Shirley Knight Hopkins was an American actress who appeared in more than 50 features movies, television movies, TV series, and Broadway and off-Broadway productions in her career playing leading and character roles and won a Tony and three Emmys, died on Wednesday of natural causes in San Marcos, Texas she was 83. Shirley Knight continued to work as she approached 80, reprising her role as Mom in Paul Blart Mall cop 2 in 2015 after appearing in the 2009 original.
Shirley Knight nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Dark at the Top of The Stairs 1960 and Sweet Bird of Youth 1962. In the 1960s, she had leading roles in a number of Hollywood movies such as The Couch 1962, House of Women 1962, and She received the Volpi Cup for Best Actress for her role in the British film Dutchman 1966.
Knight studied acting at the Paseadena Theatre School and with Jeff Corey and Lee Strasberg at the actress Studio.
In 1976, Knight won a Tony Award for her performance in Kennedy’s Childer. In later years, she played supporting roles in many films, including Endless Love 1981. As Good as It Gets 1997. For her performances on TV, Knight was nominated 8 times for a Primetime Emmy Award-winning 3 and she has received a Golden Globe Award.
Despite her talent, she did not appear frequently on Broadway, making her debut in 1964 in a highly regarded revival of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters in which she played Irina. 2 Years later, she appeared in We have Always Lived in the castle which had a very brief run. Shirley Knight was married to actor Eugene Person from 1959 until their divorce in 1969 and to British playwright John Hopkins from 1969 until his death in 1998.
All 3 of the above actress Bainter, Wright, and Fitzerald would win the Oscar in the supporting category in their respective double-nominee years. It would be almost 40 years until another performer was double nominated, but since 1982, It’s happened times including Johansson.