“I can remember before Will & Grace, I would go to the grocery store when I was all sweaty and gross after step classes, and didn't care at all. Now that would be tabloid fodder or something.” Megan Mullally.
Three-time SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and two-time Emmy winner Megan Mullally is widely popular for playing the role of spoiled socialite turned Grace’s personal assistant Karen Walker on NBC's hit sitcom “Will & Grace” (1998-2006). Adding to her TV works, Mullally, who debuted as a call girl in Tom Cruise’s vehicle Risky Business (1983), has appeared in films like Monkeybone (2001), Stealing Harvard (2002) and Rebound (2005). She will lend her voice in the upcoming animated comedy Bee Movie, alongside Jerry Seinfeld and Renée Zellweger.
The buxom, petite actress is also a talented singer. She is the lead singer of an L.A band called The Supreme Music Program and has released two CD's with them.
“I like to take chances, and that's the key to comedy -- dancing like an idiot but doing it with wild abandon.” Megan Mullally.
Daddy’s Apple Eye
Childhood and Family:
“I guess I take after my dad; he was always a cut-up around the house.” Megan Mullally.
The only child of actor Carter Mullally Jr. (a retired contract player at Paramount in 1950s) and former model Martha Mullallym, Megan Mullally was born on November 12, 1958 in Los Angeles, California. In 1965, with her father’s career on the wane, Mullally's parents pulled up roots and moved to Oklahoma City. There, she attended Casady High School and studied ballet and was a soloist with Oklahoma City's Ballet Oklahoma. She also spent a few summers studying at the George Balanchine's School of American Ballet in New York City. Mullally then studied English and art history at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she met “ER” actress Laura Innes and have been friends ever since. Mullally later dropped out to pursue acting.
In 1992, Mullally married CBS executive Michael Katcher but they divorced in 1996. September 20, 2003, she married for the second time, to actor Nick Offerman (born on June 26, 1970). Mullally, an avid reader who loves gardening and music, currently resides in West Hollywood, California, with her poodles, Willa and Elmo.
“It doesn't matter who you love, it's that you love.” Megan Mullally.
The Megan Mullally Show
“I realized that my favorite ballet roles were the ones where I was required to act. Having a mad scene and then dying on stage was the best part.” Megan Mullally.
Inheriting acting talent from her actor father, Megan Mullally, who was initially interested in classical dance, eventually had a desire to act. She began appearing in student productions and became active in local theater. She then headed to Chicago and spent six years as a stalwart regular in the city's blooming theatrical community.
In 1981, Mullally made her TV debut in the CBS movie The Children Nobody Wanted and won her first film role in 1983, as a call girl in Tom Cruise’s vehicle Risky Business. Three years later, she relocated to Los Angeles and landed TV series debut as regular as the divorced daughter of a best-selling author (played by Ellen Burstyn) in the short-lived ABC sitcom "The Ellen Burstyn Show" (1986-1987). She then found herself busy appearing as a guest on such popular shows as "Murder, She Wrote," "China Beach," "Wings," "Seinfeld," "Herman's Head" and "Batman." She also scored her second co-starring role, as an overenthusiastic new nurse, on the Fox brief-running sitcom "Rachel Gunn, R.N."
After she lent her voice to Pebbles Flinstone in the ABC animated specials "I Yabba-Dabba Doo!" and "Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby" (both in 1993), Mullally finally achieved her long-awaited dream of appearing in Broadway musical when she was cast as Marty in the 1994 revival of the Tony-nominated "Grease." The next year, Mullally received applause for playing the demure secretary Rosemary Pilkington who falls for Matthew Broderick’s J. Pierrepont Finch, in the highly-regarded 1995 revival of the 1961 musical, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." She also continued appearing on such popular TV shows as “Frasier,” “Ned and Stacey” (which starred future “Will & Grace” co-star Debra Messing) “and Mad About You.”
“A lot of times the funniest characters are those who don’t know that they’ve got it all wrong. Karen is completely confident that her way is the right way.” Megan Mullally (on what attracted her to play Karen Walker on “Will & Grace”).
In 1998, Mullally's dedication and focus finally paid off. She nabbed the role of Karen Walker, a spoiled multi-millionaire who works as Grace’s personal assistant, on NBC’s popular sitcom “Will & Grace.” Karen was originally meant to be a supporting character on the show. But since it has emerged as a viewers’ favorite, the character then was made more of a focal point on the show. The series, also starring Sean Hayes, Debra Messing and Eric McCormack, was a major ratings success and catapulted Mullally into the spotlight. Mullally, who was paid $80,000 per episode for the show, has won two Emmys, three Screen Actors Guild awards and an American Comedy award.
“She was likeable in that she was happy and filled with joy. She was very childlike and that part of her could pop out at any moment. And although she had so many despicable behaviors, she never had any ill will towards anyone and was always trying to do the right thing. So it put a weird spin on her as a character.” Megan Mullally (on what made Karen such a funny character).
During her “Will & Grace” stint, Mullally could be seen playing the long-suffering wife to Stanley Tucci in the HBO biopic Winchell (1998) and acted in the ensemble of Speaking of Sex (2001; premiered at the Chicago Film Festival). She portrayed Brendan Fraser's self-absorbed sister in Henry Selick's live-action/animated film Monkeybone (also in 2001; based on Kaja Blackley's graphic novel "Dark Town"), had a featured role in Bruce McCulloch's crime comedy Stealing Harvard (2002) and was cast as a junior high principal in Steve Carr's basketball comedy Rebound (2005; opposite Martin Lawrence). She will provide her voice in directors Steve Hickner and Simon J. Smith's upcoming animated comedy Bee Movie, alongside Jerry Seinfeld and Renée Zellweger.
Adding to her acting career, Mullally is also a singer and is the lead singer in her own group called The Supreme Music Program. With her band, Mullally has released two critically heralded albums: The Sweetheart Break-In and Big as a Berry. She has recorded a duet with Carly Simon, on the track “The Right Thing To Do,” from the “Will & Grace: Let the Music Out!” soundtrack. She also has sang for M&M's candies ads and the website cheaptickets.com. In Los Angeles in 1999, Mullally showed off her singing talent by opening her own one-woman stage show, the musical “Sweetheart.”
“Will & Grace” ended in May 2006 and Mullally is set to start hosting a syndicated talk/variety show called “The Megan Mullally Show.” In the show that debuts September 18, 2006 on NBC, Mullally will have funnyman Will Ferrell as her first guess.
Being asked about why she jumped into talk show, Mullally explained: “I loved talk shows growing up. When I was old enough to stay up that late I use to watch Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin and variety shows like Carol Burnett and the Smothers Brothers. Then I sat in for David Letterman and really liked it. I wasn't nervous at all. Also, it was so satisfying playing the character of Karen that after eight years I didn't have a real big desire to play another character. So when NBC-Universal called about doing a talk show, it was an offer I couldn't refuse.”
Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, "Will & Grace," 2006
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, "Will & Grace," 2004
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, "Will & Grace," 2003
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, "Will & Grace," 2002
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, "Will & Grace," 2001 (shared with Sean Hayes, Eric McCormack and Debra Messing)
American Comedy: Funniest Supporting Female Performer in a TV Series, "Will & Grace," 2001
Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, "Will & Grace," 2000