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Debra Messing

​Debra Lynn Messing (born August 15, 1968)  best known for her role as Grace Adler in the sitcom Will & Grace. Messing was born in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, the daughter of Sandra (née Simons), who has worked as a professional singer, banker, travel and real estate agent, and Brian Messing, a sales executive for a costume jewelry packaging manufacturer. Messing is Jewish, a descendant of immigrants from Russia and Poland. When Messing was three, she moved with her parents and her older brother, Brett, to East Greenwich, a small town outside Providence, Rhode Island. During her high school years, she acted and sang in a number of high school productions at East Greenwich High School, including the starring roles in the musicals Annie and Grease. She took lessons in dance, singing, and acting. In 1986, she was Rhode Island's Junior Miss and competed in Mobile, Alabama in the America's Junior Miss scholarship program. While her parents encouraged her dream of becoming an actress, they also urged her to complete a liberal arts education before deciding on acting as a career. Following their advice, she attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. During her junior year, she studied theater at the prestigious London-based British European Studio Group program, an experience that solidified her desire to act. In 1990, after graduating summa cum laude from Brandeis University with a bachelor's degree in theater arts, Messing gained admission to the elite Graduate Acting Program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts which accepts approximately fifteen new students annually. She earned a Master's Degree in Fine Arts after three years. In 1993, Messing won praise for her acting in the pre-Broadway workshop production of Tony Kushner's play Angels in America: Perestroika. Subsequently, she appeared in several episodes of the television series NYPD Blue during 1994 and 1995. In 1995, Messing made her film debut in Alfonso Arau's A Walk in the Clouds playing the unfaithful wife of main character Paul Sutton (Keanu Reeves). This exposure led the Fox network to make her the co-star of the television sitcom, Ned & Stacey. The series lasted for two seasons, from 1995 to 1997. Messing appeared as Jerry Seinfeld's date in two episodes of the series Seinfeld: "The Wait Out" in 1996 and "The Yada Yada" in 1997. Messing turned down a starring role in another television sitcom to appear in Donald Margulies's two-character play Collected Stories, which opened at the Off-Broadway Manhattan Theater Club. She also co-starred in the Tom Arnold vehicle McHale's Navy in 1997. In 1998, Messing played a lead role as the bio-anthropologist Sloan Parker on ABC's dramatic science fiction television series Prey. During this time her agent approached her with the pilot script for the television show Will & Grace. Messing was inclined to take some time off, but the script intrigued her, and she auditioned for the role of Grace Adler, beating out Nicollette Sheridan, who later guest-starred on the show as a romantic rival of Grace's. Will & Grace became a ratings success, and Messing became a star. In 2002, she was named one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" by People Magazine. TV Guide picked her as its "Best Dressed Woman" in 2003. Messing was cast by director Woody Allen in a small role in his 2002 film Hollywood Ending. Her film roles since include a happily married but ill-fated wife in the supernatural thriller The Mothman Prophecies (2002) and a supporting role in Along Came Polly (2004). The Wedding Date (2005) was Messing's first leading role in a high-profile film. It received mixed reviews but performed fairly well at the box office. Messing was featured as a judge on the season finale of the second season of Bravo's reality show, Project Runway. She also starred in the television mini-series The Starter Wife, which was nominated for ten Emmy awards including one for Messing for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. In 2008, Messing reprised her role as Molly Kagan in the television series The Starter Wife, which included 10 episodes. In early 2010, Messing will star in the new ABC comedy series Wright vs. Wrong for the 2010-2011 primetime season.

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Aug 15, 1968 In Brooklyn, New York, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series Today 1952-01-14
Latest Project:
Movie Irresistible 2020-07-01
Known For
Poster of Searching
Poster of Albion: The Enchanted Stallion
Poster of Like Sunday, Like Rain
Poster of King of the Hill
Movie Irresistible Babs Garnett (uncredited) 2020-07-01
Movie The Dark Divide Thea Pyle 2020-03-28
Movie Bombshell in Concert 2020-05-20
Movie Stucco Counselor 2019-08-08
Movie Searching Detective Vick 2018-08-24
Movie Dirty Dancing Marjorie Houseman 2017-05-24
Series Will & Grace Grace Adler 2017-09-28
Series Match Game Herself 2016-06-26
Movie Must See TV: An All Star Tribute to James Burrows Self 2016-02-21
Movie Albion: The Enchanted Stallion The Queen 2016-05-01
Series Close Up with The Hollywood Reporter Herself 2015-08-02
Movie Like Sunday, Like Rain Barbara 2014-03-01
Series The Mysteries of Laura Detective Laura Diamond 2014-09-17
Series Smash Julia Houston 2012-02-06
Series Billy on the Street Herself 2011-12-18
Movie The Women Edie Cohen 2008-09-12
Movie Nothing Like the Holidays Sarah Rodriguez 2008-12-12
Movie Purple Violets Kate Scott 2007-04-30
Series The Graham Norton Show Herself 2007-02-22
Movie Lucky You Suzanne Offer 2007-05-01
Series The Starter Wife Molly Kagan 2007-05-31
Series The Megan Mullally Show Unknown 2006-09-18
Movie Open Season Beth (voice) 2006-09-29
Movie The Wedding Date Kat Ellis 2005-02-04
Series The Reichen Show 2005-11-11
Movie Along Came Polly Lisa Kramer 2004-01-16
Movie Garfield Arlene (voice) 2004-06-10
Series Project Runway Unknown 2004-12-01
Series The Ellen DeGeneres Show Unknown 2003-09-08
Movie The Mothman Prophecies Mary Klein 2002-01-25
Movie Hollywood Ending Lori 2002-05-03
Movie Jesus Maria Madalena 1999-05-12
Series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Unknown 1999-09-20
Series Prey Dr. Sloan Parker 1998-01-15
Series Will & Grace Grace Adler 1998-09-21
Movie Celebrity TV Reporter 1998-09-07
Series King of the Hill Unknown 1997-01-12
Series The View Unknown 1997-08-11
Movie McHale's Navy Lt. Penelope Carpenter 1997-04-18
Movie A Walk in the Clouds Betty Sutton 1995-08-11
Series Ned and Stacey Stacey Colbert 1995-09-11
Series Partners Unknown 1995-09-11
Series Inside the Actors Studio Unknown 1994-06-01
Series Late Night with Conan O'Brien Unknown 1993-09-13
Series The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Unknown 1992-05-25
Series Seinfeld Unknown 1989-07-05
Series LIVE with Kelly and Ryan Unknown 1988-09-05
Series Today Unknown 1952-01-14