Wayne Knight is an American actor and comedian, best known for portraying the character of Newman in the TV series ‘Seinfeld’. He has starred in number of movies and TV series over the years. He has been part of some famous movies like ‘Dirty Dancing’, ‘Basic Instinct’, ‘Space Jam’ and ‘Cheaper by Dozen’. Knight has also appeared in TV series like ‘Seinfeld’, ‘That 70s Show’, ‘CSI: NY’, ‘Narcos’ and ‘Young and Restless’. Along with acting, Knight has provided his voice in some well-known animated movies like ‘Tarzan,’ ‘Toy Story 2’, ‘Kung Fu Panda’, ‘Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King’ and many more. Furthermore, he has also done voice work for animated cartoons like ‘Toonsylvania’, ‘Buzz Lightyear of Star Command’ and few others. In 2010, he was seen in hit drama series ‘Bones’ and comedy series ‘Hot in Cleveland’. In 2017, he featured in the famous Netflix drama ‘Narcos’ where he played the role of Alan Starkman.
Childhood & Early Life
Wayne Knight was born on August 7, 1955 in New York City, to William Edward Knight and Grace Kninght. His father was a textile factory supervisor.
When his father started working in the textile industry, he decided to move the family to Cartersville, Georgia. Wayne Knight attended local schools and was a lineman on his high school’s football team.
He went to University of Georgia but could not complete his degree till 2008. Knight left the college in between to pursue his acting career. He started doing internship at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia.
After finishing the internship, he started working in the company and gained standing as Equity actor. Eventually, he moved to New York City and landed himself a role on a Broadway.
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Wayne Knight began his acting career by acting in number of well-known films in the later 1980s and early 1990s. He was seen in ‘Dirty Dancing’ (1987), ‘Born on the Fourth of July’ (1989), ‘JFK’ (1991), and ‘Basic Instinct’ (1992).
He was also seen in ‘Jurassic Park’ and was the first actor cast in the movie after director Steven Spielberg noticed him in the ‘Basic Instinct’. He played the role of a chief programmer for the park and also a secret spy. He has also appeared in some other movies like ‘Dead Again’, ‘To Die For’ and ‘Space Jam’.
In the 1990s, he was seen in major supporting roles on two TV series. His performance of mailman Newman in TV series ‘Seinfeld’ is considered to be his best performance till date.
He appeared in the the TV series ‘Against the Grain’ along with Ben Affleck. Along with that, he was seen as a regular in two sketch comedy series ‘The Edge’ and ‘Assaulted Nuts’. He was also seen on Broadway in plays like ‘Gemini’, ‘Mastergate’, ‘Art’, and ‘Sweet Charity’.
Along with acting, he has provided his voice for different animations. Some of them include black cat Mister Blik on Nickelodeon cartoon ‘Catscratch’, Igor on ‘Toonsylvania’, the dragon Dojo Kanojo Cho in animated series ‘Xiaolin Showdown’, Evil Emperor Zurg on ‘Buzz Lightyear of Star Command’, Toy manager of Al’s Toy Barn in ‘Toy Story 2’, and many others.
Wayne Knight made an appearance in the pilot episode of U.S. version of ‘Thank God You’re Here’. He made a second appearance on the same show in the last episode of first season. He won the blue door award for ‘Thank God You’re Here’.
He was also seen in ‘Punisher: War Zone’ where he played the Punisher’s techno sidekick Microchip. He has guest starred in ‘The Penguins of Madagascar’ as Max the Cat in episodes of ‘Launchtime’ and ‘Cat’s Cradle’.
In 2009, he made an appearance in the show ‘Seinfeld’ where he reprised his character of Newman in the seventh season. He has also made a guest appearance in ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’.
In 2010, he was seen in Fox TV’s hit drama series ‘Bones’. He was also seen in the first season of the comedy series ‘Hot in Cleveland’, and on ‘The Whole Truth’.
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In 2011, he played the character of an internet-fixated guy in the sitcom ‘The Exes’. Also, he was seen in the BBC/Starz series ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day’ as Brian Friedkin.
He acted as Santa in ‘Elf: The Musical’ in 2012. In the same year, he was seen in the romantic comedy ‘She Wants Me’ which also starred Josh Gad, Kristen Ruhlin, and Hillary Duff. The film was produced by Charlie Sheen, and directed by Rob Margolies.
In 2014, he appeared in a Super Bowl commercial with his ‘Seinfeld’ co-actors Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander.
Wayne Knight has appeared in number of movies and TV series. But his role in the famous TV series ‘Seinfeld’ is best remembered till now. In ‘Seinfeld’ he played the role of Newman and appeared in 48 episodes. He was nominated for Q Award for the series.
’Jurassic Park’ was yet another memorable movie of Knight. He played the role of Dennis Nedry and was also nominated for Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Personal Life & Legacy
Wayne Knight was married to a make-up artist Paula Sutor. The couple got married on May 26, 1996. Their wedding ceremony was held in fellow ‘Seinfeld’ cast member Michael Richard’s house. The couple got divorced in 2003.
He got married again on October 15, 2006, to his second wife, Clare de Chenu. The couple has a son.
He has always been a Democrat and supported the-then President Barack Obama. He also attended the 2012 Democratic National Convention to support President Obama’s re-election.
Wayne Knight’s theatre professor once said that he would never become an actor.
In his early days, he has worked as a private detective.
He is a nature lover and wishes to go skydiving.
He is a big fan of Jennifer Aniston.