Shalhoub Pays Tribute To "Monk" Co-Star

Stanley Kamel, shown here with "Monk" cast mate Traylor Howard ("Natalie") at the USA Network Upfront on April 3, 2008. USA Network

Actor Stanley Kamel, who died of a heart attack Tuesday, had a special bond with his "Monk" co-star, Emmy winner Tony Shalhoub.

Kamel played Dr. Kroger opposite Shalhoub as his obsessive-compulsive patient, Det. Adrian Monk.

"Stanley Kamel's consumate talent and professionalism was only surpassed by his warmth, humor and generosity of spirit," Shalhoub said in a statement. "I will miss him terribly."

Kamel was found dead of a heart attack in his Hollywood home Tuesday by his long time agents and friends, Donna Massetti and Marilyn Szatmary, his representatives said. He was 65 years old.

Kamel and Shalhoub had many scenes together as doctor and patient that were pivotal to the development of Monk's character on the show. Kamel said once that both actors were always deeply in character in even their funniest scenes.

"For the most part when we're working together - because of the fact that we're in the moment as doctor and patient - it isn't until after I look at it sometimes that I see that it's funny because we're both in there playing it for truth," Kamel said in a video interview on USA Network's Web site.

Kamel was born in New Brunswick, N.J., on Jan. 1, 1943. He has appeared in numerous TV roles over the past three decades, including "The West Wing," "Six Feet Under," "Melrose Place," "The Golden Girls," "Days of Our Lives" and "Murder One."

One of his favorite roles was as Mark Gilliam, an activist attorney with AIDS on five episodes of the drama "L.A. Law." It was one of the first times that a character with AIDs was depicted on television.

"It was an extraordinary opportunity because as an actor I got to go to some very deep places that actors don't always get to go," Kamel said. "At that time, no one had ever seen a character have AIDS. Ultimately, my character decided to sue the insurance company because they were withholding medication that could change his life, because they were experimental."

The USA Network released a statement saying that "Stanley was an amazingly talented and extremely kind man, and an important member of the USA family. He will be sorely missed."

Kamel is survived by his brothers, Dr. Stephen Kamel and Robert Kamel; five nieces and nephews; and six grand-nieces and nephews.
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