Family & Companions
Debra Monk was an American Broadway and screen actress who was best known for her recurring TV roles on "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005), "Mozart in the Jungle" (Amazon, 2014-18), and "Dietland" (AMC, 2018). Born in Ohio and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, Monk always knew she wanted to be an actress. After earning her Bachelor's degree from Frostburg State University in Maryland, she went on to study theater at the prestigious fine arts program at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas. Upon earning her MFA from SMU, Monk set out to become an actress. She relocated to New York and worked a myriad of odd jobs, including waitressing and as a rockabilly singer, while appearing in various Off Broadway plays by night. Unhappy with the lack of progress in her career, Monk and a few friends decided to write their own musical. "Pump Boys and Dinettes," which was co-written by and starring Monk, debuted Off Broadway in 1981. The musical was an immediate success and the following year it premiered on Broadway to rave reviews, thus giving Monk's fledgling career the break it needed. Over the next several years Monk would go on to appear in numerous Broadway plays, even winning a 1993 Tony Award for her role in "Redwood Curtain." With her stage acting career on the rise, Monk also began gravitating towards film and television work by the early 90s. Some of her more notable film roles of the 1990s include "Quiz Show" (1994), "The First Wives Club" (1996), "The Devil's Advocate" (1997), and "Bulworth" (1998). Additionally, Monk also began appearing regularly on TV, beginning with her recurring role as Katie Sipowicz on "NYPD Blue." By the 2010s she began nabbing regular work on TV shows like "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC, 2005- ), "Damages" (FX, 2007-2012) and "Mozart in the Jungle." In 2018 Monk began appearing as Mrs. Kettle on the AMC comedy-drama series "Dietland." The series, which was adapted from the bestselling novel by Sarai Walker, premiered on the network in June of 2018 but ran for only a single season.
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Special Thanks (Special)
Was member of the acting company at the Colonnades Theatre Laboratory in NYC
Breakthrough stage role as Prudie Cupp in "Pump Boys and Dinettes"; also co-wrote; show transferred to Broadway in 1982
TV debut recreating Prudie in "Pump Boys and Dinettes on Television" (NBC)
Co-starred in the stage play "Prelude to a Kiss"
Feature film debut as Aunt Dorothy in the film version of "Prelude to a Kiss"
Earned second Tony nomination as the spinster Rosemary Snyder in "Picnic"
Played a formidable analyst in the Woody Allen one-act "Central Park West", performed under the umbrella title of "Death Defying Acts"
Recreated her award-winning role as a lumber company owner in "Redwood Curtain" (ABC)
Offered a stinging turn as Joanne in the Roundabout Theater revival of the George Furth-Stephen Sondheim musical "Company"; delivered a fine interpretation of the song "The Ladies Who Lunch"
Played Christian Slater's mother in "Bed of Roses"
Cast as the former wife of Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) on "NYPD Blue"
Garnered a third Tony nomination as the brassy burlesque singer participating in a dance marathon in "Steel Pier"; performed the showstopping "Everybody's Girl"
Co-starred as one of the title character's nasty aunts in "Ellen Foster" (CBS)
Appeared as the senator's secretary in "Bulworth"
Returned to the New York stage as star of a revival of Arthur Laurents' "The Time of the Cuckoo"
Played an overbearing stage mother in "Center Stage"
Appeared in the New York Shakespeare Festival's staging of "The Seagull" in Central Park; directed by Mike Nichols (July-August)
Played the Little Old Lady Investor in "The Producers," the film based on the Tony-winning musical by Mel Brooks
Starred opposite Troy Garity in "Milwaukee, Minnesota"
Nabbed a recurring part as Louise O'Malley on "Grey's Anatomy"
Co-starred with David Hyde Pierce in the Broadway musical, "Curtains"; earned a Tony nomination
Was a recurring character on "Damages"
Played Betty Cragdale on "Mozart in the Jungle"
Was Mrs. Kettle on AMC's "Dietland"