Debra Monk was born February 27, 1949, in Middletown, Ohio. Monk graduated from high school in Silver Spring, Maryland, and later attended Frostburg State University. In 1975, she received a master's degree in fine arts degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Monk made her Broadway debut in the 1982 play Pump Boys and Dinettes, a play she also co-wrote and co-authored. The play was a loose adaptation of jobs and events that Monk had personally endured. For her accomplishments on Broadway, Monk received three Tony Award nominations and one Tony Award. Her off-Broadway accomplishments have also garnered awards including a Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award. However, Monk's career is not limited only to the stage. She has also appeared in many movies including The Producers, In & Out, Fearless, The Bridges of Madison County and Extreme Measures. Monk has also guest-starred on several TV series including White Collar, Good Luck Charlie, Desperate Housewives, Frasier and Notes from the Underbelly.