Her parents are Sharon and Bob-John Monaghan. She has two brothers.
After graduating high school, she went to Chicago to study journalism. Between studying, she did some modeling in the United States and around the world with stints in Europe (Milan), and Asia (Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong.)
Michelle Monaghan became interested in acting and eventually received a few minor parts in episodes of a few television series, such as Young Americans (in which she appeared twice) in 2000 and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2001. She made her big screen debut that year, with the small role of Henrietta in the movie Perfume. This was followed up by another small role in Unfaithful in 2002. In the meantime, she continued her modeling career and eventually expanded her résumé by doing commercials for products such as Stayfree deodorant in 2001 and Secret Sheer dry in 2002.
Michelle Monaghan's big break came in 2002, when she co-starred on the television series Boston Public in the role of Kimberly Woods.
After a two-year run on the television series, she turned back to the silver screen and appeared in It Runs in the Family in 2003 and Winter Solstice in 2004. That same year, she appeared in The Bourne Supremacy, and then Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 2005.
That year, Michelle Monaghan landed her first starring role in the black comedy Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, alongside Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr. Opening on the same weekend was North Country, directed by Niki Caro, in which she appeared with Charlize Theron, Sissy Spacek, and Frances McDormand.
In 2006, Michelle Monaghan is due to appear as the love interest and female lead opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible III.
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