Debra Monk
Debra Monk12.jpg
Monk in 2012
EducationFrostburg State University (BA)
Southern Methodist University (MFA)
OccupationActress, singer, writer
Years active1982–present

Debra Monk is an American actress, singer, and writer, best known for her performances on the Broadway stage. She earned her first Tony Award for the 1993 production of Redwood Curtain and won an Emmy Award for several guest appearances on NYPD Blue between 1998 and 1999.[1]

Life and career

Monk was born in Middletown, Ohio. She was voted "Best Personality" by her graduating class at Wheaton High School in Silver Spring, Maryland.[1] In 1973, she graduated from Frostburg State University. In 1975, Monk was awarded a Master of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Monk garnered first attention in theatrical circles as one of the co-writers and co-stars of the musical Pump Boys and Dinettes (1982).[2] She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for performance in Redwood Curtain (1993). She was nominated for a Tony Award for roles in Picnic (1994), Steel Pier (1997), and Curtains (2007).[3] In 2000, she won an Obie Award for The Time of the Cuckoo.[4] She returned to the stage in Steppenwolf Theatre Company's production of Visiting Edna by David Rabe in September 2016.[5]

Monk appeared on the Food Channel cooking show Barefoot Contessa, where she cooked Roasted Chicken, Arugula and Bread Salad, and Tri-Berry Crumble.[6]

Monk has appeared in over 30 films since the early 1990s. She made her film debut in the movie version of Prelude to a Kiss, playing Aunt Dorothy.[1] She later appeared in The Bridges of Madison County (1995) and The Devil's Advocate (1997). On television, she has won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for a recurring role as Katie Sipowicz in the ABC series, NYPD Blue.[1] She also guest-starred on Law & Order, Desperate Housewives, The Closer, and Girls. Monk had recurring roles in A Nero Wolfe Mystery (2001-02), Grey's Anatomy (2006-11), and Damages (2007-12).



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Prelude to a Kiss Aunt Dorothy
1993 For Love or Money Mrs. Wegman
1993 Fearless Alison
1994 Quiz Show Kintner's Secretary
1995 Redwood Curtain Geneva Television film
1995 The Bridges of Madison County Madge
1995 Jeffrey Mom
1995 Reckless Therapist
1996 Bed of Roses Mrs. Farrell
1996 Mrs. Winterbourne Lieutenant Ambrose
1996 The Substance of Fire Martha Hackett
1996 The First Wives Club Jilted Lover
1996 Extreme Measures Dr. Judith Gruszynski
1997 KnitWits Catherine Short film
1997 In & Out Mrs. Lester
1997 The Devil's Advocate Pam Garrety
1997 Ellen Foster Aunt Nadine Television film
1998 Bulworth Helen
2000 Center Stage Nancy
2003 Briar Patch Officer Avon
2003 The Music Man Mrs. Paroo Television film
2003 Milwaukee, Minnesota Edna Burroughs
2003 Eloise at the Plaza Maggie Television film
2003 Eloise at Christmastime Maggie Television film
2004 Palindromes Mama Sunshine
2005 Dark Water Dahlia's Teacher
2005 The Producers Lick Me-Bite Me
2007 The Savages Nancy Lachman
2008 The Great Buck Howard Doreen
2009 Love and Other Impossible Pursuits Laura
2011 Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas! Petunia Television film
2012 One for the Money Mrs. Plum
2012 The Brass Teapot Trudy
2013 Ass Backwards Pawn Shop Owner
2013 Reaching Home Janet Short film
2014 This Is Where I Leave You Linda
2015 Demolition Davis' Mom
2019 Standing Up, Falling Down Jeanie Rollins


Year Title Role Notes
1989 One Life to Live Nurse Medford 1 Episode
1990 American Playhouse Psychiatrist Episode: "Women & Wallace "
1992 Loving Sandra Thorpe 1 episode
Lifestories: Families in Crisis Karen Bell Episode:"Public Law 106: The Becky Bell Story "
1994 Law & Order Kathleen O'Brien Episode: "Coma"
1996–2001 NYPD Blue Katie Sipowicz 17 episodes (1999 -Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series)
1998 Dellaventura Madison Harcourt Episode: "Made in America"
LateLine Clare Cunningham Episode: "Requiem for a Horse"
2001–02 A Nero Wolfe Mystery Various roles 8 episodes
2002 Law & Order Dr. Madelyn Stahl Episode: "Born Again"
2003 The Wonderful World of Disney Maggie 2 episodes
Frasier Nurse Karen Episode: "No Sex Please We're Skittish"
2005 Law & Order Judge G. Proctor Episode: "In God We Trust"
2006–11 Grey's Anatomy Louise O'Malley 7 episodes
2006 Desperate Housewives Marcella Episode: "Children and Art"
2007–12 Damages Denise Parsons 12 episodes
2007 Notes from the Underbelly Andrew's Mom Episode: "Mother's Milk "
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Warden Pellis Episode: "Untethered "
2009 Glee Mrs. Schuester Episode: "Acafellas"
The Closer Mary Summer Episode: "Blood Money "
Ghost Whisperer Anne Sullivan Episode: "Till Death Do Us Start "
2010 Brothers & Sisters Alexandra Kirby Episode: "Call Mom"
2012 White Collar Mrs. Mitchell Episode: "Pulling Strings"
2014 Girls Dr. Stern 2 episodes
2014 Hot in Cleveland Loretta Episode: "Win Win"
2014–18 Mozart in the Jungle Betty Cragdale 26 episodes
2014 Reckless Judge Gertrude Moss 5 episodes
2015 Madam Secretary Mary Lou Boris Episode: "The Ninth Circle"
2015 The Jack and Triumph Show Young June 2 episodes
2015 Difficult People Bunny Tack Episode: "Difficult Christmas"
2015 Blindspot Colonel Powers Episode: "A Stray Howl"
2015–17 Sneaky Pete Connie Persikof 2 episodes
2016–17 Mercy Street Dr. Foster's Mother 2 episodes
2016 Crowded Linda Episode: "Come Back"
2016 The Good Wife Tracy Mintz Episode: "Judged"
2016 The Characters Kim Episode: "John Early "
2017 Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics Herself Episode: “Dinner Party 101”
NCIS: New Orleans CEO Sarah Laroche Episode: “Hell on the High Water”
Mr. Mercedes Capt. Brooke Hockney 2 episodes
2018 Dietland Mrs Kettle 5 episodes
2018–19 Tell Me a Story Esther Thorn 4 episodes
2019 At Home with Amy Sedaris Mrs. Bjornson Episode: “Thanksgiving”
2019 Instinct Judge Gillespie Episode: “Finders Keepers”
2019–21 New Amsterdam Karen Brantley 16 episodes
2022 The Gilded Age Armstrong



  1. ^ a b c d "Debra Monk Biography". Archived from the original on January 28, 2022. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  2. ^ "Debra Monk | Movies and Biography - Yahoo Movies". Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  3. ^ The Broadway League. "Debra Monk | IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". IBDB. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  4. ^ "Lortel Archives-The Internet Off-Broadway Database". Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  5. ^ "Debra Monk to replace Rondi Reed in play at Steppenwolf this fall". Chicago Tribune.
  6. ^ "Cooking for Jeffrey: Dinner Party 101, Season 12, Episode 6", retrieved February 5, 2018