Debra Lynn Messing (born August 15, 1968) is an American actress. She is known for her television roles in Will & Grace, The Starter Wife and Smash.Following her graduation from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Messing had short-lived tenures on the Fox sitcom Ned & Stacey and the ABC sci-fi Prey. She rose to prominence in her role as Grace Adler on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace, earning both commercial and critical success throughout the series' eight season run. She also received critical acclaim for her work as Molly Kagan in the USA Network series The Starter Wife. She also played the lead role of Julia Houston in the musical-drama series Smash, before it was cancelled by NBC after two seasons.