)

The Sender 1981 (Movie)

Jerolyn (Actor)

Beyond the Poseidon Adventure 1979 (Movie)

Hannah Meredith (Actor)

The Great British Striptease 1979 (Movie)

(Actor)

Secrets 1978 (Movie)

Beatrice (Actor)

Medical Story 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Friendly Persuasion 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Juggernaut 1974 (Movie)

Mrs Banister (Actor)

The Country Girl 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Ghost Story 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

The Rain People 1969 (Movie)

Natalie Ravenna (Actor)

Petulia 1968 (Movie)

Polo (Actor)

The Counterfeit Killer 1968 (Movie)

Angie Peterson (Actor)

The Outsider 1967 - 1968 (TV Show)

Actor

The Dutchman 1967 (Movie)

Lula (Actor)

The Group 1966 (Movie)

Polly Andrews (Actor)

The Outer Limits 1963 - 1965 (TV Show)

Actor

Flight From Ashiya 1964 (Movie)

Caroline Gordon (Actor)

Sweet Bird of Youth 1962 (Movie)

Heavenly Finley (Actor)

The Couch 1961 (Movie)

Terry (Actor)

House of Women 1960 (Movie)

Erica (Actor)

Ice Palace 1960 (Movie)

Grace--at 16 (Actor)

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs 1960 (Movie)

Reenie (Actor)

Five Gates to Hell 1959 (Movie)

Sister Maria (Actor)

21 Hours at Munich (TV Show)

Actor

A Father For Brittany (TV Show)

Actor

A Marriage of Convenience (TV Show)

Actor

A Mother's Revenge (TV Show)

Actor

A Part of the Family (TV Show)

Actor

A Promise to Carolyn (TV Show)

Actor

Baby Brokers (TV Show)

Actor

Champions: A Love Story (TV Show)

Actor

Convictions (TV Show)

Actor

Dad, the Angel & Me (TV Show)

Actor

Fudge-A-Mania (TV Show)

Actor

Ghost Cat (TV Show)

Actor

If These Walls Could Talk (TV Show)

Actor

Mary & Tim (TV Show)

Actor

My Louisiana Sky (TV Show)

Actor

Open Window (TV Show)

Actor

Playing For Time (TV Show)

Actor

Return to Earth (TV Show)

Actor

Shadow Over Elveron (TV Show)

Actor

The Billionaire Boys Club (TV Show)

Actor

To Save a Child (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Kansas-born Shirley Knight originally intended to be an opera singer until she saw a touring company of "The Lark" starring Julie Harris and switched to acting. In 1957, she headed west to study at the Pasadena Playhouse where she made her stage debut the following year in "Look Back in Anger." Knight was put under contract by Warner Bros. and the petite blonde earned critical acclaim and a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination as an Oklahoman in love with a Jew in the screen adaptation of William Inge's "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" (1960). She picked up a second nod in the same category as Heavenly Finley, the woman seduced and abandoned by Chance Wayne, in "Sweet Bird of Youth" (1962). In "The Group" (1966), her character found seeming happiness with James Broderick while later that same year she delivered a strong turn as a sluttish white woman who confronts a young black male passenger in "The Dutchman." After a strong turn as a pregnant woman who runs off with a football player in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Rain People" (1969), Knight moved to England with her second husband, British playwright John Hopkins and did not act on screen for five years, returning in "Juggernaut" (1974). Her subsequent film roles have generally cast her in maternal roles as in "Endless Love" (1981), "Stuart Saves His Family" (1995) and "As Good As It Gets" (1997).

Relationships

Virginia Knight

Mother

John Hopkins

Husband
married from 1970 until his death on July 23, 1998 British

Justine Hopkins

Daughter
father, John Hopkins

Kaitlin Hopkins

Daughter
father, Gene Persson

Justine Hopkins

Step-Daughter

Noel Knight

Father

Gene Persson

Husband
married in 1959 divorced in 1969

EDUCATION

studied acting with Erwin Piscator and Lee Strasberg

University of Wichita

Wichita , Kansas

Philipps University

Enid , Oklahoma

Center For Advanced Film Studies, American Film Institute

1991

Lyons High School

Lyons , Kansas

Milestones

2006

Earned an Emmy nomination for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for "Desperate Housewives"

2001

Had featured role in "Angel Eyes"

2001

Acted in Hartford Stage production of "Necessary Targets"

1998

Appeared as Gram, the Caucasian matriarch of a biracial family in "The Wedding" (ABC)

1997

Portrayed Helen Hunt's mother in "As Good As It Gets"

1997

Returned to Broadway as co-star with Rip Torn in Horton Foote's Pulitzer-winning "The Young Man From Atlanta"; received Tony nomination

1996

Co-starred with Mary Tyler Moore and Linda Lavin in the Family Channel TV-movie "Stolen Memories: Secrets From the Rose Garden"

1995

Played Peggy Buckley, a real-life pre-school owner accused of child molestation, in the acclaimed HBO movie "Indictment: The McMartin Trial"; received third Emmy Award

1995

Played Al Franken's mother in "Stuart Saves His Family"

1995

Won second Emmy as the mother of a murder victim in an episode of "NYPD Blue"

1993

TV series debut as regular in the short-lived CBS series "Angel Falls"

1993

Returned to films in "The Secret Life of Houses"

1990

Reprised her award-winning role of Hope's mother in another episode of "thirtysomething"

1987

Won first Emmy Award playing Hope's mother in an episode of the ABC drama "thirtysomething"

1983

Last film appearance for a decade "Sweet Scene of Death"

1981

Cast as Brooke Shields' mother in "Endless Love"

1980

Offered a strong supporting turn as a concentration camp inmate in "Playing for Time" (CBS)

1978

Co-starred alongside Alan Arkin in the CBS movie "The Defection of Simas Kudirka"

1976

Earned a Tony Award as Featured Actress in a Play for her performance in "Kennedy's Children"

1974

Returned to films after a five year absence in "Juggernaut"

1974

Played Georgie Elgin in a the NBC "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production of "The Country Girl"

1969

Lived in England

1969

British stage debut in "A Touch of the Poet"

1968

Had starring role in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Rain People"

1967

TV-movie debut "The Outsider" (NBC)

1966

Co-starred in "The Group"

1964

Broadway debut in "Three Sisters" alongside Geraldine Page and Kim Stanley; replaced in film version by Sandy Dennis

1963

Off-Broadway debut in "Journey to the Day"

1962

Earned second Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for "Sweet Bird of Youth"

1961

Early TV credit, a guest appearance on "Maverick"

1960

Received first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs"

1959

Film debut "Five Gates to Hell"

1959

Made TV acting debut

1959

Signed contract with Warner Bros.

1958

Joined Pasadena Playhouse and made stage debut in "Look Back in Anger"

Raised in Kansas

While in college, spent one summer singing in the chorus of operas in Center City, Colorado

While making the 1960 film "Ice Palace", tutored in Shakespeare by Richard Burton

Offered role of Ophelia opposite Richard Burton's "Hamlet" and role of Irina in Actors Studio production of Chekhov's "Three Sisters"

Returned to series TV as Estelle, the mother of Faith Ford's "Maggie Winters" (CBS)

Bonus Trivia

.

She was named Shirley after screen actress Shirley Temple

.

Knight received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Lake Forest College in 1978

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