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Debra Monk

Debra Monk

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.
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