MCM: Tony Shalhoub


Tony Shalhoub isn’t really a frock flicks actor per se, but he’s immensely talented and I absolutely adore him as the cantankerous, intellectual, and loving Abe Weissman in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. He has done several historical movies, so let’s celebrate him!


Barton Fink (1991)

A Coen brothers film set in the 1941 about a New York City playwright who is hired to write Hollywood screenplays. Shalhoub plays a “frenetic” Hollywood producer.

1991 Barton Fink

Hence the pose, I’m guessing?

1991 Barton Fink

Looking nice in a wide-lapel suit!


Addams Family Values (1993)

Is this even period? I don’t remember! But let’s pad, shall we? Shalhoub plays the very small role of “Jorge,” and I have zero memory of what’s involved.

1993 Addams Family Values

He’s a sailor?


Big Night (1996)

In 1950s New Jersey, two Italian immigrant brothers open a restaurant – and the film chronicles that opening night. Shalhoub plays “Primo,” the elder brother, a perfectionist chef. This is a GREAT movie, and it’s been too long since I’ve seen it!

1996 Big Night

At work in the kitchen.

1996 Big Night

Stanley Tucci plays the other brother… and that’s singer Marc Anthony as a waiter!


The Impostors (1998)

In 1938, two swindler actors are forced to stow away on an ocean liner. Shalhoub plays the ship’s first mate in this farcical comedy.

1998 The Impostors

In a crisp naval uniform, along with Alfred Molina and Campbell Scott.


The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)

Another Coen brothers film, this one set in 1949. A barber tries to blackmail his wife’s lover in order to invest in a business. Shalhoub plays the main character’s lawyer.

2001 The Man Who Wasn't There

I love a guy who wears a suit well!

2001 The Man Who Wasn't There

With Frances McDormand in court.


Hemingway & Gellhorn (2014)

The story of Ernest Hemingway’s romance with fellow writer Martha Gellhorn. Shalhoub plays the real-life Mikhail Koltsov, a Soviet journalist and revolutionary.

2014 Hemingway & Gellhorn

Hard at work!


Final Portrait (2017)

Set in Paris in 1964, this film is about Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti. Shalhoub plays his younger brother, another painter/sculptor named Diego.

2017 Final Portrait



The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017- )

Shalhoub shines as Abe Weissman, father of main character Midge. He’s a former math professor, now a journalist. He’s head over heels in love with his wife, with some hilarious jealousy issues. He loves his daughter, but worries. He writes in the bathroom. He makes a guy courting his daughter submit reading lists for his inspection. He desperately wants to be left alone so he can read. And according to interviews, the mustache was his idea.

2022 Marvelous Mrs Maisel season 4

A nice three-piece suit!

2019 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3

Surrounded by stylish women.

2019 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3

A loving father in high-waisted trousers.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2 2018

A nicely tipped hat!

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2 2018

Enjoying the intellectual life in Paris.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2 2018

At synagogue.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2 2018

More Paris!

What’s your favorite of Tony Shalhoub’s historical roles?


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

16 Responses

  1. Fran in NYC

    I think in ‘Big Night’, it’s not the opening of their restaurant. They are already open and failing against the other Italian restaurant with the mediocre food. The ‘big night’ is the hope that a promised celebrity will come in and give them positive publicity. Ian Holm is the other restaurant owner. Isabella Rosselini is the ambiguous girl friend (whose side is she on?).

    • Saraquill

      I tried to find it on streaming. I’m cross I could only find it behind a paywall on Amazon Prime.

  2. Katie

    Re: Addams Family Values. Jorge and his sailors hang with Debbie during one of her attempts to kill Fester, they sing Macho Man and … that’s about it. I think it’s set vaguely in the late 80s/early 90s.

    • hsc

      It’s actually present-day (1993), based on a joke about “serial killer” trading cards (it was a thing at the time) featuring then-notorious “Long Island Lolita” Amy Fisher (who actually shot and wounded– but did not kill– her lover’s wife). It’s one of those “OMG!-funny” jokes that didn’t age well and is now probably incomprehensible tothe majority of viewers.

      Love Tony Shalhoub, though!

    • Gina P

      I still remember his line. “Your husband is a lucky, lucky man.” and Debbie responds, “DON’T SAY THAT.”

  3. Mona Bayard

    A wonderful actor. Not a Frock Flicks selection, but he accomplishes a miracle in “Monk” by playing someone with serious mental health problems, completely respectfully but also funny.

  4. Al Don

    Love Tony Shalhoub. Great actor and great choice for MCM. Barton Fink is such a good film, dark and funny.

    I also love Big Night (1996).

    “I don’t say it rain inside, I say OUTside.”
    “Well you don’t have to say outside because it can’t rain inside.”

    “… … …What the f*ck?”

    It’s like America’s answer to the brilliant Babettes gæstebud (Babette’s Feast) (1987).

  5. MJ

    I remember watching Big Night and The Imposters right around the same time (Blockbuster rentals!) and loving both, especially thanks to Tony Shalhoub. I love him on MMM, too, especially his scenes with Kevin Pollak.

  6. MrsC (Maryanne)

    He’s marvelous himself! I do think we missed a trick here though, not including his exercise “romper” as modelled at the holiday camp in the Catskills. ;-)

  7. Lily Lotus Rose

    He is such a good actor, and handsome in his own unique way. Of the roles listed here, I loved in Big Night. Great MCM choice. I’m 100% here for mature men!!

  8. Karen K.

    I love Tony Shalhoub but I hadn’t heard of The Imposters, I must look for it! And I LOVE Big Night, one of the best food movies of all time. Also love him as Abe Weissman in MMM.