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Debra Messing

Debra Messing


8/15/1968, Brooklyn, New York, USA

Birth Name

Debra Lynn Moessing



Also Known As

Debra Messing-Zelman, Debra Lynn Moessing, Debra Moessing
  • Debra Messing in Smash
  • Debra Messing and Christian Borle in Smash
  • Debra Messing and Christian Borle in Smash
out of 10
User Rating
249 votes



Debra Messing was born in Brooklyn in the United States. She attended Brandeis University where she majored in theater arts. Messing spent half of her junior year studying in a London program which featured dramatic arts teachers recruited from various distinguished institutions such as the Royal Academy of…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Debra was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical from 2000-2005 for her series Will and Grace.

    • Debra was nominated for a 2008 SAG Award for 'Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries' for her project The Starter Wife. She was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series from 2001-2005 for Will and Grace. She won in 2001. She was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series in 2001 and 2004, also for Will and Grace.

    • On December 13, 2007, Debra was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the "Actress In A Leading Role - Mini-Series Or Television Movie" category for her performance in The Starter Wife.

    • Debra appeared in Garth Brooks' I Don't have to wonder (1997) Video. She played the bride who ends up getting killed in a car accident on a bridge.

    • While starring in Will and Grace, Debra appeared in a public service announcement about teen violence for NBC's The More You Know campaign.

    • In her high school musical production of Grease, Debra played the leading role as Sandy.

    • In 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and again in 2006, Debra was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Will & Grace). In 2003, she won the award.

    • Debra was called the most ravishing redhead in a celebrity hair survey conducted by Wella in December 2003.

    • Debra is an advocate for charities including Gay Men's Health Crisis, AmFAR and the Best Friend's Pet Sanctuary.

    • Debra's salary on Will & Grace (1998) was $250,000/episode.

    • Debra is 5' 8" (1.73 m)

    • Debra used to hold jobs as a Nanny, a coat check and also cooked for a catering service.

    • Debra is severely allergic to flowers and perfume. In fact, when Debra was filming The Wedding Date, artificial flowers had to be used.

    • Debra nearly sparked another Hollywood shoplifting scandal in June of 2003 when she mistakenly walked out of Beverly Hills' Saks Fifth Avenue with a pair of pricey jeans she'd forgotten to pay for.

    • Debra has been a spokesperson for hair-care products. She has appeared in Clairol commericals: Herbal Essence Shampoo (1994) and Nice 'n Easy hair color (2000).

    • Debra quit smoking after getting bronchitis in 1999.

    • Debra was named TV Guide's "best dressed woman" in 2003.

    • Debra received her BA from Brandeis University, and her MA in Drama from New York University.

    • Debra was Rhode Island's Junior Miss in 1986.

    • Debra beat Nicollette Sheridan for the role of Grace Adler during the final auditions for Will & Grace.

    • Debra is ironically afraid of talking in front of large crowds. She admitted and did a special episode about it on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

    • While Debra was pregnant she had a car accident. After the accident, she was hooked to an IV and was closely observed by speciallist for three days. She suffered minor contractions which doctors beleived would lead to an imminent premature birth.

      The crash happened when the car she was driving was suddenly rammed from behind and she was sent into early contactions, and she was secretly rushed to hospital.

    • Debra has been married to Daniel Zelman since 3 September 2000. The two were college sweethearts. Debra gave birth to their son, Roman Walker Zelman, 2 weeks prematurely on April 7th, 2004, in Los Angeles. He weighed 5lbs 14oz, and was 19 inches long.

    • Debra was born in Rhode Island, but her parents moved the family to New York in hopes of giving their children a more steady life. Her mother is the singer, Sandy Messing and her father is Brian Messing, who works as a sales executive for a jewelry company. Her brother Brett is a stockbroker, and the family are Jewish.

    • Debra won the award for Best Actress (for Will & Grace) at the 2002 Golden Satellite Awards. She also won a TV Guide award.

  • Quotes

    • Debra: (asked to reveal her favourite "Will And Grace" episode) Lows In The Mid Eighties, which was the flashback episode to when Will tells Grace he's gay. I really loved the excuse for us to see their history before he came out. We all wore ridiculous wigs and he wore braces. It was fun to play and also really moving.

    • Debra: (on saying goodbye to Will And Grace) We've been together for eight years, and it always hung over us, wondering how long the show would go on, so I think we're all grateful and thrilled it's been this long. But we've also had plenty of time to think about the inevitable and we knew it would end eventually. Having said that, don't think we haven't all been crying the whole time!

    • Debra: (on winning her first Emmy) 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.

    • Debra: Ask everyone whether they're an actor or a doctor or a teacher or whatever is entitled to his or her opinion. But unfortunately, because actors are in the public eye, whether we want it or not, sometimes our opinions carry more weight or influence than they deserve.

    • Debra: (On reports she didn't attend Megan Mullally's wedding) It's well known in the community that people are paid for stories; it's the dark side of the business. All four of us have had things written about us that have been hurtful-flat-out lies. As for Megan's wedding, there were only a handful of people there and I was one of them. Megan and I are very close, she threw a baby shower for me and sang at my wedding. We really are a family, we're very supportive of each other.

    • Debra: (on Will & Grace) It's a show about friendship. That's what drew me to it, just the fact that these two characters know each other so well that they can practically read each other's minds.

    • Debra: (speaking of the show Will & Grace) I come from the New York theatre world, and I have a lot of gay male friends, so this friendship of Will & Grace's isn't such a stretch.

    • Debra: (on meeting her husband) He was different from anyone I'd been interested in before. I'm so right out on the table. But he was quiet and introspective. I couldn't stop wondering about him.

  • Every time I see her.

    For years now I have seen Debra Messing, and EVERYTIME I see her I wonder why no one has offered her the roll of Lucille Ball. She is so talented and just feel SHE can do a wonderful job of portraying Miss Ball. I don't recall anyone doing anything about the life of a favorite actress of mine and I am sure many others. Hope I see this happen!!
  • Good actress.

    She is a good actress, I will say that. Debra Messing is one of those actresses that you don't always realize that she is fairly good at her roles but sometimes can be a non-factor in other roles. Perhaps she isn't the best or even one of the best, but her movies were much better than her television shows. The best genre would have to be her comedy movies. Her charm as an actress has overshadowed her inability to carry a film with her dramatic aspects, or lack thereof. Overall, she is decent enough to be a factor, but not great. Thank you.moreless