Dudley Knight

Dudley Knight (July 1, 1939 – June 27, 2013) was an American voice, speech, and dialect expert, as well as a stage and television actor. He was best known for his long career as a speech and dialect teacher and voice director for professional theatre.[1] He conducted workshops and lectures on voice and speech for actors and voice teachers worldwide.[1]

Dudley Knight
Born(1939-07-01)July 1, 1939
DiedJune 27, 2013(2013-06-27) (aged 73)
Occupation(s)Actor, speech expert
Years active1961–2013
SpouseMarta Whistler

Early life and careerEdit

Knight was born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota. He became interested in Shakespeare at age 9, during a class outing to see Laurence Olivier's film version of The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fifth 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 Theater.[2] From the mid to late 1970s, Knight hosted a weekly radio series, "The Graveyard Shift", on KPFK, Los Angeles, where he read famous horror stories.[3][4]

He was a Master teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, which is based on the teachings of Catherine Fitzmaurice.[5] 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.[6] His 2012 book, Speaking With Skill, is considered a major work in its field.

Acting workEdit

As an actor, he played major roles at American Conservatory Theater, South Coast Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, and the Utah and Colorado Shakespeare Festivals, among others.[2] 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 deathEdit

He was married to noted American painter and sculptor Marta Whistler. Dudley Knight died of a heart attack at his home in Newport Beach, California.


Year Title Role Notes
1972 One Is a Lonely Number King Lear
1972 The Candidate Magazine Editor
1974 Watched! U.S. Attorney
1980 First Family Secretary of Defense Springfield
1981 First Monday in October Assistant manager
1994 Pentathlon Schiller (final film role)


  1. ^ a b http://drama.arts.uci.edu/workshops/dudley.htm Archived December 10, 2012, at archive.today
  2. ^ a b Find a Teacher or Location Archived July 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "The Graveyard Shift with Dudley Knight – SFFaudio".
  4. ^ "Other Titles in this Series | Pacifica Radio Archives".
  5. ^ Knight, Dudley Archived October 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Knight-Thompson Speechwork". ktspeechwork.org.