Two-time Oscar nominee Shirley Knight passed away of natural causes on Wednesday in San Marcos, Texas.
Her daughter, actress Kaitlin Hopkins paid tribute to Knight lengthy Facebook post, ending it with, “In her honor, we have created the Shirley Knight Memorial Fund, linked below. This endowment will honor my mom’s legacy by providing young artists the opportunity to attend school and pursue their dreams. Rest In Peace, Shirley.”
The Kansas-born actress was nominated for best supporting actress for the movie “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs” in 1960, and another for “Sweet Bird of Youth” in 1962.
During her success in the 60s, she told Hedda Hopper in an interview how she struggled to keep up as she strive to hone her craft as an actress.
“So many actors, once they became famous, lose some beautiful inner thing, something they should try hard to keep,” she exclaimed, “They begin to think too highly of themselves and success.”
She moved to New York to study, and prefers to appear on Broadway in Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters with Geraldine Page and Kim Stanley in 1964.
Born Shirley Enola Knight on July 5, 1936, she became active in television from the 80s and was nominated for eight times from 1981 to 2006.
In the recent years, she plays as Phyllis Van de Kamp in the long-running ABC show Desparate Housewives – a role that gave her one of her Emmy nominations.
She won a Tony and three Emmys, and continued to work as she approached 80, as she reprised her role in “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” in 2015.
She moved to England with her second husband, and there she raised her daughters, Kaitlin and Sophie, and did needlework, but she said that “acting is what I do best.”
Her family moved back to the United States and returned to films such as “Endless Love”, “As Good as It Gets” and “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.”