Shirley Knight, a 1997 Tony nominee for “The Young Man From Atlanta,” won two Emmys last year. The first came the Saturday night before the telecast for her guest appearance on “NYPD Blue.”
“So I got to present an award the next night for the telecast,” she recalls. “While I was filming ‘The McMartin Trials’ for HBO, people like James Woods and producer Abby Mann said lovely things like, ‘You are the heart and soul of this piece. You are going to win an Emmy for this.’ I was very flattered, but didn’t really think about it. But when I won both it was kind of overwhelming.
“My first Emmy did impact my career,” Knight adds. “I was working almost exclusively in the theater. Ed Zwick called me to L.A. to play the part of Mel Harris’ mother in ‘thirtysomething.’ But when he saw me he panicked, and said, ‘Oh my God, you’re much too young.’ I had this frizzy, curly hair and did look about 35. I told the makeup artist to put some lines under my eyes and the hair dresser to put gray in my hair and make it look like a helmet.” It worked, and Knight won the Emmy.