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Sharman Macdonald (born 8 February 1951) is a Scottish playwright, screenwriter, and former actress. She is the mother of Academy Award-nominee Keira Knightley. Macdonald was born in Glasgow, and educated at the University of Edinburgh, from which she graduated in 1972. She credits fellow Scot Ian Charleson with supporting and encouraging her to follow her theatrical aspirations, and she later contributed a chapter to the 1990 book, For Ian Charleson: A Tribute. Macdonald moved to London after university, and worked as an actress with the 7:84 Theatre Company and at the Royal Court Theatre. Although her acting career included 7 years of television work, she eventually left it, due in large part to stage fright. While working as an actress, Macdonald wrote her first play, When I Was a Girl, I Used to Scream and Shout; it was first performed at the Bush Theatre in 1984, and won her the Evening Standard Award for most promising playwright. Some of the themes in Scream and Shout were inspired by games that her son, Caleb, played with his friends. Of this, Macdonald has said that "it's the result of a bet, this writing life. I was desperate for a second child.