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'Sweet Bird of Youth' Star Shirley Knight — What We Remember the Beloved Late Actress For

Rebelander Basilan
Jun 13, 2020
11:30 P.M.
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Shirley Knight was an actress most popular during the 1960s. She was nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

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Knight was born Shirley Enola Knight on July 5, 1936, in Goessel, Kansas, USA, according to IMDB. Her parents are Virginia and Noel Johnson Knight, an oil company executive.

As reported by Legacy, the legendary actress passed away from natural causes on April 22, 2020. She was 83 years old.

Shirley Knight at DGA Theater on August 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Shirley Knight at DGA Theater on August 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images

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Knight signed a contract with Warner Brothers. She appeared in several television series, including "77 Sunset Strip."

Her first major role in a film came when she was picked to star on "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" (1960.) She earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her exemplary performance in the drama movie.

Knight got nomination again in the same category for the movie "Sweet Bird of Youth," which is based on a Tennessee Williams play.

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She also found success as a stage actress. Later in her career, Knight starred on "Desperate Housewives" and on the "Paul Blart" films.

As reported by The New York Times, the earliest showbiz ambition of Knight was to become a singer. While studying at Wichita State University, she made a decision that some acting skills may help advance that goal.

Knight impressed a scout for the Kurt Frings Agency, and she was immediately hired as a contract player at Warner Brothers.

Shirley Knight at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on July 9, 2013 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

Shirley Knight at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on July 9, 2013 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

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So she got herself a six-week course at the Pasadena Playhouse in California. There she found an ability to cry on cue.

Knight impressed a scout for the Kurt Frings Agency, and she was immediately hired as a contract player at Warner Brothers.

Shirley Knight and Kaitlin Hopkins on March 21, 2001 at Union Square Theatre in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

Shirley Knight and Kaitlin Hopkins on March 21, 2001 at Union Square Theatre in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

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According to Legacy, Knight once discussed her first meeting with Kurt Frings in an interview. She said, "I was taken in to meet him, and I was this skinny little thing with glasses."

"He took one look at me and said to the agent who brought me in, 'Why do we want her?'" she added. "And the agent said, 'Well, she's really good.' This is with me in the room. And he said, 'Well, OK."

Shirley Knight and Sophie C. Hopkins at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California, United States, undated image. | Photo: Getty Images

Shirley Knight and Sophie C. Hopkins at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California, United States, undated image. | Photo: Getty Images

Knight was first married to actor and producer Gene Persson. They had one daughter named Kaitlin Hopkins, who is an award-winning actress, director, and educator, according to Kaitlin's official website.

Knight's second marriage was to British playwright John Hopkins. They had one child, daughter Sophie C. Hopkins, according to IMDb.

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