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USA Insider Monk

What Else Has Monk Star Tony Shalhoub Been In?

Tony Shalhoub has played many more characters than just Mr. Monk. 

By James Grebey
Tony Shalhoub stands in front of a pink backdrop for photo during the 6th Canneseries International Festival

Adrian Monk, everybody’s favorite detective with obsessive-compulsive disorder, has one more mystery to solve. Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie, a Peacock original film that does not yet have a release date, will bring back most of the cast of the USA Network TV series, including Mr. Monk himself, Tony Shalhoub for one last ride.

The actor has played the character for a while, now. He starred in Monk from 2002 to 2009 and reprised the role in 2020 for a pandemic quarantine special, and now he’ll be back for the movie. But, Shalhoub has been much more than just Monk. Here’s a guide to his career. 

How Did Tony Shalhoub Start Acting?

Tony Shalhoub sits on a couch on the set of The Kelly Clarkson Show

Tony Shalhoub was born on October 9, 1953, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Both of his parents were Lebanese. His father, Joseph, emigrated from what was then still the Ottoman Empire as a child, and his mother, Helen, was Lebanese-American. Shalhoub was the second-youngest of ten siblings, and it was one of his older sisters who got him interested in acting when she volunteered him to be an extra in a high school play. 

RELATED: Tony Shalhoub Offers Monk Movie Details Ahead Of Peacock Revival

Having caught the drama bug, he went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay before finishing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern Maine. In 1980, he graduated with a master's degree from the Yale School of Drama. He got his start in theater, making his Broadway debut in 1985 in a ​​production of The Odd Couple. He found early success on the stage and was nominated for a Tony in 1992 for his role in Conversations with My Father. He met his wife, Brooke Adams, in the theater as well, they married that same year while they were co-starring in another play. 

It was a year earlier, though, in 1991, when Shalhoub’s screen acting career took off. 

What Major Roles Did Tony Shaloub Have on TV and in Movies?

Tony Shalhoub arrives on the red carpet of the 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

In 1991, Shalhoub had a supporting role in the Cohen Brothers’ black comedy/thriller Barton Fink. That same year, he also made his first appearance in the NBC sitcom Wings, which was about the folks who worked at and frequented a small airport in Nantucket. In Season 2 he had a guest role as a waiter, but was brought back as a series regular the next season, playing taxi driver Antonio Scarpacci.

Wings kept Shalhoub busy for most of the ‘90s when it came to TV, as his other small screen appearances were mostly one-episode guest roles in shows like The X-Files, but he was in several movies. Shalhoub starred in movies like Addams Family Values, Big Night, Men in Black, A Civil Action, and had a very memorable role in the science fiction comedy, Galaxy Quest.

Along with co-star Neil Patrick Harris, Shalhoub was the lead of the sitcom Stark Raving Mad, which ended its one-season run in 2000. In 2002, he was cast as Adrian Monk in Monk, where he starred in all 125 episodes of the beloved show until its conclusion in 2009. He won three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his work in the show. 

On the big screen, Shalhoub starred in films like Thirteen Ghosts and the three Spy Kids movies. He had voice acting roles, too, playing Luigi in Pixar's Cars films and voicing Master Splinter in two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles flicks. 

Perhaps Shalhoub’s biggest role since Monk has been The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, where he played the titular Mrs. Masiel’s father, Abe Weissman. Shalhoub won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

Throughout his career, Shalhoub continued to act on stage, too. In 2017, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Tewfiq Zakaria in The Band's Visit. It was his fourth time being nominated for a Tony. 

All episodes of Monk are streaming on Peacock where the film Mr. Monk's Last Case: A Monk Movie will drop exclusively. 

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