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‘Will & Grace’ Cast Then and Now: Catch Up With the Beloved Stars Today!

Find out who initially auditioned for the role of Grace, but landed another part on the show instead!


Will and Grace — and it’s memorable cast — stands as one of the most beloved sitcoms of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Running from 1998 to 2006 with a revival from 2017 to 2020, the show garnered critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase for its witty humor and groundbreaking characters.

The sitcom was created by David Kohan and Max Mutchnick and aired on NBC. Set in New York City, the series revolves around the friendship between Will Truman, a gay lawyer, and Grace Adler, a straight interior designer, along with their quirky friends Karen Walker and Jack McFarland.

The show humorously explores their personal and professional lives, navigating relationships, careers, and the ups and downs of living in the big city. The Will and Grace cast not only brought laughter and joy to millions of viewers but also paved the way for greater LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream media

Here, the Will and Grace cast members, then and now.

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Eric McCormack as Will Truman Will and Grace Cast

Eric McCormack as Will Truman (Will and Grace Cast)
1998/2023; Frazer Harrison / Staff/Getty

Born on April 18, 1963, in Toronto, Canada, Eric McCormack portrayed the lovable Will Truman, a successful gay lawyer with a penchant for order and neurotic tendencies. When the series launched, McCormack was making $600,000 per episode.

Before he was on the Will and Grace cast, McCormack was in several TV shows including Lonesome Dove: The Series, Highlander and Street Justice.

After the Will and Grace cast, McCormack continued to have a successful career in TV and film.

In 2004 he was in the series Dead Like Me. From 2012-2015, McCormack played the role of Daniel Pierce in the TV series Perception. Then, 2016-2018, he played the role of Grant MacLaren in the popular show Travelers.

In 2021, he appeared in the movie Drinkwater. Most recently, in 2023, he’s been in the TV series The Other Black Girl.

McCormack married Janet Holden, and they have a son together.

Did you know? McCormack is known for his advocacy work in support of LGBTQ+ rights.

Debra Messing as Grace Adler

Debra Messing as Grace Adler (Will and Grace Cast)
1998/2023; Arturo Holmes / Staff/Getty

Born August 15, 1968, in Brooklyn, New York, Debra Messing played Grace Adler, a quirky and lovable interior designer with a penchant for romantic misadventures. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role.

In 1998, Messing played the role of bio-anthropologist Sloan Parker on ABC’s dramatic science fiction television series Prey. During this time her agent approached her with the pilot script for the television show Will and Grace. Messing was inclined to take some time off, but the script intrigued her, and she auditioned for the role of Grace Adler. We couldn’t imagine anyone else playing the part.

Audience members didn’t realize she was six months pregnant with her son, Roman Zelman, when she completed filming on the sixth season. She returned to work three months after giving birth in order to begin filming season seven.

In 2002, Messing was named one of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” by People magazine and in 2003 TV Guide picked her as its “Best Dressed Woman”. She was also awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017.

Messing has had a plethora of roles over the years including movies like Hollywood Ending and The Wedding Date. Plus, she’s been in several TV series including Ned and Stacey and the Mysteries of Laura. Most recently, she was in 2022’s movies Bros and 13: The Musical.

Did you know? Although she’s known for being a redhead, Messing is actually a brunette.

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Sean Hayes as Jack McFarland Will and Grace Cast

Sean Hayes as Jack McFarland (Will and Grace Cast)
2001/2023; Cindy Ord / Staff/Getty

Born on June 26, 1970, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, Sean Hayes portrayed Jack McFarland, an eccentric and melodramatic aspiring actor and friend of both Will and Grace.

McFarland got his acting chops in Chicago’s famed Second City comedy group. He had parts in TV movies including A & P (1996), based on a story by John Updike, before landing the role which earned him an Emmy award and two Golden Globe nominations.

Hayes also had success in films including the title role of the art-house hit Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss (1998), which won critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival. He also co-starred in the box-office hit Cats & Dogs (2001) for Warner Bros Studios.

Then in 2010, he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for his appearance in Promises, Promises.

He also is a singer and is known for his voice-over work. He is the recorded vocalist for the Emmy-Award nominated song “You Gotta Believe,” featured in the animated film How Murray Saved Christmas.

He was also the voice of Pete the guard in Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure (2017-2020). Most recently he appeared in 2024’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Hayes is married to Scott Icenogle, a Los Angeles music producer.

Did you know? As a teenager, Hayes was an extra in Winona Ryder’s first movie Lucas (1986), which was filmed at Hayes’ High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Hayes is also a classically-trained pianist.

Megan Mullally as Karen Walker

Megan Mullally as Karen Walker
2001/2023; Frazer Harrison / Staff/Getty

Born November 12, 1958, in Los Angeles, California, Megan Mullally played Karen Walker, a wealthy, alcoholic socialite with a razor-sharp wit and a penchant for drama. Originally Mullally auditioned for the role of Grace, but was cast as Karen — we can’t imagine it any other way.

Mullally is married to Nick Offerman (of Parks and Recreation fame) and together they are one of Hollywood’s funniest couples. They met in 2000 and married in 2003 and have been going strong ever since. Though they’ve done plenty of projects apart, Offerman and Mullally have worked together well over a dozen times.

They have appeared in each other’s TV projects — Offerman guest-starred on Will and Grace while Mullally played the recurring role of Tammy Swanson on Parks and Recreation. On the big screen, they’ve starred in nine movies together, including Stealing Harvard, Smashed, The Kings of Summer, Hotel Transylvania and Infinity Baby. Off-camera, they co-wrote the 2018 book The Greatest Love Story Ever Told and hosted a podcast, In Bed With Nick and Megan.

Did you know? Mullally was the first Will and Grace cast member to win an Emmy. She won in 2000 for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Comedy.

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Shelley Morrison as Rosario Salazar Will and Grace Cast

Shelley Morrison as Rosario Salazar
2001/2015; Robin Marchant / Contributor/Getty

Born October 26, 1936, in Bronx, New York, Shelley Morrison portrayed Rosario Salazar, Karen Walker’s sharp-tongued maid with a no-nonsense attitude and a heart of gold.

Morrison was born Rachel Mitrani in the Bronx on October 26, 1936. She changed her name to Shelley Morrison to avoid ethnic typecasting. Her earlier career was in theater appearing in Orpheus Descending and Sweet Bird of Youth.

In the 1960s she had bit parts in many tv shows including Gunsmoke, Laredo, and My Favorite Martian. She is remember fondly for playing the role of Sister Sixto, who had problems mastering English, in the comedy The Flying Nun (1967) which starred Sally Field.

In the ‘70s and ‘ 80s she had bit parts in The Partridge Family, Soap, Murder, She Wrote, and Home Improvement.  Her break out role was playing Rosario Salazar in Will and Grace. Sadly, she passed away in 2019.

Did you know? Morrison married the writer and director Walter Dominguez and together they had adopted three sons and three adopted daughters. 

Leslie Jordan as Beverley Leslie

Leslie Jordan as Beverley Leslie
2001/2022 Kevin Winter / Staff/Getty; Paul Morigi / Stringer/Getty

Born on April 29, 1955, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Leslie Jordan played the role of Beverley Leslie, Karen Walker’s diminutive, flamboyant frenemy and rival in high society.

Jordan was known for his short stature, he was 4′ 11, his trademark southern drawn and a talent for stealing the scene. He got his start in commercials before moving to TV shows like The Fall Guy, Night Court, and Midnight Caller. He then got a regular role on the short-lived comedy-fantasy series The People Next Door (1989) inspired by The Far Side comic strip.

From there, he had parts in various movies including Moving (1988) Ski Patrol (1990), Missing Pieces (1991), Hero (1992), Jason Goes to Hell (1993), Barcelona (1994), Black Velvet Pantsuit (1995) and Eat Your Heart Out (1997).

The 80s and 90s were successful TV years for Jordan. He was seen in Murphy Brown (1988), Reasonable Doubts (1991) Bodies of Evidence (1992) and Caroline in the City (1995).

He also did a lot of writing and acting on Broadway. 

In the 2000s, Jordan wrote and appeared in the semi-autobiographical film Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel. He also appeared in several hit shows including Boston Public, Judging Amy, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives and American Horror Story.

He gained widespread acclaim for his humorous social media presence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jordan died in 2022, at the age of 67.

Did you know? Jordan suffered from alcohol and substance abuse. He told People that before he got sober, he relied on alcohol to feel comfortable being himself. “I felt it was a lot easier to be gay when I was loaded. My problem was I was a bar drinker. I started getting DUIs.”

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