Fleeing religious persecution in Lebanon, Tony's parents settled in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where Tony was born.
Tony attended Yale University, and graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 1977.
He began acting in small roles in films such as Longtime Companion,Honeymoon In Vegas, Searching For Bobby Fischer, and most memorably in the Bill Murray vehicle Quick Change. This led to a recurring role on the sitcom Wings.
He continued acting in films, including Men In Black, Gattaca, and 'Galaxy Quest. He directed and starred in the restaurant film Big Night.
He rose to prominence as the fussy, obsessive titular character in the television series Monk.
In 1992, Tony married actress Brooke Adams. They have two daughters, Josie and Sophie.