Shirley Knight

Shirley Knight

Highest Rated: 88% If These Walls Could Talk (1996)

Lowest Rated: Not Available

Birthday: Jul 5, 1936

Birthplace: Goessel, Kansas, USA

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). While she found almost immediate success in films, Knight has a stated preference for stage work. Spurning an offer to play Ophelia to Richard Burton's "Hamlet," she opted to co-star with Geraldine Page and Kim Stanley in an Actors Studio production of Chekhov's "Three Sisters" (1964). She acquired a Tony as Featured Actress in a Play for her turn as a floozy in "Kennedy's Children" (1975) and has appeared in several classics including twice playing Blanche in "A Streetcar Named Desire," Lola in "Come Back, Little Sheba" and Amanda Wingfield in "The Glass Menagerie." More recently, Knight returned to Broadway and netted a Tony nomination for her turn as a woman who refuses to accept that her son committed suicide in Horton Foote's Pulitzer-winning "The Young Man From Atlanta" in 1997. The small screen has also provided the actress with challenging roles. She made her first appearance in the medium in a live broadcast in 1959 and amassed numerous guest credits in the 60s and 70s. Knight co-starred opposite Jason Robards in a "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation of "The Country Girl" (NBC, 1974) and Alan Arkin in the above average CBS movie "The Defection of Simas Kudirka" (1978). She offered a strong turn and earned her first Emmy nomination as a concentration camp inmate in the acclaimed "Playing for Time" (CBS, 1980) before picking up the award for a guest appearance as the mother of Mel Harris' Hope in a 1987 episode of ABC's "thirtysomething." Knight had her first regular series role in the short-lived 1993 CBS drama "Angel Falls." At the 1995 Emmy Awards, she picked up two statuettes, one for her guest appearance as the mother of a murder victim in an episode of "NYPD Blue" and the second as day care center owner Peggy Buckley who was accused of and tried for child molestation in the fact-based HBO drama "Indictment: The McMartin Trial." Knight has continued to be a powerful presence in the medium, offering effective supporting turns in such made-for-television fare as "Stolen Memories: Secrets From the Rose Garden" (Family Channel, 1996), "Mary & Tim" (CBS, 1996) and "The Wedding" (ABC, 1998). She returned to regular series work cast as the mother of the titular "Maggie Winters" in the short-lived 1998 CBS sitcom starring Faith Ford. The actress's schedule remained packed with continual roles in feature films--including "Angel Eyes" (2001), "The Salton Sea" (2002) and "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" (2002). Knight became a regular fixture on the small screen with guest appearances on such series as "Ally McBeal," "ER," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Crossing Jordan," and "Cold Case" and "House," and in 2005 she began a recurring stint on "Desperate Housewives" as Phyllis Van De Kamp, the meddling mother-in-law of tightly wound Bree (Marcia Cross). Shirley Knight died on April 22, 2020 in San Marcos, TX at the age of 83.

Highest rated movies

If These Walls Could Talk
Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion
Petulia
As Good as It Gets Juggernaut
The Rain People
Redwood Highway
A House on a Hill

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet 67% The Missing Girl Mrs. Colvins (Character) - 2015
6% 33% Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Mom (Character) $71.0M 2015
No Score Yet 27% Mercy Mercy (Character) - 2014
80% 52% Redwood Highway Marie Vaughn (Character) $1.3M 2013
No Score Yet 24% Elevator Jane Redding (Character) - 2011
70% 51% Our Idiot Brother Ilene (Character) $24.8M 2011
No Score Yet 56% The Melancholy Fantastic Mor (Character) - 2011
No Score Yet 76% Listen to Your Heart Grandma Sam (Character) - 2010
34% 43% Paul Blart: Mall Cop Mom (Character) $146.3M 2009
No Score Yet 50% The Other Side of the Tracks Helen (Character) - 2008
No Score Yet No Score Yet Thanks to Gravity Lea (Character) - 2006
20% 33% Open Window Dr. Ann Monohan (Character) - 2006
15% 85% Grandma's Boy Bea (Character) $6.1M 2006
No Score Yet 42% Sexual Life Joanna (Character) - 2004
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mrs. Ashboro's Cat Mrs. Ashboro (Character) - 2003
86% 90% Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion Tibetan Voiceovers (Character) $577.8K 2003
75% No Score Yet A House on a Hill Mercedes Mayfield (Character) $678 2003
24% 36% P.S. Your Cat Is Dead! Aunt Claire (Character) $24.8K 2002
44% 65% Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Necie (Character) $69.6M 2002
63% 82% The Salton Sea Nancy Plummer (Character) $676.7K 2002
No Score Yet No Score Yet Shadow Realm Mrs. Finch (Character) - 2002
No Score Yet 60% My Louisiana Sky Jewel Ramsey (Character) - 2001
32% 45% Angel Eyes Elanora Davis (Character) $24.0M 2001
No Score Yet No Score Yet 75 Degrees in July Jo Beth Anderson (Character) - 2000
No Score Yet 18% A Marriage of Convenience Harriet Winslow (Character) - 1998
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Father for Brittany Donna Minkowitz (Character) - 1998
25% 70% Little Boy Blue Doris Knight (Character) $3.5K 1997
85% 86% As Good as It Gets Beverly Connelly (Character) $147.6M 1997
No Score Yet No Score Yet Convictions Margaret (Character) - 1997
21% 34% Diabolique Edie Danziger (Character) $16.5M 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mary & Tim Esther Melville (Character) - 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Uninvited Delia (Character) - 1996
88% 74% If These Walls Could Talk Mary Donnelly (Character) - 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dying to Be Perfect: The Ellen Hart Pena Story Joan Hart (Character) - 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet Somebody Is Waiting Irma Cill (Character) - 1996
No Score Yet 92% A Promise to Carolyn Jolene Maggart (Character) - 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet Stolen Memories: Secrets From the Rose Garden Sally Ann (Character) - 1996
30% 52% Stuart Saves His Family Mom (Character) $718.5K 1995
No Score Yet 79% Indictment: The McMartin Trial Peggy Buckey (Character) - 1995
No Score Yet 74% A Good Day to Die Aunt Bertha (Character) - 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dad, the Angel & Me Betty (Character) - 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet Fudge-A-Mania Unknown (Character) - 1995
22% 30% Color of Night Edith Niedelmeyer (Character) $19.7M 1994
No Score Yet No Score Yet Baby Brokers Sylvia (Character) - 1994
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Secret Life of Houses Aunt Fergie (Character) - 1994
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Mother's Revenge Bess Warden (Character) - 1993
No Score Yet No Score Yet Bump in the Night Katie (Character) - 1991
No Score Yet No Score Yet To Save a Child Rinda Larson (Character) - 1991
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Sweet Scent of Death Ann Fairfax Denver (Character) - 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet Urge to Kill Edna Reinecker (Character) - 1984
No Score Yet 32% The Sender Jerolyn (Character) - 1982
26% 52% Endless Love Ann Butterfield (Character) - 1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet Barbarian Goddess Barbara Shelton (Character) - 1981
No Score Yet 72% Playing for Time Frau Lagerfuhrerin Maria Mandel (Character) - 1980
No Score Yet 30% Une Fille pour les Cannibales Barbara Shelton (Character) - 1979
0% 21% Beyond the Poseidon Adventure Hannah Meredith (Character) - 1979
No Score Yet No Score Yet Champions: A Love Story Barbara Harlich (Character) - 1979
No Score Yet 55% 21 Hours at Munich Anneliese Graes (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Return to Earth Joan Aldrin (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Medical Story Phyllis Lenahan (Character) - 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet Friendly Persuasion Eliza Birdwell (Character) - 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet Please Stand by for Murder Unknown (Character) - 1975
83% 56% Juggernaut Barbara Banister (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet Secrets Beatrice (Character) - 1971
83% 62% The Rain People Natalie Ravenna (Character) - 1969
86% 80% Petulia Polo (Character) - 1968
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Counterfeit Killer Angie Peterson (Character) - 1968
No Score Yet No Score Yet Shadow Over Elveron Joanne Tregaskis (Character) - 1968
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Outsider Peggy Leydon (Character) - 1967
67% 57% The Group Polly (Character) - 1966
No Score Yet 75% Dutchman Lula (Character) - 1966
No Score Yet 29% Flight From Ashiya Caroline Gordon/Stevenson (Character) - 1964
No Score Yet 22% House of Women Erica Hayden (Character) - 1962
74% 72% Sweet Bird of Youth Heavenly Finley (Character) - 1962
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Couch Terry Ames (Character) - 1962
No Score Yet 83% The Dark at the Top of the Stairs Reenie Flood (Character) - 1960
No Score Yet No Score Yet Five Gates to Hell Sister Maria (Character) - 1959

TV

Credit
21% 43% The Mob Doctor Unknown (Guest Star) 2012
No Score Yet 79% Hot in Cleveland Loretta (Guest Star) 2010
72% 49% Drop Dead Diva Millie Carlson (Guest Star) 2009
72% 87% Desperate Housewives Phyllis Van De Kamp (Guest Star) 2005 2007
84% 80% The Unit Unknown (Guest Star) 2007
90% 96% House Georgia Adams (Guest Star) 2005
No Score Yet 84% Cold Case Unknown (Guest Star) 2004
No Score Yet 100% Crossing Jordan Unknown (Guest Star) 2004
78% 89% Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Dr. Wharton (Guest Star) 2001 2003
No Score Yet 84% ER Mrs. Burke (Guest Star) 2002
61% 75% Ally McBeal Unknown (Guest Star) 2002
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Fugitive Unknown (Guest Star) 2001
40% No Score Yet Maggie Winters Estelle Winters (Character) 1998-1999
25% No Score Yet Significant Others Unknown (Guest Star) 1998
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Wedding Gram (Character) 1998
No Score Yet No Score Yet Cybill Unknown (Guest Star) 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet Children of the Dust Unknown (Character) 1995
83% 83% NYPD Blue Agnes Cantwell (Guest Star) 1995
71% No Score Yet Angel Falls Edie Wren Cox (Character) 1993
No Score Yet 96% Law & Order Unknown (Guest Star) 1991
No Score Yet No Score Yet Matlock Unknown (Guest Star) 1990
83% No Score Yet thirtysomething Ruth Murdoch (Guest Star) 1987 1990
No Score Yet 66% Murder, She Wrote Unknown (Guest Star) 1989-1990
No Score Yet 100% The Equalizer Unknown (Guest Star) 1989
No Score Yet No Score Yet Spenser: For Hire Unknown (Character) 1985 1987
No Score Yet No Score Yet Tales of the Unexpected Elizabeth Bourdon (Character) 1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet Barnaby Jones Unknown (Guest Star) 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Streets of San Francisco Mary Rae Dortmunder (Guest Star) 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Alias Smith and Jones Unknown (Guest Star) 1972
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Fugitive Policewoman Jane Washburn (Guest Star) 1964-1966
92% 100% The Outer Limits Unknown (Character) 1963
No Score Yet No Score Yet Lawman Unknown (Guest Star) 1961
No Score Yet No Score Yet Bronco Unknown (Guest Star) 1959 1961
No Score Yet No Score Yet Surfside 6 Unknown (Guest Star) 1960-1961
No Score Yet No Score Yet 77 Sunset Strip Mari Ellen (Guest Star) 1960
No Score Yet No Score Yet Hawaiian Eye Unknown (Guest Star) 1960
No Score Yet No Score Yet Johnny Staccato Unknown (Guest Star) 1959
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Restless Gun Heide Ritter (Guest Star) 1959