Josh's parents are Fran & Robert Malina; they were founding members of Young Israel of Scarsdale in New Rochelle where he grew up. His father was an attorney, investment banker and Broadway producer.
He graduated from Westchester Day School from 8th grade and attended Horace Mann School in Riverdale, New York, graduating in the class of 1984. He went on to graduate in 1998 from Yale University with a B.A. in Theatre Studies.
He met his wife, Melissa Merwin, a costume designer, in 1992 through his friendship with his sister and brother-in-law Jenny & Timothy Busfield (former West Wing (1999) cast mate); Jenny predicted the marriage two years before the couple ever met. He and Melissa married on December 1, 1996; they have two children, a daughter, Isabel and a son, Avi.
Josh came in sixth (out of 1,191 players) in the first event of the 2008 LA Poker Classic at Commerce Casino, for a win of over 11 thousand dollars.
Josh made his acting debut as an understudy in the Broadway production of Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men and later moving into an onstage role. He had contacting 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 Josh's cousins; the cousins in turn , had spoken highly of Josh to Sorkin, who suggested he audition for the play.
He 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 writer began to choke while eating a hamburger at a bowling match with the cast of the play. He has since appeared in nearly every Sorkin film and TV show (the exceptions being Charlie Wilson's War, The Newsroom, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and The Social Network).
TV Recurring RolesEdit
- President Siebert on The Big Bang Theory (2011-2012)
- Peter Alpert on In Plain Sight (2009-2011)
- Howard Meeks on Numb3rs (2006-2007)
- Will Bailey on The West Wing (2002-2006)
- Jeremy Goodwin on Sports Night (1998-2000)
TV Guest RolesEdit
- Dr. Curran on American Horror Story: Asylum (2011)
- Marissa's Father on Private Practice (2011)
- Neal Marshall on CSI: MiamiCSI: Miami (2011)
- Dr. Adam Copeland on Bones (2010)
- Tucker on House M.D. (2009)
- Stewart Gimbley on Psych (2009)
- Seth Hammer on Grey's Anatomy (2008)
- DA Monroe on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2008)
- Tim Carmer on Medium (2008)
- Aubrey's Dad in The First Time (2012)
- David in The American President (1995)
- Agent Chavez in In The Line of Fire (1993)
- Tom in A Few Good Men (1992)
- His full name is "Joshua Charles Malina"
- Josh has commented that while the name "Malina" does not sound Jewish to most people and often leads them to assume his is Latino, the name is Polish in origin, from the Polish word "raspberry."
- Was one of four actors who appeared in the movie The American President (1995), to join the cast of The West Wing (1999), following Martin Sheen, Nina Siemaszko and Anna Deavere Smith; along with the films writer, Aaron Sorkin, who had a cameo appearance in the film and later went to create The West Wing and serve as their Executive Producer.
- Josh is an avid poker player; he played to pay for rent when he struggled as an actor.
- He is one of the executive producers of the Bravo series, Celebrity Poker Showdown (2003).
- While in the cast of Aaron Sorkin's Broadway play A Few Good Men, he and Sorkin were members of a bowling league composed of cast and crew from Broadway shows. One night Sorkin bought the team a tray of hamburgers and, while trying to entertain the group, started to choke on a bite of one. Although he did not know how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver, Malina attempted to perform it on Sorkin, dislodging the burger and breaking three of Sorkin's ribs in the process.
- Joshua told an audience at the University of Florida that early in his career, he was not allowed to audition for a pizza commercial that took place during Passover, because the casting agents wanted him actually to eat the pizza. He refused, because pizza dough is leavened, rendering it not kosher for Passover. Malina offered to mime eating the pizza instead, but the advertiser's casting agents insisted that he had to eat the pizza or he would not be able to audition.
- As of January 2008 he is living in Malibu, CA with his wife and kids.