Debra Messing Biography

Debra Messing photo

Born: August 15, 1968


Date of Birth: August 15, 1968

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Messing was raised with her older brother outside of Providence, Rhode Island. Growing up, Debra went to performing arts and sailing camps, and in her teens, took a tour of the United States, Mexico and Canada. Attending Brandeis University for theater study, Messing spent half her junior year studying acting across the pond in London's prestigious B.E.S.G.L. program. From Brandeis, Messing continued her studies at New York University's elite Graduate Acting Program, until she achieved her Master's degree.

Messing made her professional debut in a production of The Importance of Being Earnest in Seattle and appeared in Four Dogs and a Bone and The Naked Truth off-Broadway. She also played Harper Pitt in the pre-Broadway workshop production of Angels in America: Perestroika.

In the mid-1990s, she burst on the Hollywood scene, playing Gail O'Grady's scheming sister on four episodes of the drama series NYPD Blue. She then won her own series, the sitcom Ned and Stacey, as a liberal journalist forced into a marriage of convenience with a conservative ad executive.

By the late '90s, Messing's exposure both on the small and large screen led to another sitcom lead role in Will & Grace. The series, which focuses on a straight woman and a gay man who are roommates in New York, became popular among viewers and garnered Messing a number of award nominations including two Emmys, three Golden Globes and a SAG (Screen Actor's Guild) award for Best Female Lead in a Comedy series.

Messing made her feature film debut in 1995 playing Keanu Reeves' wife in A Walk in the Clouds and landed the female lead in the big screen bomb, McHale's Navy (1997). By the start of the 21st century, she landed major roles in feature films such as The Mothman Prophecies (2002) and Along Came Polly (2004). In 2005, she took on the starring role in The Wedding Date, about a woman who hires a male escort to be her date for a wedding.

Messing lives with her husband, actor Daniel Zelman, in Los Angeles. They have a son, Roman, who was born on April 7, 2004. During her free time, Debra supports various charities.


Nothing Like the Holidays (2008)
The Women (2008)
Lucky You (2007)
Purple Violets (2007)
Open Season (2006) (voice)
The Wedding Date (2005)
Garfield (2004) (voice)
Along Came Polly (2004)
Hollywood Ending (2002)
The Mothman Prophecies (2002)
Celebrity (1998)
Prey (1997)
McHale's Navy (1997)
A Walk in the Clouds (1995)

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