Tony Shalhoub (Anthony Marcus Shalhoub) was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin . His father, Joe Shalhoub, immigrated from Lebanon to the United States as an orphan at the age of 10. He married Shalhoub’s mother, Helen, a second-generation Lebanese-American, and founded a family grocery chain, starting with a store in downtown Green Bay.
The second youngest of the couple's 10 children, Shalhoub was introduced to the theater by an older sister, who put his name forward as an extra in a high school production of The King and I. Despite finding himself standing on the wrong side of the curtain during the final dress rehersal, he became addicted to the theater. Shalhoub graduated from Green Bay East High School, where his senior peers named him the best dressed and most likely to succeed. In his senior year he suffered a setback, breaking his leg in a fall off the stage into the pit during a rehearsal. Recovering quickly, he was able to perform in the school's final play of the year. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in drama from the University of Southern Maine in Portland, going on to earn a masters from the Yale School of Drama in 1980.
After a two-year absence from the small screen, Shalhoub starred in another TV series, Monk, in which he portrays Adrian Monk, a brilliant Sherlock Holmes-type 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, which later reran the first season in 2002, but he eventually turned it down. Shalhoub was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in eight consecutive years from 2002 to 2010, winning in 2003, 2005, and 2006. He also took the Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy, in 2003.
Shalhoub married actress Brooke Adams in 1992. The two have worked together in several films, and Adams has made several guest appearances on Monk, portraying several different side characters, including a flight attendant, the mother of a kidnapped violinist, a county sheriff, and a crazy cat lady. Shalhoub and Adams are currently appearing on Broadway together in the 2010 hit revival of Lend Me a Tenor.
At the time of their wedding Adams had an adopted daughter, Josie Lynn (born 1988), whom Shalhoub adopted. In 1994, they adopted another daughter, Sophie (born 1993). The family resides in Los Angeles and Green Bay, Wisconsin.
In 2006, Shalhoub's brother, Dan, appeared on the reality show American Inventor, pitching the Sha-Poopie, a catch-in-action pooper scooper. Judges rejected it. The invention has since appeared on an episode of Monk. Tony Shalhoub is the cousin of Chicago radio personality Jonathon Brandmeier. He is also the brother-in-law of former Guiding Light actress Lynne Adams. His brother is Michael Shalhoub, who is also an actor and who had three guest appearances on Monk (as a kidnapping suspect, a beekeeper, and a wedding minister).
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