Grace Elizabeth Adler is an interior designer living in New York City with her best friend Will Truman.
Grace was born on April 26, 1967 in Schenectady, New York to Bobbi and Martin Adler. She has an older sister named Janet and a younger sister Joyce. She was raised Jewish. As shown and mentioned throughout the series, Grace is close with her family including her aunts and uncles.
Early childhood and family
As siblings, Grace states that she is the "perfect one in the middle" who holds the "two losers together". An incident while they were young involving chocolate, according to Grace earned her the nickname "Smudge" among her sisters. Grace is shown to be annoyed by her mother's theatrical antics, critical nature and vanity though she later realizes that she also inherited these traits. She also constantly strives for the affection of her father Martin, who "emotionally turned his back" on her during college because he didn't understand her.
During the fourth grade, Grace took ballet lessons after which her Uncle Jerry would take her to Friendly's for a fribble and a fish-a-ma-jig. She had a pet dog named Tokey who was run over by a car.
When she was 12, she left the door of the house open and let the pet cat escape. Her father, who finds this very funny would tell this story until her adult life.
Grace went to her first boy-girl dance with a boy named Alan Finkelman who ended up dancing with Sandy Simons. While at Camp Rabat, Grace was trapped under a canoe, which caused her to develop claustrophobia.
While Grace was attending Hawthorne High School, she inadvertently started the nickname "Mrs. Lazy Face" for Alice Robinson, an unpopular student with speech impediment. While in high school, she dated a boy named Bobby Kay and Campbell. She also had a crush on John Gregorio who never noticed her; and Glenn Gabriel who was a member of a cool Jewish gang.
In 1985, Grace was a freshman at Columbia University with her friend Ellen and lived in a dorm room across Will's. They met during a party in front of Paradise Juice where she told Nancy Jacob that Will is the man she is going to spend the rest of her life with and they eventually started dating. On the day that Grace planned to lose her virginity to him, Will came out and they break up. Grace moved off campus and they did not speak to each other for some time.
A year later, they bumped into each other at D'Agostino and rekindled their relationship but as platonic friends. This would later become the basis of a recurring joke that Grace can turn straight men gay, and is frequently attracted to gay men. She eventually loses her virginity to a nurse named Ira.
At the start of the series, Grace had been dating Danny for two years, although Will thinks she deserves someone better. After Danny proposes and Will reveals what he honestly thinks of him, Grace leaves Danny at the altar and convinces Will to let her room with him.
At the beginning of the series, Grace has her own interior design firm in New York with the rich socialite Karen Walker working as her assistant. For a short period, she also teaches an interior design class at The Learning Annex.
Grace's antics mainly toy around her neurotic and childish tendencies, as opposed to the more reasonable and pragmatic Will, although most of the humor on her also stem from her physical characteristics—her fluffy red hair, big teeth, nontraditional wardrobe, flat chest, and big feet. She claims that as a teenager, her feet grew "from a four to an eight in a month". Her stinginess and unladylike demeanor are also often made fun of by her friends. One recurring joke is that she has super human strength that she is able to overpower Will and break Jack's back by hugging him.
Although Grace is a smart and successful businesswoman, she is shown to be have an aversion to reading and is unaware of general facts, once mistaking Guatemala to be in Africa and Spain, and using the word "ironical".
Grace also seemingly developed an obsession to food that Jack's boyfriend Stuart once rhetorically asked her, "Good god, do you ever stop eating?". Will recalls that she tends to act crazy when hungry. Grace herself is decidedly selfish and competitive, but it is usually played for laughs, except for Rob and Ellen who at one occasion express how annoying Grace can get during game night. She is also somewhat shallow and vain, once declaring herself to be a "frickin' bombshell" and believing that she bears a strong resemblance to red-haired celebrities like Rita Hayworth and Julia Roberts, much to other people's confusion. While in Los Angeles, she was mistaken for Kathy Griffin by tourists.
As best friends, Will and Grace are extremely close that they claim to know each other's deepest secrets. According to her they've seen each other "naked and crying." With a deep understanding of how the other thinks, they can finish each others sentences at times, which helps them in their fast rounds in trivia and parlor games. They can also be quite dysfunctional and co-dependent, sometimes even requiring the other's approval of clothing and boyfriends. They are constantly made fun of by other characters. Karen hilariously refers to Will as Grace's husband, her "sexless lover", "non-romantic life partner" and the reason that Grace is not in a relationship. Eric McCormack says that Will and Grace have "that relationship that you envy."
During the fifth season, Will and Grace attempt to make a baby via in vitro fertilization. The plan however does not push through after Grace meets Leo while on the way to the fertility clinic. Her tumultuous relationship with Leo becomes a constant strife to their friendship, eventually leading to a fall out between the two friends during the finale.
Grace moves in and out of Will's apartment throughout the series. In season 2, she moves into the apartment across the hall from Will which she eventually gives to Jack.
Karen Walker is Grace's rich, alcoholic socialite secretary who admits going to the office just to get away from her husband and stepchildren. Although she virtually does no secretarial work, Karen is nevertheless useful to Grace, as she pays for her health insurance and bonuses and occasionally uses her society connections to help Grace get work. In the office, Karen is routinely seen drinking or flipping through magazines, if not criticizing Grace's wardrobe and overall appearance, usually by disdainfully asking "Honey, what's this all about?".
Grace and Karen became close friends over the years. Grace eventually learns to look past Karen's faults, and Karen occasionally does stop ridiculing her to reveal a softer, more caring side, especially after both of them got divorced. In "Field of Queens", Grace stands up to Milo, a restauranteur who refuses to go on a second date with Karen, who is going through a divorce and is very vulnerable at the time. In another instance, Karen seemingly turns down Grace's proposal for a business loan out of mean behavior. She reveals doing it to protect Grace, who doesn't have a strong business plan, from failing.
Grace and Jack became friends mainly because of Will. They initially expressed that they didn't have anything in common until they discovered they both love figure skating, Antiques Road Show, and gay porn and they begin to bond. Will also mentions that both of them share the same shallow interest such as "the new format of Star magazine and-and not knowing who's running for president."
Along with Karen, Jack frequently makes fun of Grace's appearance as well as her "deadly" wardrobe. By the start of season three, Grace and Jack had become really close driving Will jealous.
Leo is a Jewish doctor Grace meets while on her way to the fertility clinic to get fertilized by Will's spem at the beginning of season five. Leo pursues Grace who initially rejects him due to an agreement she made with Will to give up dating.
After seeing each other over a few months, Grace and Leo spontaneously get married while strolling down Central Park. They later find out that the wedding was invalid and soon get married officially in a synagogue.
Their marriage becomes difficult after Leo continued working with Doctors Without Borders and left the country often. Grace briefly joins him in Cambodia but returns to New York after she realizes that her marriage is in trouble. They divorce after he admits to have had a one-night stand with a fellow doctor while in Cambodia.
Grace and Leo later bump into each other while on a plane to London and rekindle their romance but decide to go on their separate ways. Grace, however finds out later that she is pregnant from this encounter. After learning of Leo's engagement, Grace chooses not to tell him and to raise her child with Will as the father. During the finale, Leo comes to see Grace and tell her that he still loves her, which she accepts. This causes Will and Grace to fall out one last time and she moves to Rome with Leo.
Other romantic relationships
- It was shown that Grace was originally a brunette. She was raised Jewish and her Hebrew name is Ruchel.
- Her middle name is Elizabeth because her mother is a fan of Elizabeth Taylor, who was involved in a real-life scandal with Debbie Reynolds, who played Grace's mother Bobbi.
- She hates Teri Hatcher.
- She's afraid of needles and cannot say "Ringo" because "he was a Beatle and that sounds like needle".
- She's allergic to bees and she's a democrat. She's also allergic to cats.
- She is especially fond of cakes.
- She tends to hit when she gets excited.
- Grace's favorite flower is lily, which is also the name of her great-grandmother. Jack mentions that she intends to name her first daughter Lilly, with two Ls.
- Grace is the only main character not to appear in all episodes. This is due to Debra Messing's pregnancy during the sixth season where she, although mentioned, does not appear in 5 episodes.
- Adler means "eagle" in German.
- Whenever she goes through an emotional low point, she spends days going through slides of photos from her childhood trying to figure out "where it all went wrong."
- Grace has displayed a skill in telling food's shelf life/cooking time in several occasions only by its smell.
- Will often pokes fun of Grace's nose saying she had it done, which she adamantly denies. During a flashback in "Lows in the Mid-Eighties", Grace had a thicker nose, implying that she indeed had surgery.
- She had named her vagina Sophia.
- Nicollette Sheridan almost won the role of Grace. She later makes a guest appearance as Dr. Danielle Morty.
Do whatever you want. 'Cause today I'm handing out lollipops and ass whoopings, and I'm all out of lollipops. — Ben? Her?
Gay sex is so hot. — Acting Out
My love for you is like this scar: ugly but permanent. — to Will, New Will City
No one likes the theater. It's like an expensive nap. — The Needle and the Omelet's Done
I can’t believe they’re having a viral outbreak the same weekend as my house-warming party. Why do these things always happen to me? — her husband leaving for Africa, Fagmalion Part Two: Attack of the Clones
- The Accidental Tsuris
- One Job
- The Unsinkable Mommy Adler
- It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World
- Crouching Father, Hidden Husband
- My Uncle the Car
- Bed, Bath and Beyond
- It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World
- Crouching Father, Hidden Husband
- Who's Your Daddy
- Alice Doesn't Lisp Here Anymore
- Love Plus One
- Secrets and Lays
- Grace in the Hole
- Marry Me a Little, Marry Me a Little More
- New Will City
- Crazy in Love
- Will Works Out
- Sweet and Sour Charity
- Looking for Mr. Good Enough
- Love and Marriage
- A New Lease on Life
- He Shoots, They Snore
- Bacon and Eggs
- I Second That Emotion
- ...And the Horse He Rode in On
- Courting Disaster
- Dames At Sea
- Polk Defeats Truman
- I Love L. Gay
- Jingle Balls
- Key Party
- Fred Astaire and Ginger Chicken
- Grace, Replaced
- Girl Trouble
- Saving Grace
- Women and Children First
- Stakin' Care of Business
- Will on Ice
- Tea and a Total Lack of Sympathy
- Swimming from Cambodia
- I Do. Oh, No, You Di-in't
- Love is in the Airplane
- The Definition of Marriage
- The Finale
- Lows in the Mid-Eighties
- Girls, Interrupted
- Fagel Attraction
- The Hospital Show
- Boo! Humbug
- Fagmalion Part One: Gay It Forward
- Humongous Growth
- Cheatin' Trouble Blues
- Grandpa Jack
- Nicollette Sheridan as Grace on Will & Grace from Amazing TV RolesThat Almost Went To Other Actors