Tony Shalhoub is an American television, stage and film actor, possibly best known for the roles in the TV shows "Wings" and "Monk."
Shalhoub was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he was raised. His father, Joe Shalhoub, emigrated from Lebanon to the United States as an orphan at the age of ten. He later married Shalhoub’s mother, Helen, a second-generation Lebanese-American, and founded a family company from the humble start of one grocery store in the center of Green Bay. Tony is the second youngest of ten children.
Tony Shalhoub’s brothers and sisters introduced him to the theater. When Tony was just six years old, one of his elder sisters volunteered her little brother to play an extra in a high school production of The King and I. Even though the young Tony was left standing on the wrong side of the curtain during the final dress rehearsal, he became addicted to the theater. Tony graduated from Green Bay East High School, with his senior peers finding him the best dressed and most likely to succeed. His career almost ended before it started when he broke his leg his senior year. He fell off the stage into the pit during rehearsal. His leg recovered quickly and he was able to perform in the school's final play of the year. He then graduated with a bachelor’s degree in drama from the University of Southern Maine in Portland, and earned a master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama in 1980.
Shortly thereafter, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he spent four seasons with the American Repertory Theatre before heading to New York City, where he found work waiting tables while honing his craft and auditioning. He made his Broadway debut in the 1985 Rita Moreno/Sally Struthers production of The Odd Couple and was nominated for a 1992 Tony Award for his featured role in Conversations with My Father. Shalhoub met his wife, actress Brooke Adams, when they co-starred on Broadway in The Heidi Chronicles. His Off-Broadway credits include Waiting for Godot, For Dear Life, Rameau's Nephew, Zero Positive, and two productions of "Shakespeare in the Park", Henry IV, Part 1 and Richard II.
Shalhoub was to return in December 2006 to Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre with (Everybody Loves Raymond star) Patricia Heaton for a run of The Scene by Theresa Rebeck. Rebeck’s black comedy takes a look at the NYC entertainment scene with Shalhoub starring as Charlie, a has-been actor who is married to Heaton's character Stella, a very successful producer of a morning television show.
By 1991, one of his first television roles was as the Italian cabdriver Antonio Scarpacci in the long-running sitcom Wings, which also starred Tim Daly, Steven Weber, Crystal Bernard, Thomas Haden Church, and Rebecca Schull. Shalhoub was pleasantly surprised to land the role after having a recurring role in the second season. Shalhoub affected an Italian accent for the role. In the same time period, Shalhoub played physicist Dr. Chester Ray Banton in the X-Files second-season episode "Soft Light." In 1997, Shalhoub's days of driving in a taxicab came to an end when Wings was cancelled by NBC, and he found himself looking for other roles that would match that character's popularity.
His film roles after Wings include a fast-talking lawyer in The Man Who Wasn't There, a Cuban-American businessman in Primary Colors, a sleazy alien pawn shop owner in the Men in Black films, a sympathetic attorney in A Civil Action, a widowed father in Thir13en Ghosts, and a has-been television star in Galaxy Quest. One of his more unusual roles was in Big Night, where he plays an Italian-speaking chef complete with accent.
Shalhoub married actress Brooke Adams in 1992. The two have worked together in several films, and Adams has also made guest appearances on Monk. At the time of their wedding, Adams had an adopted daughter, Josie Lynn (born 1988), whom Tony also adopted after he and Brooke married. In 1994, they adopted another daughter, Sophie (born 1993). Both adoptions are open. The family resides in Los Angeles and Green Bay.
Shalhoub demonstrated his dramatic range in the 1998 big-budget thriller, The Siege starring Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, and Bruce Willis. His character, FBI Special Agent Frank Haddad, was of Middle Eastern descent and suffered discrimination after Arab terrorists attack sites in New York City. He most recently appeared with Alec Baldwin in the Hollywood satire The Last Shot as a gruff small-time mobster with a love for movies and as the voice of Luigi in the Pixar film Cars.
He later returned to series television in 1999, this time in a lead role on Stark Raving Mad opposite Neil Patrick Harris. Unlike Wings, the show didn't attract much of an audience during the first season, and NBC pulled the plug on the series in July 2000.
Shalhoub did voice acting for the cult classic computer game Fallout. He was one of the celebrity judges for the "Bush In 30 Seconds" advertisement competition.
After a two-year-absence from the small screen, Shalhoub found another TV series that is already matching the popularity of Wings, starring in Monk, in which he currently plays a San Francisco detective diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, for USA Network. Michael Richards had been offered the role when the show was being considered for broadcast on ABC, a network which would later rerun the first season in 2003, but he eventually turned it down. Shalhoub was nominated for Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series six times consecutively from 2003-2008. He took home the trophy three times, in 2003, 2005, and 2006. In addition, he won the Golden Globe in 2003 and an SAG Award in 2004 and 2005. Shalhoub’s Monk was already renewed for its seventh season as of 2008.
In addition to his acting work, Shalhoub, along with the Network of Arab-American Professionals and Zoom-in-Focus productions, established The Arab-American Filmmaker Award Competition in 2005. Arab-American filmmakers submitted screenplays, with the chosen winner flown to Hollywood to have their screenplay produced. To participate in the production, two runners-up are also invited.
Most recently, Shalhoub can be seen onscreen in the horror film "1408" as John Cusack’s literary agent.
In 2007, Shalhoub played Charlie in "The Scene" off-Broadway.
He received a 2008 Grammy nomination for in the category "Best Spoken Word Album For Children" for his narration of The Cricket In Times Square.