Will & Grace to kill off Debbie Reynolds’ character in tribute to late actress
Beloved gay sitcom Will & Grace is saying goodbye to late former guest star Debbie Reynolds.
The sitcom, which returned to TV last year, will next week make time to pay tribute to Reynolds, who was one of the show’s most prolific celebrity guest stars on its original run, clocking up 12 appearances as Grace’s mother Bobbi Adler.
Debbie Reynolds passed away in 2016 one day after the death of her real-life daughter, Carrie Fisher.
The Will & Grace episode airing in the US will confirm that Reynolds’ character on the show has also been killed off.
The episode will see Grace’s on-screen family come together to mark the late character’s birthday.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, actress Debra Messing said: “Working with Debbie was really incredible. She would come on stage and she was a broad in the greatest sense.
“She always was entertaining and singing and dancing, and then she was running off and doing a one-woman show, you know, 300 days of the year. It was just crazy.
“She and I would sit together and we would talk about being mothers — because I was a new mother — and she would talk about Carrie, and we would talk about the challenges of being a working mum.
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“She really became someone very, very, very special in my heart, and I really wanted us to honour her. She meant so much to the show, and I really think that the episode that they wrote honours her — it’s funny and it’s moving.”
Sean Hayes, who plays Jack on the show, also paid tribute to Reynolds, adding: “Every single show she would introduce herself to the audience and go, ‘I’m Princess Leia’s mother’.”
Will & Grace creator exec Max Mutchnick recalled a memorable first encounter with the actress while convincing her to appear on the show.
He said: “She came and she sat down with us, and there’s Debbie Reynolds sitting in our office, and I respectfully said to her, ‘You’re going to be playing Debra’s mother, and you’re this fantastic blonde, but would you mind for our show dying your hair red so you could look a little bit more like Debra?
“This is the first time I’ve ever met her… and she said, ‘I have two hairs on my body, they’re gray, and they’re on my pussy!’”