Debra Messing Remembers ‘Old-School Dame’ Debbie Reynolds From ‘Will & Grace’ Set
Grace Adler couldn't escape her overbearing mother Bobbi quickly enough during Will and Grace's eight-season run, but Debra Messing wishes the late Debbie Reynolds — who played Bobbi — hadn't been taken so soon.
In a new guest essay for The Hollywood Reporter, Messing recalls her thrill in discovering Reynolds had been cast as Bobbi, an emotion she struggled to suppress.
"I jumped on her and was probably inappropriately touchy," Messing writes. "She was nothing but receptive to my demonstrativeness toward her. Debbie was very tender, yet bigger than life. She's effervescent, playful, boisterous, and really an old-school dame. Like an old broad in the best sense of the term, but also very serious about her work."
Messing adds that Reynolds was a consummate professional and sought perfection, down to the exact hue of Bobbi's fiery red wig. Still, there was a gentle compassion to Reynolds, Messing notes, and the actress would often dance near craft services just to make people laugh or offer support to Messing when motherhood got tough. And Carrie Fisher, who died just a day before Reynolds' death, wasn't much different.
"Debbie was fiercely independent," Messing writes. "She was philanthropic and got behind mental health, a cause she stood behind for more than 50 years. She was in the forefront of the LGBT community — that was very important to her. Carrie is any feminist's hero. The way she wrote, the way she spoke; she was unguarded and unapologetic — brazen in her honesty and demands of respect."
"Without them, the world is a less funny place...and a less provocative place," she adds.
Look Back at Photos of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Through The Years: