- 01:54 PM, Nov 24
25-years-old beauty to have her professional stage debut in "The Importance of Being Earnest" at Seattle's Intiman Theater. Back to New York, she later became the understudy of both Mary Louise Parker and Polly Draper in the premiere of "Four Dogs and a Bone" at Manhattan Theater Club before took part in Paul Rudnick's play, "The Naked Truth," in 1994.
Already gained some theatrical experience, Debra then turned her attention to screen production and landed her feet in ABC's TV series, "NYPD Blue" (1993-2005). Starring as Gail O'Grady's sister named Dana Abandando, she appeared in three episodes of this famous police drama during 1994-1995. In the meantime, she also made her first feature film appearance in Alfonso Arau's "Walk in the Clouds" (1995) alongside Keanu Reeves. Noticed by Fox Network, she afterwards was billed to play Stacey Colbert in its TV sitcom, "Ned and Stacey." For the next two years, she consistently displayed excellent comedic performances before the show came to its end by 1997.
1997 marked Debra's return to the Manhattan Theater Club as she was willing to collaborate with Maria Tucci in Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize finalist, "Collected Stories." The rest of the year saw her showing up in "McHale's Navy" opposite Tom Arnold and in ABC's TV movie entitled "Prey." When the latter was planned to be transformed into a TV series, she delightfully accepted the offer to play the same role. Unfortunately, this dramatic sci-fi was immediately cancelled in 1998 after being aired for one season despite its growing popularity. Disappointed and exhausted, she was close to refuse a pilot script, handed by her agent, from NBC which at that time intended to produce a new sitcom.
After some consideration, Debra ultimately confirmed to join the show for she later felt that its story, which focused on the life of a gay attorney and his female roommate, was intriguing. Teaming up with Eric McCormack, she was cast as Grace Adler based on the idea created by Max Mutchnik and David Kohan entitled "Will & Grace." Debuted on September 21, 1998, this comedy series turned out to be a tremendous success throughout U.S., even the world. By the following year, it had already scored such a great attainment as the show received some nominations at prestigious events in which it won several of those, including a People's Choice Award for Favorite Television New Comedy Series.