Although this Yale-trained character actor never lacked for work, Shalhoub was almost 50 when the TV series Monk finally made him a star. Early in his career, he honed his craft on stage, forging important relationships with two of his theatrical costars: Stanley Tucci, who later cast him in a number of films, and Brooke Adams, who married Shalhoub in 1992. The Lebanese-American has played myriad ethnic parts, including a romantically inclined Italian cabdriver on Wings, his first prominent role. During his tenure on the sitcom, he appeared as another Italian (a chef this time) in Tucci's 1996 gastronomic comedy Big Night. The flavorful indie was a hit with critics and audiences, and Shalhoub in particular was praised for his fiery performance, which led to a string of big-screen supporting parts. In 2002, when he signed on to Monk as a brilliant but obsessive-compulsive detective, Shalhoub probably had modest hopes for the cable dramedy. But the show was a breakout hit, earning him a Golden Globe and three Emmys, and finally turned him into a household name. Close ties continued when Shalhoub was joined by wife Adams in the 2010 Broadway revival of Lend Me a Tenor, directed by Tucci.