July 1, 1939|
Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.
|Died||June 27, 2013
Newport Beach, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Occupation||Actor, speech expert|
Dudley Knight (July 1, 1939 – June 27, 2013) was an American voice/speech/dialect expert and stage/TV actor with over forty-year experience as a speech and dialect teacher and voice director for professional theatre. He conducted workshops and lectures on voice and speech for actors and voice teachers worldwide.
Early life and career
Knight was born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota. He became interested in Shakespeare at age 9, during a class outing to see Sir Laurence Olivier's film version of The Cronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France (1944). He graduated from the Yale School of Drama. He was a co-founder of Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut.He retired from the University of California, Irvine, where he taught for twenty years. Knight coached voice, text, and dialects at many theatres, including the Utah Shakespearean Festival, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, and American Conservatory Theatre.
He was a Master teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®, which is based on the teachings of Catherine Fitzmaurice. He conducted workshops where he taught Knight-Thompson Speechwork, a skills-based approach to speech and accent training for actors that places emphasis on developing the speaker's detailed awareness of and engagement with the skills that make up language. His 2012 book, Speaking With Skill, is considered a major work in its field.
As an actor, he played major roles at American Conservatory Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, and the Utah and Colorado Shakespeare Festivals, among others. He is also known for roles in such films as the TV movie The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974), The Candidate (1972) and One Is a Lonely Number (1972), as well as appearances on numerous TV series such as M*A*S*H, Police Story, Eight is Enough, The Facts of Life, and Knots Landing.
Personal life and death
Married to the former Marta Whistler, Knight died of a heart attack at his home in Newport Beach, California.