With her brilliant talent in acting, particularly in comic scenes, and her curly auburn hair, it can be understood if public consider Debra Messing to be the next %cLucille Ball% of her generation. Capable of provoking every person's laughter, she indeed has become a major comedic star who always able to exhibit an excellent performance either on big or small screen. %cWoody Allen%, a prominent figure in Hollywood film industry, even has given his compliment, describing her as a natural comic talent who is not only beautiful but also very gifted and lights up everything she does. Therefore, it is very proper to conclude that she is presumably one of the most celebrated comedic actresses of the 21st century.
A daughter from a Jewish family, Debra Moessing was born on August 15, 1968 in Brooklyn to Brian and Sandy Messing. Along with her older brother, Brett, she followed her parents to settle in the quiet community of East Greenwich, Rhode Island at the age of three. Spending much of her time to perform in numerous musical productions at either school or camp, it was apparent that the little girl had already developed a great desire for acting. "I was always singing and dancing for my mother when I wasn't glued to the television watching I Love Lucy or The Carol Burnett Show," she recalled. "I remember watching the television show Fame and wanting to dance on top of a taxi."
As Debra determined to establish a career in acting, her parents suggested her to polish her skills through formal education, so she decided to take theater arts studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Feeling it was not enough, she spent half of her junior year to learn more about theater through the prestigious British European Studio Group of London program in England. Finished her study with summa cum laude from Brandeis by 1990, she managed to be accepted in the Graduate Acting Program at New York University which only provides around 15 empty seats every year. Without any difficulties, she finally obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1993.
Setting out to reach her dream of becoming a first-class actress, Debra made her initial attempt through the pre-Broadway workshop of Tony Kushner's "Angels In America: Perestroika" in 1993. To her delight, her portrayal of Harper Pitt in this Tony Award winning play was hugely praised, thus led this 25-years-old beauty to have her professional stage debut in "The Importance of Being Earnest" at Seattle's Intiman Theater. Back to New York, she later became the understudy of both %cMary Louise Parker% and %cPolly Draper% in the premiere of "Four Dogs and a Bone" at Manhattan Theater Club before took part in Paul Rudnick's play, "The Naked Truth," in 1994.
Already gained some theatrical experience, Debra then turned her attention to screen production and landed her feet in ABC's TV series, "NYPD Blue" (1993-2005). Starring as %cGail O'Grady%'s sister named Dana Abandando, she appeared in three episodes of this famous police drama during 1994-1995. In the meantime, she also made her first feature film appearance in Alfonso Arau's "Walk in the Clouds" (1995) alongside %cKeanu Reeves%. Noticed by Fox Network, she afterwards was billed to play Stacey Colbert in its TV sitcom, "Ned and Stacey." For the next two years, she consistently displayed excellent comedic performances before the show came to its end by 1997.
1997 marked Debra's return to the Manhattan Theater Club as she was willing to collaborate with %cMaria Tucci% in Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize finalist, "Collected Stories." The rest of the year saw her showing up in "McHale's Navy" opposite %cTom Arnold% and in ABC's TV movie entitled "Prey." When the latter was planned to be transformed into a TV series, she delightfully accepted the offer to play the same role. Unfortunately, this dramatic sci-fi was immediately cancelled in 1998 after being aired for one season despite its growing popularity. Disappointed and exhausted, she was close to refuse a pilot script, handed by her agent, from NBC which at that time intended to produce a new sitcom.
After some consideration, Debra ultimately confirmed to join the show for she later felt that its story, which focused on the life of a gay attorney and his female roommate, was intriguing. Teaming up with %cEric McCormack%, she was cast as Grace Adler based on the idea created by Max Mutchnik and David Kohan entitled "Will & Grace." Debuted on September 21, 1998, this comedy series turned out to be a tremendous success throughout U.S., even the world. By the following year, it had already scored such a great attainment as the show received some nominations at prestigious events in which it won several of those, including a People's Choice Award for Favorite Television New Comedy Series.
Throughout the year 2001-2005, "Will & Grace" had become the second-highest-rated sitcom among adults aged from 18 to 49. Along the way until its end in 2005, this sitcom has collected 46 awards, aside from an Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2000. Meanwhile, Debra herself got consecutively nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in A Comedy Series at the same occasion from 2000-2002 and ultimately won the title in 2003. She also was the Golden Globe Awards nominee in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series-Musical or Comedy for seven times in a row from 1999 to 2005. In addition, she earned the nomination of Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series at Screen Actors Guild Awards held in 2004.
Looking on all the recognition that had been directed to her, "Will & Grace" certainly was such a marvelous vehicle which brought her under the spotlight. This automatically gave Debra a wider access in the Hollywood movie industry to be cast alongside the A-list actors, such as %cRichard Gere% in "The Mothman Prophecies" (2002), %cWoody Allen% in "Hollywood Ending" (2002), and %cBen Stiller% in "Along Came Polly" (2004). Her star kept glowing brightly as she got the top billing in "The Wedding Date" (2005) while also took part in Curtis Hanson's "Lucky You" (2006) together with %cEric Bana%, %cDrew Barrymore%, and %cRobert Duvall%.
As for her private life, Debra is happily married to her longtime sweetheart, Daniel Zelman, an actor who later changed his direction to be a screenwriter. "He's the best human being I know," she said. "He makes me a better person every day. I'm never happier than when I'm with him." She and Zelman made acquaintance of each other on their first day as the graduate students at New York University. After dating for eight years, she finally became his wife on September 3, 2000. Settled in Los Angeles, the couple elatedly welcomed their first son, Roman Walker Zelman by April 7, 2004.