Shirley Knight, Oscar-nominated actress, dies at 83

Shirley Knight, who was nominated for two Oscars early in her career and went on to play an astonishing variety of roles in movies, TV and the stage, has died. She was 83.

She died Wednesday at her daughter’s home in San Marcos, Texas, according to her daughter Kaitlin Hopkins.

Shirley Knight’s work in ‘The Dark at the Top of the Stairs’ and ‘Sweet Bird’ of Youth earned her two Oscar nominations.

Born in Kansas, Knight played an astonishing variety of roles in movies, TV and the stage as her career carried her to Hollywood, then to New York theatre and London, and back to Hollywood.

She was nominated for two Tonys, winning one. In recent years, she had a recurring role as Phyllis Van de Kamp (the mother-in-law of Marcia Cross’ character) in the long-running ABC show Desperate Housewives, gaining one of her many Emmy nominations.

Knight’s first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress came in just her second screen role, as an Oklahoman in love with a Jewish man in the 1960 film version of William Inge’s play ‘The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs’.

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