Last Friday, Debra Messing, the actress who plays interior designer Grace Adler on the beloved (and very gay) TV sitcom Will & Grace, got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the 1.3 mile stretch of California sidewalk bearing the names of legendary celebrities of TV, radio, stage and film. The Debra Messing star on the Walk of Fame was specifically for her television work.
The Debra Messing star is for TV, but she has also starred in several films
Although she’s best known for her role of Grace (a role she started in 1998), Messing has been acting since 1994 and has also appeared in films such as A Walk in the Clouds, Along Came Polly and The Women.
She has also been nominated for seven Screen Actors Guild awards, six Golden Globes and five Emmys. She won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 2001 and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2003. Both awards were for her Will & Grace role.
Messing told Entertainment Tonight:
[I] never [dreamed this could happen]. I grew up next to a farm in Rhode Island. My big dream was to be a working actress and ultimately to do Broadway in New York City. I’ve fulfilled all of my dreams. It’s going to take me a long time to process this. It’s so, so beautiful.
On May 6, 2017, Messing received GLAAD’s Excellence in Media Award for making a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBTQ people in her role in the recently rebooted gay sitcom series. The original Will & Grace ran from 1998 to 2006 and just re-started two weeks ago.
Messing also said of her new star:
I know that I need to laugh right now. The last year’s been a difficult one, and I can tell you that every day, when I go to work, we laugh out loud — belly laughing — I feel healed, and I’m just so excited now that people are able to watch We’re finally on the air and people can watch it and enjoy it and we’re hearing from all the fans that they’re laughing. That’s really our only goal, to make them happy.
The Los Angeles Times‘ David Lazarus explained that getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a costly (and somewhat political) endeavor that often coincides with newly released projects:
Honorees have to be nominated, and anyone can submit a nomination. But if a star is approved by the chamber’s selection committee, whoever did the nominating has to pony up $30,000. Half that amount goes to constructing the sidewalk star. The other half goes to its upkeep.