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Shirley Knight (1936)

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Shirley Enola Knight is an American stage, film and television actress. She has been nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, in 1960 for The Dark at the Top of the Stairs and in 1962 for Sweet Bird of Youth.


Knight's feature films include The Group , The Dutchman , Petulia , The Rain People and As Good as It Gets . Recently, she completed Elevator, in which she plays one of several people trapped in a Wall Street elevator with someone who has a bomb. The movie is expected to be released in 2011.

She also was a Warner Brothers Television contract star who made films for Warners, appearing in television series whenever she had a break while filming a movie, including Maverick ("The Ice Man" episode with Jack Kelly), 77 Sunset Strip, Sugarfoot, and Cheyenne.

Knight's stage credits include Three Sisters , We Have Always Lived in the Castle , Kennedy's Children , which earned her the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, and A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur . She was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play twice, for Landscape of the Body and The Young Man from Atlanta, which also garnered her a Tony nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Play. She also appeared, with Alison Fraser, in Come Back, Come Back, Wherever You Are, an original play by legendary playwright, Arthur Laurents.

Knight's many television credits include Target: The Corruptors!, The Eleventh Hour, The Fugitive, The Virginian, The Invaders, The Reporter, L.A. Law, Murder, She Wrote, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Maggie Winters, House M.D., Crossing Jordan, Cold Case, ER and Hot in Cleveland, among others, in addition to television movies such as Indictment: The McMartin Trial, for which she won both the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie and the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. Her guest performance in thirtysomething earned her a 1988 Emmy for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series. She won another Emmy in 1995 for her guest performance in the NYPD Blue episode Large Mouth Bass.

She appeared in the first segment of If These Walls Could Talk. She has also had a recurring role on Desperate Housewives as Bree Hodge's annoying former mother-in-law, Phyllis Van de Kamp, mother of Bree's first husband, Rex Van de Kamp . She also appeared in a popular episode from the original The Outer Limits series, "The Man Who Was Never Born".

 personal life
Knight was born in Goessel, Kansas, the daughter of Virginia (née Webster) and Noel Johnson Knight, an oil company executive. Knight was married twice, to Gene Persson from 1959 until they divorced in 1969, and to John Hopkins from 1969 until his death in 1998. She has two daughters, actress Kaitlin Hopkins and television writer Sophie.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Shirley Knight", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.