Shirley Knight Birthday: July 5, 1936 Birth Place: Goessel, Kansas, USA Height: 0' 0"
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An accomplished actress of stage, screen, and television, Shirley Knight has specialized in playing contemporary women with psychological problems. Knight was discovered while studying drama with Jeff Corey when she and her classmates Jack Nicholson, Robert Blake, Dean Stockwell, and Sally Kellerman were appearing in a production of Look Back in Anger. Her performance netted her an agent who in turn helped her get her first film role in Five Gates to Hell (1959). Knight's first real break came with a supporting role in Delbert Mann's The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1960). Her portrayal of a young woman whose anguished lover commits suicide garnered Knight her first Oscar nomination. The second was for playing Paul Newman's first love in Sweet Bird of Youth (1962). In the early '60s, Knight began appearing occasionally on television, making a memorable debut in the sci-fi anthology series Outer Limits, in the episode "The Man Who Was Never Born" opposite Martin Landau. By mid-decade, Knight was well on her way to becoming a major film star. But Knight was discontent with having money and fame. To her acting was an art and she an aspiring artist. To meet her goals, Knight decided that the only way to become a real actress was to gain experience on the New York stage, and so, she left the film industry to study and work back East. Her Broadway career was successful and in 1966, Knight flew to England to try her luck in British theater. During her "theatrical period," Knight did occasionally appear in feature films, including Sidney Lumet's The Group (1967) and Francis Ford Coppola's The Rain People (1969). Knight returned to Broadway in the mid-'70s. But by then, Knight was in her forties, an awkward age for actresses who can be considered too old to play ing
Two daughters: Kaitlin Hopkins and Sophie C. Hopkins
A lovely, talented, highly promising film ingenue in the early 60s, Shirley was very vocal about her dissatisfaction with the Hollywood scene and abandoned potential film stardom for Broadway roles. She later moved to England and thrived on the London stage for a number of years before returning to Hollywood as a plus-sized character support.
Appeared in the L.A. stage and British film version of Dutchman (1967), a racial drama, which was produced by her then-husband Eugene Persson. She won the Venice Film Festival award for her cinematic performance.
She refused the play "Kennedy's Children" by Robert Patrick in London, but accepted it in New York. At first rehearsal she began to read the role she'd been offered in England (a drab schoolteacher), and was astonished to learn that she was instead wanted for another lead (a glamorous actress), for which she won a "Tony" award.
Mother-in-law of Daniel Passer.
Won Broadway's 1976 Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) for "Kennedy's Children." She was also nominated in 1997 as Best Actress (Play) for "The Young Man from Atlanta."