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Joshua Malina
Born Joshua Charles Malina
January 17, 1966 (1966-01-17) (age 44)
New Rochelle, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1992–present
Spouse(s) Melissa Merwin
(1996-present); 2 children

Joshua Charles Malina (born January 17, 1966) is an American film and stage actor. He is perhaps most famous for portraying Will Bailey on the NBC drama The West Wing and Jeremy Goodwin on Sports Night.



Personal life

Malina was born and raised in New Rochelle, New York. His parents, Fran and Robert Malina, were founding members of Young Israel of Scarsdale.[1] His father was an attorney, investment banker and Broadway producer. The actor has commented that while the name "Malina" does not sound Jewish to most people and often leads them to assume he is Latino, the name is Polish in origin, from the "Polish [word] for 'raspberry.'"[2]

Malina graduated from the Horace Mann School and Yale University with a B.A. in Theater. He made his acting debut as an understudy in the Broadway production of Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men[3] and later moving into a major onstage role. Malina had contacted Sorkin initially at the suggestion of his parents when he first went to New York City, as they knew Sorkin was a high-school classmate and friend of Malina's cousins; the cousins, in turn, had spoken highly of Malina to Sorkin, who suggested he audition for the play.[4] Malina has joked in interviews that Sorkin's casting him in subsequent productions may owe to the fact that he once performed the Heimlich maneuver on Sorkin, saving his life, when the director began to choke while eating a hamburger at a bowling match with the cast of the play.[4][5] He has since appeared in nearly every Sorkin film and TV show (the exceptions being Charlie Wilson's War and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip).

Malina is married to Melissa Merwin, a costume designer whom he met in 1992 through his friendship with her sister and brother-in-law, Jenny and Timothy Busfield; Jenny Busfield predicted the marriage two years before the couple ever met.[4] The Malinas married in 1996 and have two children, Isabel and Avi.[4][6]


Malina's first job in the film business was as a production assistant on the Chevy Chase comedy Fletch Lives, an ill-received sequel to the star's hit movie Fletch.[5] His first on-screen appearance was a two-line, five-word role in the film version of A Few Good Men,[4] where he has said he appreciated the dedication that star Jack Nicholson showed by performing his lines in the scene himself even though his character was off screen and could easily have been played for him by a crew member.[5] In his next film, Sorkin's The American President, Malina had a somewhat larger role as assistant to Annette Bening's environmental-activist character.[7]

Malina played two different characters over four episodes on the talk-show satire The Larry Sanders Show. He appeared first in 1993 as Robert Brody, a fictional reporter for the real-life magazine Entertainment Weekly, to whom actor John Ritter gives a scathing interview after having his appearance in the show cancelled to make room for musician Warren Zevon to play a second song (episode: "Off Camera"). Five years later, Malina returned in a recurring role as Kenny Mitchell, a network executive who pushes Larry Sanders out of the show in favor of Jon Stewart, in a plot paralleling the real-life demise of the program (episodes: "Another List," "The Beginning of the End," and "Adolf Hankler").

From 1998–2000, Malina starred as character Jeremy Goodwin on Sorkin's Sports Night, a show that attracted him from the moment Sorkin sent him the pilot script.[7] The Goodwin character began as a research analyst, but was promoted to associate producer by the second season, creating a larger role for Malina.[8] The critically acclaimed show was unable to find a large fan base and was canceled after two seasons, with some critics saying the show's troubles were exacerbated by having to share Sorkin's time with his concurrent project on rival network NBC, The West Wing.[8] The actor counts Sports Night among his most popular roles and noted on the occasion of the show's 10th-anniversary DVD release, "If my straw poll of who stops me to say what is any indication, West Wing may only slightly edge Sports Night."[9]

Following the panned[10][11][12][13] Hank Azaria vehicle Imagine That — where both he and Azaria were described as "talent going to waste" —[14] Malina played Will Bailey on The West Wing from 2002 to 2006. His character initially was perceived by the public as an attempt to replace departing series star Rob Lowe,[15] although Malina said in numerous interviews that the two actors and characters were too dissimilar to be viewed as anything but a change.[4][5] During his tenure on The West Wing, Malina was known to the rest of the cast as a tireless prankster. It is said he coated telephones with Vaseline and reset producer Alex Graves's iPod menus to Mandarin Chinese.[citation needed] He stole some of Bradley Whitford's letterhead stationery and used it in an elaborate prank. At the suggestion of co-star Janel Moloney, Malina sent a $200 Valentine's Day bouquet to season-six newcomer Jimmy Smits that included a card crafted on Whitford's stolen letterhead stating: "Jimmy, You are a delight. I enjoyed every moment we've had together. Be my Valentine."[16] Following the end of The West Wing, Malina campaigned for the leading role of Danny Tripp in Sorkin's next TV project, Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip, but the role went instead to Whitford. When the show was cancelled in its first season, Malina was teased by some in the industry who suggested he was Sorkin's good luck charm, but he pointed to Sorkin's upcoming film Charlie Wilson's War as evidence his friend could succeed without him.[17]

In 2007, Malina became one of the four stars of the short-lived ABC dramedy Big Shots. His character, Karl Mixworthy, was a pharmaceutical company executive juggling a wife and a mistress,[17] who meet when the jilted lover tries to expose him to his wife but befriends her instead.[18]

Malina is a co-creator and producer of Bravo's cable TV series Celebrity Poker Showdown. In private life, he is an avid poker player, having played with Sorkin while on Broadway,[4] used poker winnings to pay his rent early in his career,[19][20] and organized a cast-and-crew game that lasted the full duration of Sports Night and occasionally delayed the start of shooting.[9] The idea for the show came from a weekly high-stakes poker game hosted by Hank Azaria, which Malina and friend Andrew Hill Newman have attended whenever they were earning enough money to afford to play.[17][20]



   * 2010s
   * 2000s
   * 1990s
  1. "Bones" .... Dr. Adam Copeland (1 episode, 2010)
         - The Devil in the Details (2010) TV episode .... Dr. Adam Copeland
  2. "House M.D." .... Tucker (1 episode, 2009)
     ... aka House (South Africa: English title) (USA: short title)
         - Wilson (2009) TV episode .... Tucker
  3. "Psych" .... Stewart Gimbley (1 episode, 2009)
         - Let's Get Hairy (2009) TV episode .... Stewart Gimbley
  4. "In Plain Sight" .... Peter Alpert (6 episodes, 2009)
         - Don't Cry for Me Albuquerque (2009) TV episode .... Peter Alpert
         - Training Video (2009) TV episode .... Peter Alpert
         - One Night Stan (2009) TV episode .... Peter Alpert
         - Aguna Matatala (2009) TV episode .... Peter Alpert
         - Rubble with a Cause (2009) TV episode .... Peter Alpert
           (1 more)
  5. "Valentine" .... Duncan (1 episode, 2009)
         - Hound Dog (2009) TV episode .... Duncan
  6. "iCarly" .... Goldstein (1 episode, 2009)
         - iTake on Dingo (2009) TV episode .... Goldstein
  7. "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" .... Agent Auldridge (1 episode, 2009)
         - Born to Run (2009) TV episode .... Agent Auldridge
  8. "Grey's Anatomy" .... Seth Hammer (1 episode, 2008)
         - In the Midnight Hour (2008) TV episode .... Seth Hammer
  9. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" .... DA Monroe (1 episode, 2008)
     ... aka CSI: Las Vegas (South Africa: English title: informal alternative title) (USA: syndication title)
     ... aka C.S.I. (USA: short title)
     ... aka CSI: Weekends (USA: promotional title)
     ... aka Les experts (Canada: French title)
         - Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda (2008) TV episode .... DA Monroe
 10. "Medium" .... Tim Carmer (1 episode, 2008)
         - Car Trouble (2008) TV episode .... Tim Carmer
 11. "Big Shots" .... Karl Mixworthy (11 episodes, 2007-2008)
         - Who's the Boss? (2008) TV episode .... Karl Mixworthy
         - Sex Be Not Proud (2008) TV episode .... Karl Mixworthy
         - The Better Man (2008) TV episode .... Karl Mixworthy
         - The Way We Weren't (2007) TV episode .... Karl Mixworthy
         - Who's Your Daddy? (2007) TV episode .... Karl Mixworthy
           (6 more)
 12. "The Nine" .... Tim Marley (2 episodes, 2006-2007)
         - Turning Point (2007) TV episode .... Tim Marley
         - All About Eva (2006) TV episode .... Tim Marley
 13. "Numb3rs" .... Howard Meeks (3 episodes, 2006-2007)
     ... aka Num3ers (USA: promotional title)
         - Democracy (2007) TV episode .... Howard Meeks
         - Nine Wives (2007) TV episode .... Howard Meeks
         - Waste Not (2006) TV episode .... Howard Meeks
 14. "Stargate SG-1" .... Cicero (1 episode, 2007)
     ... aka La porte des étoiles (Canada: French title: dubbed version)
         - Bad Guys (2007) TV episode .... Cicero
 15. "The West Wing" .... Will Bailey (77 episodes, 2002-2006)
         - Tomorrow (2006) TV episode .... Will Bailey
         - Institutional Memory (2006) TV episode .... Will Bailey
         - The Last Hurrah (2006) TV episode (credit only) .... Will Bailey
         - Transition (2006) TV episode (credit only) .... Will Bailey
         - Requiem (2006) TV episode .... Will Bailey
           (72 more)
 16. "The PTA" (2006) TV series .... Stud
 17. Nobody's Perfect (2004)
 18. "All That" (1 episode, 2003)
         - Episode #9.1 (2003) TV episode
 19. See Jane Date (2003) (TV) .... Kevin Adams
 20. View from the Top (2003) (as Josh Malina) .... Randy Jones
 21. "She Spies" .... Jimmy Onassis (1 episode, 2002)
         - First Episode (2002) TV episode .... Jimmy Onassis
 22. "Imagine That" .... Kenny Fleck (6 episodes, 2002)
         - Inner Critic (2002) TV episode .... Kenny Fleck
         - The Married Balladeer (2002) TV episode .... Kenny Fleck
         - The Macho Therapist (2002) TV episode .... Kenny Fleck
         - Lucy (2002) TV episode .... Kenny Fleck
         - Mary Mary Mary (2002) TV episode .... Kenny Fleck
           (1 more)
 23. It Is What It Is (2001/I) .... P.T. Hackey
 24. Without Charlie (2001) .... Charlie
 25. How to Marry a Billionaire: A Christmas Tale (2000) (TV) .... Mark Sickler
     ... aka How to Marry a Billionaire (USA: short title)
 26. "Sports Night" .... Jeremy Goodwin (45 episodes, 1998-2000)
         - Quo Vadimus (2000) TV episode .... Jeremy Goodwin
         - La Forza Del Destino (2000) TV episode .... Jeremy Goodwin
         - Bells and a Siren (2000) TV episode .... Jeremy Goodwin
         - April Is the Cruelest Month (2000) TV episode .... Jeremy Goodwin
         - Draft Day: Part 2 - The Fall of Ryan O'Brian (2000) TV episode .... Jeremy Goodwin
           (40 more)
 27. It's a Shame About Ray (2000) .... Ms. Streisand
 28. Kill the Man (1999) .... Bob Stein
 29. Bulworth (1998) .... Bill Feldman
 30. "The Larry Sanders Show" .... Kenny Mitchell / ... (4 episodes, 1993-1998)
         - Adolf Hankler (1998) TV episode .... Kenny Mitchell
         - The Beginning of the End (1998) TV episode (as Josh Malina) .... Kenny Mitchell
         - Another List (1998) TV episode (as Josh Malina) .... Kenny Mitchell
         - Off Camera (1993) TV episode .... Robert Brody
 31. "From the Earth to the Moon" .... Tim Messick (1 episode, 1998)
         - We Have Cleared the Tower (1998) TV episode .... Tim Messick
 32. My Engagement Party (1998) .... Alex
 33. Clockwatchers (1997) .... Global Credit Receptionist
 34. Just Friends (1996) .... Bob
 35. "Sliders" .... Egghead Announcer (1 episode, 1996)
         - Rules of the Game (1996) TV episode .... Egghead Announcer
 36. Infinity (1996) .... Calculator Kid #3
 37. "Champs" .... Cab Driver (1 episode, 1996)
         - Live and Let Breathe (1996) TV episode .... Cab Driver
 38. "Tracey Takes On..." .... Jordan (3 episodes, 1996)
         - Health (1996) TV episode .... Jordan
         - Vanity (1996) TV episode .... Jordan
         - Law (1996) TV episode .... Jordan
 39. The American President (1995) .... David
 40. Separate Lives (1995) .... Randall
 41. Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills (1994) (TV) .... Gerald Bronstein
 42. Malice (1993) .... Resident
 43. In the Line of Fire (1993) .... Secret Service Agent Chavez
 44. "Bob" .... Vince (1 episode, 1993)
         - Da Game (1993) TV episode .... Vince
 45. A Few Good Men (1992) (as Josh Malina) .... Tom


  1. "Celebrity Poker Showdown" (executive producer) (41 episodes, 2003-2005)
         - Tournament 7 Championship (2005) TV episode (executive producer)
         - Tournament 7, Game 5 (2005) TV episode (executive producer)
         - Tournament 7, Game 4 (2005) TV episode (executive producer)
         - Tournament 7, Game 3 (2005) TV episode (executive producer)
         - Tournament 7, Game 2 (2005) TV episode (executive producer)
           (36 more)


   * 2000s
   * 1990s
  1. "Jeopardy!" .... Himself - Contestant (1 episode, 2009)
         - Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Quarterfinal 4 (2009) TV episode .... Himself - Contestant
  2. "Last Call with Carson Daly" .... Himself (1 episode, 2007)
         - Episode dated 11 December 2007 (2007) TV episode .... Himself
  3. "Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show" .... Himself (1 episode, 2006)
     ... aka The Ellen Show (Australia)
         - Episode dated 11 May 2006 (2006) TV episode .... Himself
  4. "The Wayne Brady Show" .... Himself (1 episode, 2004)
         - Episode dated 16 March 2004 (2004) TV episode .... Himself
  5. "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" .... Himself (1 episode, 2003)
     ... aka The Late Late Show (USA: short title)
         - Episode dated 25 February 2003 (2003) TV episode .... Himself
  6. 6th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2000) (TV) .... Himself
  7. 2nd Annual TV Guide Awards (2000) (TV) .... Himself/Winner: The Best Show You're Not Watching
  8. "Hollywood Squares" .... Guest Appearance (5 episodes, 1999)
     ... aka H² (USA: promotional abbreviation)
     ... aka H2: Hollywood Squares (USA: fifth season title)
         - Episode dated 8 October 1999 (1999) TV episode .... Guest Appearance
         - Episode dated 7 October 1999 (1999) TV episode .... Guest Appearance
         - Episode dated 6 October 1999 (1999) TV episode .... Guest Appearance
         - Episode dated 5 October 1999 (1999) TV episode .... Guest Appearance
         - Episode dated 4 October 1999 (1999) TV episode .... Guest Appearance


  1. ^
  2. ^ Alan Pergament. "'West Wing' speechwriter addresses celebrity politics," The Buffalo News (NY), September 13, 2005, page E7.
  3. ^ Curt Schleier (2005-09-02). "A ‘West Wing’ Jew close to the president". Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Rick Kushman. "White house rookie - Joshua Malina rode the inside track to NBC's 'West Wing,'" The Sacramento Bee, March 2, 2003, page TK24.
  5. ^ a b c d Kevin D. Thompson. "A familiar face, a singular faith," Palm Beach Post, November 30, 2005, page 1E.
  6. ^ Joshua Malina biography (1966-),
  7. ^ a b Charlie Patton. "ABC's 'Sports Night' hard to categorize, but very enjoyable," The Florida Times-Union. November 10, 1998, page C5.
  8. ^ a b Sylvia Rubin. "Malina gets into the swing of `Sports Night' - but critically acclaimed show may need a ratings boost to survive second season," The San Francisco Chronicle, October 5, 1999, page B1.
  9. ^ a b David Barron. "New on DVD - Sports Night 10th anniversary edition available - ABC series is credited with changing much about sit-coms," Houston Chronicle, October 7, 2008, "Star" section, page 4.
  10. ^ Rob Owen. "'Imagine That' another brainless comedy from NBC," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 8, 2002, page D1.
  11. ^ Robert P. Laurence. "Too bad 'Imagine That's' writers don't show talent, imagination," San Diego Union-Tribune, January 8, 2002, page E6.
  12. ^ Matthew Gilbert. "'Imagine That,' another dud," The Boston Globe, January 8, 2002, Page E8: "Azaria's sidekick is played by Joshua Malina, the I'll-never-find-a-better-role-than-I-had-on-'Sports Night' comedian who is reduced to setting up see-how-randy-guys-are gags for Azaria over and over again."
  13. ^ Frazier Moore (Associated Press). "Momentous happenings in TV Land for 2002," The Columbian (Vancouver, WA), December 21, 2002, page D1: "Many of the bad things that TV gave us in 2002 have already been forgotten. Who can remember the blessedly short-lived sitcom "Imagine That," which came and went on NBC last January?"
  14. ^ Tom Jicha. "You can't imagine how bad NBC's Imagine That is," Sun-Sentinel, January 8, 2002, page 1E.
  15. ^ No author. "Delightful addition to 'West Wing' madhouse," The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), February 20, 2003, page 34: "'Someone on the Internet referred to me as "that horrible little man who's replacing Rob Lowe," which is hurtful, because I think of myself as a delightful little man,' Malina said."
  16. ^ Transcript of Joshua Malina's personal appearance, Jewish Student Union of the University of Florida, Reitz Union Grand Ballroom, March 23, 2005. Retrieved Jan. 1, 2009.
  17. ^ a b c Heather Salerno. "Meet the 'Big Shot': Joshua Malina," The Journal News (Westchester County, NY), September 24, 2007, page 1D.
  18. ^ Jamie Gumbrecht. "Lineup creates TiVo nightmare," Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, KY; reprinted from The Seattle Times), September 13, 2007, page F2.
  19. ^ Jonathan Storm. "Stars sweeten the pot as Bravo bets on TV poker," The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 2, 2003, page F01.
  20. ^ a b Heather Salerno. "Lucky guy," The Journal News, November 30, 2003, page 1E.

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