Academy Award-nominated actress Shirley Knight, who won a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award and three Emmy Awards during her more than 60 years in acting, died from natural causes April 22 at the home of her daughter, Kaitlin Hopkins, in San Marcos.


Although she maintained a residence in Los Angeles, Knight was a warm and engaging presence on the Texas State University campus where Hopkins has built the school’s musical theater training program into a nationally ranked power.


"Dear Mom," Hopkins posted on Facebook on April 22. "Early this morning, you passed away, and your sweet soul left us for a better place. I was at your side and you went peacefully. To me, you were 'just mom,’ to some you were ’Miss Knight,’ ’Miss Shirley,’ ’Mama Shirley’ (to my students), ’Shirl the Girl’ (to your friends), and ’Shirley Knight’ to your fans."


Born on July 5, 1936, in Kansas, Knight studied at the acclaimed Pasadena Playhouse Theatre School in California and was a member of the influential Actors Studio. She began her acting career under contract at Warner Brothers Studios in 1955 and spent her early years doing classic television series like "Rawhide," "Playhouse 90" and "77 Sunset Strip."


Knight never stopped working, appearing in more than 40 different TV shows, more than 75 films, and at least 30 major theater productions.


Her breakout film roles in "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" and "Sweet Bird of Youth" won her Oscar nominations. Yet she was equally adept at theater and television as well as film.


Knight received numerous acting awards throughout her career, including two Academy Award nominations, two Tony Award nominations (one win), two Drama Desk Award nominations, four Golden Globes Award nominations (one win), and eight Emmy Award nominations (three wins).


Knight was preceded in death by her husband, award-winning writer John R. Hopkins, in 1998. She is survived by her stepdaughter, Justine Hopkins, and her two daughters, Sophie Jacks and Kaitlin Hopkins.


A memorial service for Shirley Knight Hopkins will be held in early 2021 in Los Angeles. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Shirley Knight Memorial Fund at Texas State University: donate.txstate.edu/shirleyknight.