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Debra Messing


Birth name:

Debra Lynn Messing




Brooklyn, New York, USA



Race or Ethnicity:


Sexual orientation:





United States

Executive summary:

Grace on Will & Grace


5' 8" (1.73 m)


Debra Messing - Pictures

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Additional Free Pictures of Debra Messing 1    2


Debra Messing - Biography


Debra Lynn Messing (born August 15, 1968) is an American actress, 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. It was at this school where she first met Eddie Depastina, a computer teacher who continued to support her throughout her high school years. 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. Some time after 1986 she underwent surgical rhinoplasty.
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 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 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 gained renown.
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 2009, Messing's untitled comedy series was picked up by NBC for the 2009-10 primetime season.

Messing met her husband, Daniel Zelman, an actor and screenwriter, on their first day as graduate students at NYU in 1990. They were married on September 3, 2000, and live in New York City. On April 7, 2004, Messing gave birth to their son, Roman Walker Zelman.


Debra Messing - Personal Quotes


"He's the best human being I know, he makes me a better person every day. I'm never happier than when I'm with him." - Said about her husband Daniel in a Cosmopolitan interview: 2000.

"I can't imagine it being more sweet. You just hope that you will get the opportunity to do what you love and pay your bills, and that is being a success as an actor. The accolades - this is otherworldly. I have never allowed myself the ability to dream this far." - On winning her first Emmy

"I'm fascinated by diamonds. When I put diamonds on, my hands start to shake."


Debra Messing - Filmography


"The Starter Wife" .... Molly Kagan (10 episodes, 2008)
- Woman Over the Influence (2008) TV episode .... Molly Kagan
- Her Old Man & The Sea (2008) TV episode .... Molly Kagan
- Look Who's Stalking (2008) TV episode .... Molly Kagan
- The French Disconnection (2008) TV episode .... Molly Kagan
- The Ex-Files (2008) TV episode .... Molly Kagan
(5 more)
Nothing Like the Holidays (2008) .... Sarah Rodriguez
The Women (2008/I) .... Edie Cohen
"The Starter Wife" .... Molly Kagan (5 episodes, 2007)
- Hour 6 (2007) TV episode .... Molly Kagan
- Hour 5 (2007) TV episode .... Molly Kagan
- Hour 4 (2007) TV episode .... Molly Kagan
- Hour 3 (2007) TV episode .... Molly Kagan
- Hour 1 (2007) TV episode .... Molly Kagan
Lucky You (2007) .... Suzanne Offer
Purple Violets (2007) .... Kate Scott
Open Season (2006) (voice) .... Beth
"Will & Grace" .... Grace Adler (187 episodes, 1998-2006)
- The Finale (2006) TV episode .... Grace Adler
- Whatever Happened to Baby Gin? (2006) TV episode .... Grace Adler
- Partners 'n' Crime (2006) TV episode .... Grace Adler
- The Mourning Son (2006) TV episode .... Grace Adler
- Blanket Apology (2006) TV episode .... Grace Adler
(182 more)
Will & Grace: Say Goodnight Gracie (2006) (TV) .... Grace Adler
The Wedding Date (2005) .... Kat Ellis
Garfield (2004) (voice) .... Arlene
... aka Garfield: The Movie (USA: promotional title)
Along Came Polly (2004) .... Lisa Kramer
"King of the Hill" .... Mrs. Hilgren-Bronson (1 episode, 2002)
- Get Your Freak Off (2002) TV episode (voice) .... Mrs. Hilgren-Bronson
Hollywood Ending (2002) .... Lori
The Mothman Prophecies (2002) .... Mary Klein
Jesus (1999) (TV) .... Mary Magdalene
... aka Die Bibel - Jesus (Germany)
... aka La bibbia: Jesus (Italy)
"Ned and Stacey" .... Stacey Colbert (47 episodes, 1995-1999)
- Skippy's Revenge (1999) TV episode .... Stacey Colbert
- I Like Your Moxie (1999) TV episode .... Stacey Colbert
- No Retreat, No Surrender (1997) TV episode .... Stacey Colbert
- Where My Third Nepal Is Sheriff (1997) TV episode .... Stacey Colbert
- Saved by the Belvedere (1997) TV episode .... Stacey Colbert
(42 more)
Celebrity (1998) .... TV Reporter at Lupus Office
"Prey" .... Dr. Sloan Parker (13 episodes, 1998)
- Deliverance: Part 1 (1998) TV episode .... Dr. Sloan Parker
- Progeny (1998) TV episode .... Dr. Sloan Parker
- Vengeance (1998) TV episode .... Dr. Sloan Parker
- Sleeper (1998) TV episode .... Dr. Sloan Parker
- Collaboration (1998) TV episode .... Dr. Sloan Parker
(8 more)
"Seinfeld" .... Beth (2 episodes, 1996-1997)
- The Yada Yada (1997) TV episode .... Beth
- The Wait Out (1996) TV episode .... Beth
McHale's Navy (1997) .... Lt. Penelope Carpenter
"Partners" .... Stacey (1 episode, 1995)
- City Hall (1995) TV episode .... Stacey
A Walk in the Clouds (1995) .... Betty Sutton
... aka Caminando por las nubes (Mexico)
... aka Un paseo por las nubes (Mexico)
"NYPD Blue" .... Dana Abandando (3 episodes, 1994-1995)
- Bombs Away (1995) TV episode .... Dana Abandando
- A Murder with Teeth in It (1995) TV episode .... Dana Abandando
- Double Abandando (1994) TV episode .... Dana Abandando


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