Biography

Pretty but also pretty quirky, Debra Messing honed her acting skills on stage before segueing to a small-screen career. Her first screwball sitcom, Ned and Stacey, lasted only two seasons, but her next similarly titled series, Will & Grace---where she played the straight woman to her gay best friend---ran for eight seasons, and made her a star and fashion plate, while also earning her an Emmy. Messing made her feature film debut in the 1995 romance A Walk in the Clouds as Keanu Reeves' war bride, and has since made occasional returns to the big screen. But she's devoted most of her energy to her TV career---which got another lift in 2007 with the Emmy-winning miniseries The Starter Wife---and to her off-camera life with her screenwriter-actor husband, Daniel Zelman, and their son, Roman.

Fast Facts

  • Won the Rhode Island Junior Miss pageant in 1986.
  • Spent a semester abroad in London, studying with acting teachers from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
  • Made her professional stage debut playing Cecily in a production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest at Seattle's Intiman Theatre.
  • First TV appearance was on a 1994 episode of the ABC police drama NYPD Blue.
  • Named the Best Dressed Woman of 2003 by TV GUIDE.
  • Graduated to big-screen leading roles with the 2005 romantic comedy The Wedding Date; subsequently starred in Nothing Like the Holidays and The Women (both 2008), among others.

Awards

  • 2002, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2003, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Winner
  • 2000, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2002, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2003, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2001, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2004, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2005, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2000, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2006, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2001, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
  • 2008, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 2009, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2004, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2002, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2003, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2007, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Nominee
  • 2000, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2003, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2000, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Winner

Relationships

  • Sandy Messing — Mother
  • Brett Messing — Brother
  • Brian Messing — Father
  • Daniel Zelman — Husband (separated)
  • Roman Walker Zelman — Son
  • Will Chase — Ex-significant Other

College

  • Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, United States (BA in Theater Arts, 1990); New York University, New York, New York, United States (MFA in Acting, 1993)

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Details

  • Birth Name: Debra Lynn Messing
  • Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, United States
  • Birthday: August 15, 1968, Leo
  • Profession: Actor
  • User Rating:3.52 out of 5 (387 ratings)
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