Roberta "Bobbi" Adler was the mother of Grace, well as Janet and Joyce, and was the wife of Martin Adler.


During the original series, Bobbi lived in Schenectady, New York, and frequently visited Grace in Manhattan, especially during the Jewish holidays such as Hanukkah as their family tradition.[1] She also used to send out a monthly mailing to relatives "with three colors and a Yiddish word jumble".[2] Grace notes that Bobbi was the creator of the obnoxious Adler family "Told you so" song and dance.[3]

Bobbi's personality was bubbly with a flair for theatrics that Grace often dulls in comparison. When at home, Bobbi was frequently seen with her pianist Julius singing show tunes.[3][4] Bobbi has also starred in a number of productions with the Schenectady Women's Center involving gender-bending roles, such as "Death of a Salesperson", "The Music Person", "The Ice Person Cometh" and "Queen Lear".[3] Every year on her daughters' birthday, Bobbi sings them "All I Do Is Dream Of You".

In the season 9 episode Rosario's Quinceañera, Grace reveals that Bobbi had passed away some time before and that she is still devastated from losing her. It is also mentioned that her dying wishes include her family celebrating her next birthday and for Grace to get breast implants.[5]


Grace Adler

Although in a playful manner, Bobbi was shown to be very critical of her daughter Grace that she would ask for help from Will or Jack to deal with her mother's criticisms. Bobbi was shown to enjoy meddling with Grace's love life, introducing her to several guys she found online.[6]

Grace has expressed how she thinks Bobbi had the need to be the "flower" of the relationship, who gets tended by the other person, but is later mortified when she realizes they are similar in this aspect.[7]

Jack McFarland

Bobbi was also close to Jack, as seen during the Hannukah where she invited him for dinner instead of Grace, thinking Grace doesn't enjoy their traditional Hanukkah dinners.[1] Jack also mentions working on a drag version of her which she utilized when Grace asked his help on how to be a "good gay son".[8]


  • Her real name is never mentioned in the original series. During season 10, her tomb revealed that her real name is Roberta.
  • For her performance as Bobbi, Debbie Reynolds was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2000.
  • Will mentions that Grace's middle name is Elizabeth because Bobbi is a fan of Elizabeth Taylor.[9] In real life, Debbie Reynolds has had a complicated relationship with Elizabeth Taylor due to the Taylor's affair with Reynolds' then-husband Eddie Fisher.
  • Jack mentions that Bobbi has had a facelift.[9]
  • It is also mentioned that Bobbi wears a red wig, which she washes in the dishwasher.[8]
  • Debbie Reynolds has stated that Bobbi Adler was one of her favorite roles to play because she did not need to change much. She also used her own wardrobe for the role.[10]
  • Grace says she smelled "like brisket and Aqua Net".[11]
  • Bobbi's first appearance is in episode "The Unsinkable Mommy Adler" which is a reference to Reynolds' 1964 musical film where she was nominated for an Academy Award.
  • As Debbie Reynolds passed before the show returned for a ninth season, a decision was made that Bobbi had died as well. Grace mentions having a hard time dealing with her death in Rosario's Quinceañera.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Fanilow
  2. Alice Doesn't Lisp Here Anymore
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Moveable Feast
  4. Lows in the Mid-Eighties
  5. One Job
  6. Whose Mom Is It, Anyway?
  7. The Unsinkable Mommy Adler
  8. 8.0 8.1 Swish Out of Water
  9. 9.0 9.1 New Will City
  10. Debbie Reynolds Loved Playing Grace’s Mom On “Will & Grace”
  11. Gypsies, Tramps and Weed
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