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Debra Messing

Debra Messing has been balancing a busy career in both feature films and television. She will next be seen in the independent feature Purple Violets, in which she stars with Edward Burns, who also wrote and directed the film. She also stars opposite Joe Mantegna in the USA Cable six-hour miniseries Starter Wife, which will air in May 2007.

Messing recently starred in the romantic comedy The Wedding Date, opposite Dermot Mulroney, and she also lent her voice to the hit animated film Open Season. Her previous film credits include the hit comedy Along Came Polly, with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston; the Woody Allen comedies Hollywood Ending and Celebrity; the animated comedy feature Garfield; The Mothman Prophecies, opposite Richard Gere; the film version of McHale's Navy; and Alfonso Arau's romantic drama A Walk in the Clouds, in which she made her feature film debut playing Keanu Reeves' character's wife.

Messing is perhaps best known for her starring role on the award-winning comedy series Will & Grace. After eight successful seasons, the show completed its primetime run on NBC while it was still at the top of its game. For her portrayal of Grace Adler, Messing won an Emmy Award and earned four additional Emmy nominations, the most recent coming in 2006. In addition, she received six Golden Globe nominations, two American Comedy Award nominations, and two individual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations for her work on the series. Together with her Will & Grace castmates, Messing also won a SAG Award and garnered four more SAG Award nominations in the category of Outstanding Ensemble Performance. In 2005, Messing was honored with the Women in Film's Lucy Award, named for Lucille Ball.

In 2000, Messing portrayed Mary Magdalene in the four-hour CBS miniseries Jesus, directed by Roger Young and also starring Gary Oldman, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Jeroen Krabbe and Jeremy Sisto. Prior to Will & Grace, Messing had starred in two very different series: the ABC drama Prey, and the FOX comedy series Ned & Stacey, in which she played the title role of Stacey, opposite Thomas Haden Church. She first caught the attention of television audiences in recurring roles on the groundbreaking police drama NYPD Blue and the top-rated comedy series Seinfeld, including the memorable Yada Yada episode.

A classically trained actress, Messing earned a Theatre Arts degree from Brandeis University, and an M.F.A. from NYU's elite Graduate Acting Program before starting her professional career on the stage. Messing portrayed Harper Pitt in the pre-Broadway workshop of Tony Kushner's award-winning play Angels in America: Perestroika. Her other theatre credits include the New York premiere of John Patrick Shanley's Four Dogs and a Bone, at the Manhattan Theatre Club; and Paul Rudnick's off-Broadway play The Naked Truth. Messing also co-starred with Maria Tucci in Donald Margulies' two-woman show, Collected Stories.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2007.
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Debra Messing Facts

Birth Name Debra Moessing
OccupationActress
BirthdayAugust 15, 1968 (49)
SignLeo
BirthplaceBrooklyn, New York, USA
Height5' 8" (1m73)  How tall is Debra Messing compared to you?
Awards2003 Emmy Awards: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series (for Will & Grace)

Selected Filmography

Albion: The Enchanted Stallion
The Wedding Date
The Women
Open Season
The Mothman Prophecies
Along Came Polly
Will & Grace Seasons 1-8 Bundle Pack
Smash: Season 2
Will & Grace
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