The return of “Will & Grace” to NBC is making so many fans’ dreams come true, but the original show (before the reboot) definitely deserves props for being amazing in its own right – partly because of the incredible parade of guest stars who popped in and out of episodes over the series’ eight-season run.
It’s hard to imagine pop culture without the influence of “Will & Grace” and the now mega-famous celebrities who have graced the show’s set. Read on for a walk down memory lane including all the stars you forgot guest starred on the show.
Bernadette Peters played Karen’s sister.
In season eight, Peters appeared as Karen’s little sister, Gin, who was injured as a child, so Karen supports her financially. Even though Peters blamed Karen for her accident, she was actually the one who was trying to injure Karen.
Candice Bergen played herself.
Bergen played herself in the series, but she was Karen’s rival, with many references being made to the pranks she and the “Murphy Brown” actress would play on each other through the series.
Madonna was almost Karen’s roommate.
In 2003, Madonna appeared on “Will & Grace” and was almost Karen’s new roommate. Debra Messing (Grace) told the Irish Examiner that Madonna thought Messing’s name was Rachal and sent her flowers after filming with her real name.
Patrick Dempsey played one of Will’s love interests.
Long before he was McDreamy on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Dempsey appeared on the show in season 3, playing Will’s closeted boyfriend.
Alec Baldwin was definitely into Karen.
Baldwin is a popular guest star choice for many NBC sitcoms, and “Will & Grace” was no different. In the original series, Baldwin played one of Karen’s love interests, and he even reprised his role in the revival earlier this year.
Ellen DeGeneres played a nun.
In a season three episode called “My Uncle The Car,” DeGeneres played a nun who bought Grace’s uncle car – and had a dream of starting a cheesecake business of her own.
Natasha Lyonne worked for Grace.
Lyonne is known for playing Nicky Nichols on “Orange Is The New Black,” but on “Will & Grace,” she played Gillian, an intern who worked for Grace in her interior design office.
Gene Wilder was Will’s boss.
In season five, Wilder played Will’s boss, Mr. Stein. Not only did he score an Emmy for his role, but it was also his last on-screen appearance before his death 13 years later.
Britney Spears played a pundit.
In 2006, Spears played Amber-Louise, a right-wing pundit on Jack’s talk show on OutTV who was actually secretly a lesbian named Peg.
Demi Moore was Jack’s childhood babysitter.
Demi Moore played Sissy, Jack’s babysitter as a child who, unsurprisingly, remained Jack’s babysitter well into adulthood. Eventually, Will convinced Jack that he no longer needed a babysitter, so he had to let Sissy go, which was heartbreaking for him.
Matt Damon was Jack’s rival.
In season four, Damon played Owen, Jack’s rival in the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus. As Telegraph pointed out, the episode he starred in ultimately ended up being the show’s most watched.
Elton John was in the gay mafia.
The legendary Elton John played a member of the Gay Mafia, and Jack thought that he (and the rest of the mafia, of course) was coming after him.
Kristin Davis was Vince’s version of Grace.
Former “Sex and the City” star Kristin Davis guest starred on “Will & Grace” as Nadine, the best friend of Will’s boyfriend, Vince. Unfortunately, she hated Will … and after she had the chance to get to know Grace better, it was obvious that she had ulterior motives.
Neil Patrick Harris was a “former gay man.”
In season two, Harris played Bill, who identifies as a “former gay man” who tries to make Jack straight. The episode mocked the disproven idea of “gay conversion therapy,” a topic later revisited in the revival.
Nick Offerman played a plumber.
Since he’s Megan Mullally’s real-life husband, it’s no surprise that Offerman appeared on “Will & Grace” as Nick the Plumber. He also guest-starred on the reboot, this time as Jackson Boudreaux, a celebrity chef.
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