Knight's career spanned over six decades and in that time, she earned a Tony, three Emmys and two Best Supporting Actress Oscar nods for her role in The Dark at the Top of the Stairs and Sweet Bird of Youth. She also made a name for herself as one of Hollywood's most respected actresses when she starred alongside Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets.
The Kansas born star— who studied acting at the Pasadena Theatre school— continued to work as she approached 80, reprising her role as Mum in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 in 2015. She also guested on Hot in Cleveland in 2010 and The Mob Doctor in 2012.
Other film credits include Mandoki's Angel Eyes, The Salton Sea, Grandma's Boym, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Our Idiot Brother and Mercy, based on a story by Stephen King.
Before landing these roles, she played Phyllis Van de Kamp, the mother of Steven Culp’s Rex Van de Kamp in Desperate Housewives. She eventually scored an Emmy nomination for her impressive performance in the long-running ABC series.
Her career in television began in the 80s with the actress winning an Emmy in 1988 for playing Mel Harris' mother in Thirtysomething.
Knight went on to win two Emmy's in the same year for a supporting actress role in the TV drama Indictment: The McMartin Trial, and a second for a guest actress role as a murder victim in NYPD Blue.
She also guested on Playhouse 90, 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye and, decades later, on Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, L.A. Law, Ally McBeal, House and ER.
Away from the screens, Knight won a Tony award in 1976 for her performance in Robert Patrick’s play, Kennedy’s Children. In 1997, she was nominated for best actress in a play for Horton Foote’s Pulitzer Prize winner, The Young Man From Atlanta.