as Grace Adler
Emmy Award winner Debra Messing (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series) understands the unique bond of friendship that exists between her character, interior decorator Grace Adler, and the character of Will Truman.
"Grace is very dedicated and disciplined when it comes to her professional life," says Messing. "But her personal life isn't nearly so together, and Will is her stabilizing force. She's a little neurotic, and she knows Will is the only person who understands her and can help her put things in perspective. But Grace is also a lot of fun, and her humor helps balance Will's more serious personality. They're the kind of best friends who know each other's history and can finish each other's sentences."
Messing was nominated for Emmy Awards as Outstanding Lead Actress in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and won the Award in 2003. She has also received five Golden Globe nominations, two SAG nominations, two People's Choice nominations, two American Comedy Award nominations and won a TV Guide Award for her performance as Grace. Next Spring, she will star in her first lead film role in director Clare Kilner's romantic comedy, "Something Borrowed" (opposite Dermot Mulroney) for Gold Circle Films. This year, she was seen in Universal's "Along Came Polly" opposite Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston. Also on the big screen, Messing recently appeared in Woody Allen's comedy "Hollywood Ending," as well as the thriller "The Mothman Prophecies," alongside Richard Gere. Messing's other feature film credits include Allen's "Celebrity" (having been hand-picked for the part by the director) and Alfonso Arau's romantic love story, "A Walk in the Clouds" opposite Keanu Reeves.
Born in Brooklyn, Messing and her older brother were raised in a quiet community outside Providence, Rhode Island. She received her liberal arts education at Brandeis University where she majored in theater arts. She spent half of her junior year studying in London's prestigious B.E.S.G.L. program, which featured dramatic arts teachers recruited from various distinguished institutions such as the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Cambridge University and Oxford University. Upon graduating summa cum laude from Brandeis, Messing was accepted into New York University's elite Graduate Acting Program and received her master of fine arts degree.
On the New York stage, Messing garnered praise for her performance as Harper Pitt in the pre-Broadway workshop of Tony Kushner's Tony Award-winning play "Angels in America: Perestroika." She appeared as Cecily in a Seattle production of "The Importance of Being Earnest." Upon returning to New York, she was cast as the understudy to Mary-Louise Parker and Polly Draper in the off-Broadway premiere of John Patrick Shanley's "Four Dogs and a Bone." She also co-starred in Paul Rudnick's "The Naked Truth" and co-starred with Maria Tucci in the acclaimed two-woman production of Donald Margulies' "Collected Stories," which was chosen as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
On television, Messing starred for two seasons in the comedy "Ned & Stacey" opposite Thomas Haden Church. She had a recurring role on "NYPD Blue" as Gail O'Grady's conniving sister, Dana Abandando. On "Seinfeld" she played Jerry's ideal, but elusive, love, Dr. Beth Lookner. She also starred as the young bio-anthropologist Sloan Parker in the drama series "Prey" and appeared as Mary Magdalene in the critically acclaimed 2000 miniseries "Jesus."
Messing lives with her husband and young child in Los Angeles. During her free time, she supports charities such as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Project Angel Food and various breast cancer charities. Her birthday is August 15.