Shirley Knight Hopkins (born July 5, 1936) is an American stage, film, and television actress. She has been 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), eight times for Emmy Awards (winning three), and has also netted a Golden Globe and Volpi Cup for Best Actress for her role in the film Dutchman (1966).
Knight's feature films include The Group (1966), The Dutchman (1966), Petulia (1968), The Rain People (1969), As Good as It Gets (1997), and Elevator (2011), in which she plays one of several people trapped in a Wall Street elevator with a bomber.
Knight was cast in 1958 and 1959 as Mrs. Newcomb in twenty of the thirty-nine episodes of the NBC western television series, Buckskin, with Tom Nolan, Sally Brophy, and Mike Road. She became a Warner Brothers Television contract star who while on breaks filming movies appeared in such WB television series as Maverick, Bourbon Street Beat, Sugarfoot, Cheyenne, and The Roaring 20s.
A life member of The Actors Studio, Knight's stage credits include Three Sisters (1964), We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1966), Kennedy's Children (1975), which earned her the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, and A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur (1979). She was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play twice, for Landscape of the Body and The Young Man from Atlanta, for which she received another Tony nomination. She also appeared, with Alison Fraser, in Come Back, Come Back, Wherever You Are, (2009) an original play by playwright Arthur Laurents.
Her television credits include Target: The Corruptors!, The Eleventh Hour, The Outer Limits ("The Man Who Was Never Born"), The Reporter, The Fugitive, The Invaders, The Virginian, Murder, She Wrote, thirty something, Law & Order, L.A. Law, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,Maggie Winters, ER, House M.D., Crossing Jordan, Cold Case, and Hot in Cleveland, among others, in addition to television movies such as Indictment: The McMartin Trial, for which she won both the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie and theGolden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. Her guest performance in thirty something earned her a 1988 Emmy for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series. She won Emmy in 1995 for her guest performance in the NYPD Blue episode "Large Mouth Bass".
She appeared in the first segment of If These Walls Could Talk. She also had a recurring role on Desperate Housewives.