Emmy-winning Will & Grace star Debra Messing reflects on fame, family and finding confidence with these five facts about her.

Carol Burnett Changed My Life

“I grew up in Rhode Island in the woods,” says Debra. “We were isolated, and my parents watched The Carol Burnett Show religiously, and as a little girl, I was mesmerized. Seeing a woman lead a show, being bold and brave and courageous and goofy and a chameleon — it made me believe that wanting to do that too wasn’t a pipe dream, that it wasn’t impossible.”

I Can Be Starstruck

“I met Meryl Streep when I was doing a play on Broadway,” recalls the actress, 55. “She came backstage for a chat. I didn’t even know she was watching. I reverted to an 11-year-old, jumping up and down and taking selfies in my dressing room.”

I’ll Always Be Grace Adler

“Not a week goes by when someone doesn’t ask me about Will & Grace,” says Debra of the hit sitcom that made her a star. “So I embrace the fact that I’ll be Grace Adler until the day I die. I love Grace — I want to be remembered as Grace.”

Debra Messing wears red and pink floor-length dress
Manny Carabel/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

I’m Happily Divorced

Although her marriage to screenwriter Daniel Zelman ended in 2016, Debra says they’re still very much a part of each other’s lives. “We are coparenting [our son Roman] beautifully. In my mind, we will be a nuclear family forever.”

I’m More Confident Now Than Ever

“I don’t think at 25 there would be any way for me to get to a place where I didn’t care what people were thinking of me because, in your 20s, you’re still discovering who you are and what your purpose is in life. Now in my 50s, I really don’t care, and sadly, I have to say, part of it comes with age.”