‘Sweet Bird of Youth’ Actress Shirley Knight Dies @ 83

Shirley Knight, nominated for the Oscar twice in the '60s and a familiar face ever since on TV, in movies, and, in smaller doses, on the stage, died Wednesday in San Marcos, Texas, her daughter Kaitlin Hopkins reported on Facebook. She was 83.

Part of a tableau in 1968's Petulia (Image via Warner Bros.)

In her post, framed as a letter to her late mother, Hopkins wrote, "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."

Seducing Al Freeman Jr. (1934-2012) in Dutchman (1967) (Image via movie still)

"It is hard to believe it has been 26 days since I got in the car and drove to meet Sophie and bring you back to Texas," she went on. "I think I'm still in shock and trying to process everything that has happened, it seems like a lifetime ago… it seems like yesterday. 'It's too fast'… 'slow it down' I kept thinking but I knew I couldn’t. I had the good sense over Easter weekend when you were still doing well use the opportunity to Facetime with your closest friends and family. You had a chance to visit with the people you needed to see, the people who loved you so much, and perhaps that was the closure you needed, I don't know, I just know after that you were ready to let go, and we brought you home."

A cross look at Marcia Cross on Desperate Housewives (Image via ABC)

Variety reports that Knight's death was due to natural causes, though Hopkins' posts refers to a recent surgery and hospice care.

"I will welcome that feeling and wish you a goodnight mama, sweet dreams, hug Dad for us. Rest in peace," she concluded.

Shirley Knight was born on July 5, 1936, in Goessel, Kansas, where she studied opera and devoted time to writing as a youth.

By college, having considered journalism as a career, Knight was drawn to acting "quite by accident," she said in a 1984 interview. "Someone in the drama department asked me to be a part of Romeo and Juliet, deliver the prologue, and I did it. I thought it was very easy and I thought, 'Oh, I think I'll try this!' It was really that absurd."

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