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Wayne Eliot Knight[1] (born August 7, 1955)[2] is an American actor and a voice actor for Regular Show who is well known for portraying Newman on Seinfeld and as Dennis Nedry in the film Jurassic Park.[2][3]

Early life

Wayne Eliot Knight was born on August 7, 1955 in New York, New York, to his parents William "Bill" Edward, a textile factory supervisor, and Grace (née Monti) Knight (1927-2010); both his parents also worked in the garment industry.[2][4][5][6] He has Italian ethnicity from his mother's side.[7] He and his parents moved to Cartersville, Georgia when he was still an infant, and this was where he would grow up.[4] He became active in the drama club in high school, and was selected for state-wide honors in the Georgia Governor's Honors Program, where academically advanced high school students spend six weeks studying at colleges.[2] Teachers of Knight's group included future President of the United States Jimmy Carter, Vietnam war architect Dean Rusk and future NAACP President Julian Bond.[2] He also was a lineman on his high school's football team.[8]

He then attended college at the University of Georgia; he eventually dropped out to join The Barter Theatre Company in Virginia, where he honed his acting skills.[2][9][10] Knight later returned to the University of Georgia and finally graduated in 2008.[11]


He then made his acting debut on Broadway, appearing in the award-winning play Gemini.[9] He made his film debut in an uncredited role in The Wanderers in 1979.[9] He was also on the British sketch comedy series Assaulted Nuts.[2] When he wasn't acting, he supported himself by working as a fruitcake salesman and a private investigator for five years.[2][12]


He won the role of Newman after it was decided for him to appear in person, as only his voice was heard beforehand, which was supplied by Seinfeld co-creator Larry David. When Knight won the role, he re-dubbed David's rendition of the character to avoid confusion.[2] For his work on Seinfeld, he was nominated for two Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 1997 and 1998.[10]

He then portrayed another well known role of his, Dennis Nedry in the Steven Spielberg-produced Jurassic Park, and also played Officer Don on the sitcom Third Rock from the Sun, as well as appearing on Against the Grain and The Second Half.[2][3][10] More recently, he portrayed Rick in the sitcom Hot in Cleveland from 2010 to 2011.[9] He also appeared in the film Space Jam as Stan Podolak.[7]


Knight has also had a successful voiceover career, providing the voices of Demetrius the Pot Maker in the Disney film Hercules, Igor in Toonsylvania, Tantor in Tarzan, Al McWhiggin in Toy Story 2, Emperor Zurg in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Jack O' Lantern in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Dojo in Xiaolin Showdown, Mr. Blik in Catscratch and Max in The Penguins of Madagascar.[3]

Voice credits

This section may be incomplete

Season 4

Season 5

Personal life

Knight is a former smoker and alcoholic.[8] Knight has been married twice. He married his first wife, Paula Sutor, a makeup artist and hair stylist, on May 26, 1996; they met on the set of The Second Half, which Knight acted on and where Sutor served as a makeup artist.[13] They eventually divorced in 2003.[2][5] He is now married to his new wife.[11] He held one of his weddings in Seinfeld co-star Michael Richards' house.[14] His father died in 1992 after suffering a stroke at the dinner table.[2] His mother died 18 years later in 2010.[6] Knight has also lost a significant amount of weight after Seinfeld ended, losing 110 pounds after his doctors warned the health risks morbid obesity can cause.[2]

External links


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