Knight, Shirley 1936(?)–

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KNIGHT, Shirley 1936(?)–

(Shirley Knight Hopkins)


Full name, Shirley Enola Knight; born July 5, 1936 (some sources cite 1937), in Goessel, KS; daughter of Noel Johnson (an oil company executive) and Virginia (maiden name, Webster) Knight; married Eugene "Gene" Persson (an actor and producer), 1959 (divorced, 1969); married John Richard Hopkins (a writer), 1969 (died, July 23, 1998); children: (first marriage) Kaitlin (an actress and singer); (second marriage) Sophie C. (a writer). Education: Attended Phillips University and Wichita State University; trained for the stage at Pasadena Playhouse and with Erwin Piscator and Lee Strasberg; also studied with Jeff Corey. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Protestant. Avocational Interests: Music, philosophy.

Addresses: Agent—The Gage Group, 14724 Ventura Blvd., Suite 505, Los Angeles, CA 91403.

Career: Actress and singer. Mirror Repertory Company, New York City, member of the company, 1985–86; Arena Stage, Washington, DC, guest artist, 1987–88; Alley Theatre, Houston, TX, member of the company, 1991–92; American Film Institute, participant in the Directing Workshop for Women, beginning c. 1994; Prince William Sound Community College, Valdez, AK, participant at theatre conference, 1996; affiliated with the William Inge Theatre Festival, William Inge Center for the Arts, Independence, KS; member of the chorus in operas produced in Center City, CO. Affiliated with the Committee for Handgun Control, peace organizations, and civil rights groups.

Member: Screen Actors Guild.

Awards, Honors: Golden Globe Award nomination, most promising newcomer—female, 1961; Academy Award nomination, best supporting actress, and Golden Globe Award nomination, best supporting actress in a film, both 1961, for The Dark at the Top of the Stairs; Academy Award nomination, best supporting actress, 1963, for Sweet Bird of Youth; Volpi Cup, best actress, Venice International Film Festival, 1967, Critics Prize, Cannes International Film Festival, and Evening Standard Award, all for Dutchman; nomination for Golden Laurel, outstanding female supporting performance, Laurel awards, Producers Guild of America, 1968, for Petulia; Antoinette Perry Award, best actress in a drama, 1976, for Kennedy's Children; New Jersey Drama Critics Award, 1976, for A Streetcar Named Desire; Joseph Jefferson Award, 1977, and Drama Desk Award nomination, outstanding actress in a play, 1978, both for Landscape of the Body; honorary D.F.A., Lake Forest College, 1978; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or special, 1981, for Playing for Time; Emmy Award, outstanding guest performer in a drama series, 1988, for "The Parents Are Coming," thirtysomething; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding guest actress in a drama series, 1989, for "Time Present, Time Past," The Equalizer; Helen Hayes Award nomination, outstanding lead actress in a resident production, Washington Theatre Awards Society, 1989, for The Cherry Orchard; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding guest actress in a drama series, 1990, for "Arizona," thirtysomething; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding lead actress in a drama series, 1992, for Law & Order; Emmy Award, outstanding guest actress in a drama series, 1995, for "Large Mouth Bass," NYPD Blue; CableACE Award nomination, 1995; Emmy Award, outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or special, 1995, and Golden Globe Award, best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a series, miniseries, or motion picture made for television, 1996, both for Indictment: The McMartin Trial; Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best actress in a play, and Drama Desk Award nomination, outstanding actress in a play, both 1997, for The Young Man from Atlanta; Golden Satellite Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a motion picture—comedy or musical, International Press Academy, 1998, for As Good as It Gets; Golden Satellite Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a miniseries or motion picture made for television, 1999, for Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Wedding.


Film Appearances:

(Uncredited) Bit part, Picnic, Columbia, 1955.

Sister Maria, Five Gates to Hell, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1959.

Grace Kennedy, Ice Palace, Warner Bros., 1960.

Reenie Flood, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Warner Bros., 1960.

Erica Hayden, House of Women, Warner Bros., 1962.

Heavenly Finley, Sweet Bird of Youth, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1962.

Terry, The Couch, Warner Bros., 1962.

Caroline Gordon/Stevenson, Flight from Ashiya (also known as Ashiya kara no hiko), United Artists, 1964.

Polly Andrews, The Group, United Artists, 1966.

Polo, Petulia, Warner Bros., 1966.

Lula, Dutchman (also known as The Dutchman), Continental Distributing/Planet, 1967.

Natalie Ravenna, The Rain People, Warner Bros., 1969.

Angie Peterson, The Counterfeit Killer (also known as Crackshot), Universal, 1970.

Beatrice, Secrets (also known as Adultery), Lone Star, 1971.

Barbara Banister, Juggernaut (also known as Terror on the Britannic), United Artists, 1974.

Hannah Meredith, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, Warner Bros., 1979.

Anne Butterfield, Endless Love, Universal, 1981.

Jerolyn, The Sender, Paramount, 1982.

Aunt Fergie, The Secret Life of Houses, c. 1994.

Edith Niedelmeyer, Color of Night, Buena Vista, 1994.

Mona Dickens, Death in Venice, California, First Run Features, 1994.

Donna and mother, Benders (short film), 1994.

Mom Smalley, Stuart Saves His Family, Paramount, 1995.

Edie Danziger, Diabolique, Warner Bros., 1996.

Irma Gill, Somebody Is Waiting, Redhead Films/LIVE Entertainment/Rank, 1996.

Beverly Connelly, As Good as It Gets (also known as Old Friends), Sony Pictures Entertainment, 1997.

Doris Knight, Little Boy Lost (also known as Little Boy Blue), Castle Hill, 1997.

Grace Postlewait, The Man Who Counted, 1998.

Jo Beth Anderson, 75 Degrees in July, Cut Entertainment Group, 2000.

Elanora Davis, Angel Eyes, Warner Bros., 2001.

(Uncredited) The Center of the World, Artisan Entertainment/Summit Entertainment, 2001.

Aunt Claire, P.S. Your Cat Is Dead, TLA Releasing, 2002.

Nancy Plummer, The Salton Sea, Warner Bros., 2002.

Necie Rose Kelleher, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Warner Bros., 2002.

Mercedes Mayfield, A House on a Hill, Calliope Films, 2003.

Miss Christina, Fly Cherry (short film), Power Up Films, 2003.

Tibetan voices, Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion, Artistic License Films, 2003.

Ann, Open Window, 2005.

Lea, Thanks to Gravity, Voyage Entertainment, 2005.

Marianne, Locked In (short film), Locked In Productions/Vineyard Properties, 2005.

Peggy, To Lie in Green Pastures (short film), Red Dilemma, 2005.

The Needs of Kim Stanley (documentary), Frozen Motion Films, 2005.

Bea, Grandma's Boy, Twentieth Century-Fox, 2006.

Appeared as Virginia in the unreleased film Prisoners, Twentieth Century-Fox.

Film Work:

Coproducer, Dutchman (also known as The Dutchman), Continental Distributing/Planet, 1967.

Director, Far from Home (short film), American Film Institute, 1994.

Television Appearances; Series:

Mrs. Newcomb, Buckskin, NBC, 1958–59.

Edie Wren Cox, Angel Falls, CBS, 1993.

Estelle Winters, Maggie Winters, CBS, 1998–99.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Mrs. Hunt, The Billionaire Boys Club, NBC, 1987.

Edna Larson, When Love Kills: The Seduction of John Hearn (also known as Soldiers of Misfortune), CBS, 1993.

Aunt Bertha, Children of the Dust (also known as A Good Day to Die), CBS, 1995.

Mary Donnelly, "1952," If These Walls Could Talk, HBO, 1996.

Gram (Miss Caroline), Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Wedding (also known as The Wedding), ABC, 1998.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Peggy Leydon, The Outsider, NBC, 1967.

Joanne Tregaskis, Shadow over Elveron, NBC, 1968.

Eliza Birdwell, Friendly Persuasion (also known as Except for Me and Thee), ABC, 1975.

Annaliese Graese, 21 Hours at Munich, ABC, 1976.

Joan Aldrin, Return to Earth, ABC, 1976.

Genna Kudirka, The Defection of Simas Kudirka, CBS, 1978.

Barbara Harlich, Champions: A Love Story, CBS, 1979.

Frau Lagerfuhrerin Maria Mandel, Playing for Time, CBS, 1980.

Edna Reinecker, With Intent to Kill (also known as Urge to Kill), CBS, 1984.

Katie Leonard, Bump in the Night, CBS, 1991.

William's mother, "Hogg's Heaven," Showtime 30-Minute Movie, Showtime, 1992.

Bess Jordan (some sources cite Bess Warden), A Mother's Revenge (also known as Desperate Justice and A Mother's Justice), ABC, 1993.

Esther, The Yarn Princess (also known as More Than a Miracle), ABC, 1994.

Martha, A Part of the Family, Lifetime, 1994.

Sylvia, Baby Brokers (also known as Stolen Hearts), NBC, 1994.

Betty, Dad, the Angel & Me, Family Channel, 1995.

Mrs. Apfel (Mrs. A), Fudge-a-Mania, ABC, 1995.

Peggy McMartin Buckey, Indictment: The McMartin Trial (also known as The Naked Movie Star Games and Nothing but the Truth: The McMartin Story), HBO, 1995.

Delia, The Uninvited (also known as The Haunting of Patricia Johnson, The House at the End of the Street, and Victim of the Haunt), CBS, 1996.

Esther Melville, Mary & Tim (also known as Tim), CBS, 1996.

Joan Hart, Dying to Be Perfect: The Ellen Hart Pena Story, ABC, 1996.

Jolene Maggart (some sources cite Colleen Parker), A Promise to Carolyn, CBS, 1996.

Sally Ann, Stolen Memories: Secrets from the Rose Garden (also known as Forbidden Memories and The Rose Garden), Family Channel, 1996.

Margaret, Convictions, Lifetime, 1997.

Donna Minkowitz, A Father for Brittany (also known as A Change of Heart), CBS, 1998.

Harriet Winslow, A Marriage of Convenience (also known as Un mariage de convenance), Lifetime, 1998.

Jewel, My Louisiana Sky, Showtime, 2001.

Mrs. Finch, Shadow Realm, Sci-Fi Channel, 2002.

Mrs. Ashboro, Mrs. Ashboro's Cat (also known as Ghost Cat and Le chat fantome), Animal Planet, 2003.

Joanna, Sexual Life, Showtime, 2005.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Georgia Elgin, "The Country Girl," Hallmark Hall of Fame, NBC, 1974.

Kennedy's Children, CBS, 1982.

Helen Potter, "Shadow of a Doubt," Hallmark Hall of Fame, CBS, 1991.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Presenter, The 34th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1962.

The 30th Annual Tony Awards, ABC, 1976.

Presenter, The 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Fox, 1995.

The 51st Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 1997.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Betty, "The Long March," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1958.

Heide, "Better Than a Cannon," The Restless Gun, NBC, 1959.

Jenny Cooper, "Incident in No Man's Land," Rawhide, CBS, 1959.

Kathy, "The Baron of Broken Lance," Bronco, ABC, 1959.

Lily Akins, "Stampede," The Texan, CBS, 1959.

Lynn, "A Dime a Dozen," Hawaiian Eye, ABC, 1959.

Mrs. Newcomb, "Little Heathen," Buckskin, NBC, 1959.

Shirley, "The Parents," Johnny Staccato, NBC, 1959.

"Showdown at Abilene," The Texan, CBS, 1959.

Ginger Martin, "Fatal Cruise," Hawaiian Eye, ABC, 1960.

Jennifer Morgan, "The Kahuna Curtain," Hawaiian Eye, ABC, 1960.

Mari Ellen, "Fraternity of Fear," 77 Sunset Strip, ABC, 1960.

Miriam, "The Power of Suggestion," Surfside 6, ABC, 1960.

Susy, "The Shape of the River," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1960.

Vera, "Key to the City," Bourbon Street Beat, ABC, 1960.

Ellie Hollis, "Big Town Blues," The Roaring 20s, ABC, 1961.

Linda Lord, "Little Star Lost," Surfside 6, ABC, 1961.

Molly Durrock, "The Invaders," Bronco, ABC, 1961.

Nancy Powers, "The Ice Man," Maverick, ABC, 1961.

"The Trial," Lawman, ABC, 1961.

Jan Coates, "Elegy for a Bookkeeper," Surfside 6, ABC, 1962.

Kathy Meigi, "Five Cranks for Winter … Ten Cranks for Spring," Naked City, ABC, 1962.

Phyllis, "A Book of Faces," Target: The Corruptors, ABC, 1962.

Susan Morrow, "The Man from the Sea," The Virginian, NBC, 1962.

"You Can't Escape," The United States Steel Hour, CBS, 1962.

Anne, "And God Created Vanity," Eleventh Hour, NBC, 1963.

Charmian Scott, "The Takers," The DuPont Show of the Week, NBC, 1963.

Hilary, "The Broken Year," Alcoa Hour (also known as Alcoa Premiere), ABC, 1963.

Noel Anderson, "The Man Who Was Never Born," The Outer Limits, ABC, 1963.

Rhoda Waggner, "Run, Little Man, Run," Arrest and Trial, ABC, 1963.

"Fair Young Ghost," The United States Steel Hour, CBS, 1963.

Bethany Windell, "A Voice Loud and Clear," The Defenders, CBS, 1964.

Janice Pruitt, "The Homecoming," The Fugitive, ABC, 1964.

Phone operator, "Extension Seven," The Reporter, CBS, 1964.

Clara Malone, "Lost Yesterday," The Virginian, NBC, 1965.

Mona Ross, "A.P.B.," The Fugitive, ABC, 1965.

Angie Peterson, "The Faceless Man," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater, NBC, 1966.

Jane Washburn, "Echo of a Nightmare," The Fugitive, ABC, 1966.

Margaret Cook, "The Watchers," The Invaders, ABC, 1967.

Emily Castleton, "Majesty," The Jazz Age, 1968.

Amy Martin, "The Ten Days That Shook Kid Curry," Alias Smith and Jones, ABC, 1972.

(As Shirley Knight Hopkins) Beth, "Legion of Demons," Ghost Story, NBC, 1972.

"A Standard for Manhood," The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (also known as The Bold Ones), NBC, 1972.

"That Quiet Earth," Thirty-Minute Theatre, BBC, 1972.

"Girl on the Run," Jigsaw, ABC, 1973.

"Legion of Demons," Circle of Fear, NBC, 1973.

"The Lie," CBS Playhouse (also known as Playhouse 90), CBS, 1973.

"A Room with a View," The Streets of San Francisco, ABC, 1973.

Margot Brenner, "The Power of Fear," Great Mysteries (also known as Orson Welles "Great Mysteries"), syndicated, 1973, also Anglia Television.

Amy Calloway, "Tainted Lady," Medical Center, CBS, 1974.

"Hell Is Upstairs," Marcus Welby, M.D., ABC, 1974.

"Pete," Nakia, ABC, 1974.

Kay Lewiston, "Fantasy of Fear," Barnaby Jones, CBS, 1975.

"Please Stand by for Murder," Wide World of Mystery, ABC, 1975.

"Web of Fear," The Manhunter, CBS, 1975.

"A Necessary End," Nurse, CBS, 1982.

Ann Denver, "Sweet Scene of Death," Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense (also known as Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense: Sweet Scene of Death), [Great Britain], c. 1984.

Katie Quirk, "Internal Affairs," Spenser: For Hire, NBC, 1985.

Katie Quirk, "The Heart of the Matter," Spenser: For Hire, ABC, 1987.

Ruth Murdoch, "The Parents Are Coming," thirtysomething, ABC, 1987.

Grace Fenton, "Smooth Operators," Murder, She Wrote, CBS, 1989.

Kay, "Time Present, Time Past," The Equalizer, CBS, 1989.

Grace Lambert, "Always a Thief," Murder, She Wrote, CBS, 1990.

Phyllis Todd, "The Mother," Matlock, NBC, 1990.

Ruth Murdoch, "Arizona," thirtysomething, ABC, 1990.

Melanie Cullen, "The Wages of Love," Law & Order, NBC, 1991.

Belinda Collins, "Hello and Goodbye," L.A. Law, NBC, 1993.

Agnes Cantwell, "Large Mouth Bass," NYPD Blue, ABC, 1995.

Dr. Margo Hearst, "Facing the Fire," VR.5 (also known as Avenging Angel, Virtual Reality, VR, and VR5), Fox, 1995.

Loretta, "Romancing the Crone," Cybill, CBS, 1996.

"The Seed Jar," Chicken Soup for the Soul, PAX TV, 1999.

Delores Dalkowski, "Past Perfect," The Fugitive, CBS, 2001.

Dr. Wharton, "Repression," Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (also known as Law & Order: SVU and Special Victims Unit), NBC, 2001.

Herself, Intimate Portrait: Brooke Shields, Lifetime, 2001.

Helen Apple, "Homecoming," Ally McBeal, Fox, 2002.

Mrs. Burke, "Insurrection," ER (also known as Emergency Room), NBC, 2002.

Mrs. Finch, "Harmony," Night Visions, Fox, 2002.

Rose Granville, "Tragedy," Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (also known as Law & Order: SVU and Special Victims Unit), NBC, 2003.

Dottie, "Factory Girls," Cold Case, CBS, 2004.

Frances, "Most Likely," Crossing Jordan, NBC, 2004.

Georgia Adams, "Poison," House (also known as House, M.D.), Fox, 2005.

Phyllis Van De Kamp, "Next," Desperate Housewives, ABC, 2005.

Phyllis Van De Kamp, "You Could Drive a Person Crazy," Desperate Housewives, ABC, 2005.

Phyllis Van De Kamp, "You'll Never Get Away from Me," Desperate Housewives, ABC, 2005.

Guest, The View, ABC, 2005.

Appeared as Mrs. Germaine in One Life to Live, ABC; appeared as Mrs. Callaway in "Matters of Gravity" and "My Left Kidney," both unaired episodes of Significant Others, Fox.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Mark Dolphin, CBS, c. 1965.

Phyllis Lenahan, Medical Story, CBS, 1975.

Rinda Larson, To Save a Child (also known as The Craft), ABC, 1991.

Edie Wren Cox, Angel Falls, CBS, 1993.

Trish, Loomis, CBS, 2001.

Stage Appearances:

Alison, Look Back in Anger, Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena, CA, 1958.

Katherine, Journey to the Day, Theatre de Lys (now Lucille Lortel Theatre), New York City, 1963.

Irina, Three Sisters, Actors Studio, Morosco Theatre, New York City, 1964.

Lula, Dutchman, Warner Playhouse, Los Angeles, 1965.

Constance, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Lincoln Center Theater, Ethel Barrymore Theater, New York City, 1966.

Jenny Zubitsky, "Better Luck Next Time," and Helen Windsor, "A Walk in Dark Places," Rooms, Cherry Lane Theatre, New York City, 1966.

Jean, And People All Around, Bristol Old Vic Theatre, Bristol, England, 1967.

Janet, The Watering Place, Music Box Theatre, New York City, 1969.

Sara Melody, A Touch of the Poet, Gardner Centre Theatre, Brighton, England, 1970.

Title role, Antigone, Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham, England, 1971.

Economic Necessity, Haymarket Theatre, Leicester, England, 1973.

Carla, Kennedy's Children, John Golden Theatre, New York City, 1975–76.

Blanche DuBois, A Streetcar Named Desire, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, NJ, 1976, also appeared in other productions of the play.

Betty, Landscape of the Body, Drake Theatre, Chicago, IL, then New York Shakespeare Festival, Public Theatre, Estelle R. Newman Theatre, New York City, 1977.

Lieutenant Lillian Holiday, Happy End, Chelsea Theatre Center, Theatre Four, New York City, 1977.

Dorothea, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, Dock Street Theatre, Charleston, SC, 1978, then Hudson Guild Theatre, New York City, 1979.

Ruth, Losing Time, Manhattan Theatre Club, Stage 73, New York City, 1979.

Lil, I Won't Dance, Studio Arena Theatre, Buffalo, NY, 1980.

Lola, Come Back, Little Sheba, Roundabout Theatre Stage I, New York City, 1984.

Colette, "Colette in Love," Women Heroes: In Praise of Exceptional Women, Series B, off-Broadway production, 1986.

The Depot, 1987.

The Cherry Orchard, Arena Stage, Washington, DC, 1988.

Amanda Wingfield, The Glass Menagerie, McCarter Theatre, 1990–91.

Gillian, The Marriage Play, McCarter Theatre, 1991–92.

Lily Dale Kidder, The Young Man from Atlanta, Longacre Theatre, New York City, 1997.

Madame Arcati, Blithe Spirit, Pasadena Playhouse, 2000.

The Autumn Garden, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, 2001.

J. S., Necessary Targets, Hartford Stage, Hartford, CT, beginning 2001, then Variety Arts Theatre, New York City, 2002.

Esther, Cycling past the Matterhorn, Harold Clurman Theatre, New York City, 2005.

Appeared in The Vagina Monologues, Westside Theatre (Downstairs), New York City; also appeared in The Importance of Being Earnest.

Radio Appearances:

Appeared in radio productions.



Ron Milner and Steve Albrezzi, Ruby McCollum, L.A. Theatre Works, 1999.



Far from Home (short film), American Film Institute, 1994.



Back Stage, April 11, 1997, p. 17.

Celebrity Sleuth, Volume 4, issue 5, 1991, pp. 52-53; Volume 8, issue 6, 1995, pp. 92-93.

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Knight, Shirley 1936(?)–

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