As we not-so-patiently await the Thursday, Sept. 28, premiere of the Will & Grace reboot, we can’t help but wonder how the show will address the absence of Grace Adler (Debra Messing)’s mother, Bobbi Adler, who was played by the late Debbie Reynolds. The iconic NBC sitcom’s co-creators, David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, recently opened up about Debbie — who sadly passed away last year at age 84 — and revealed that they will pay tribute to her on the revival.
“Debbie, may she rest in peace. I mean, she was such an angel,” Mutchnick said at the Tribeca TV Festival, per Page Six. However, Kohan remembers the spirited Hollywood veteran very differently. “She was so not an angel,” he said.
Debbie (center) with Debra, Sean Hayes (Jack McFarland), Megan Mullally (Karen Walker), and Eric McCormack (Will Truman). (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Mutchnick corrected himself and explained, “She was a broad. When we hired her, she showed up that morning, she had this lady with her. This lady was always with her and Debbie was missing one of the arms of her glasses, and she was yelling at this other woman. She walked into our office and she said, ‘Tell them I’m here to meet with the guys, I’m Burt Reynolds’ younger sister.’”
He then recalled a hilarious — and rather raunchy — memory of Debbie. “So we sat down, Debbie Reynolds was in our office and … I said, ‘Hey … will you let us dye your hair red?’ She said, ‘Dye my hair red? I have two hairs on my body, one’s on my head, one’s on my p—y and they’re both gray,’” Mutchnick said. “That’s who Debbie Reynolds was and she wore a beautiful red wig and I miss her.”
As previously reported, Debbie died last December from a stroke after a blood vessel ruptured and caused bleeding in her brain. Hypertension was also listed as an underlying cause of the stroke. She died just one day after her daughter, Star Wars legend Carrie Fisher, passed away from sleep apnea at age 60.
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Debbie went to be with Carrie. She always worried about her. Carrie left too soon and now they are together again. My heart is literally broken. For 8 years she was my mom. She was pure energy & light when she came on stage. She was loving, and bawdy, and playful- a consummate pro- old school and yet had the work ethic and investment in her craft of a new fiery up and comer. She was always running off to Vegas or somewhere else “on the road” to be a hoofer, to sing and dance and make people laugh. She performed 340 days out of the year. An inspiration on every level. A Legend of course, the epitome of clean cut American optimism, dancing with Gene Kelly as an equal, a warrior woman who never stopped working. A devoted mother and grandmother, and aunt and great aunt, and friend. I lost my mom a few years ago. She loved that Debbie was my TV mom. I hope they find each other and hug and kiss and my mom says, “I got you, Debbie. Carrie’s waiting for you.” RIP Bobbie Adler. ❤
Not long after Debbie’s death, her TV daughter, Debra, 49, took to Instagram to honor her memory. “My heart is literally broken. For 8 years she was my mom. She was pure energy & light when she came on stage,” she wrote. “She was loving, and bawdy, and playful — a consummate pro — old school and yet had the work ethic and investment in her craft of a new fiery up and comer.”