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Debra Messing gets Shining Star award in the Bahamas Filmfest

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NEW DELHI: American film and television actress Debra Messing, who is often compared to fellow redhead and physical comedienne Lucille Ball, has been honoured as the Shining Star at the ongoing Bahamas International Film Festival.

The Festival also screened her film Like Sunday Like Rain. The Bahamas International Film Festival is dedicated to providing the local community and International visitors with a diverse presentation of films from around the world, educational programmes, and forums for exploring the future of cinema.

Immediately following its 10th annual festival, the Bahamas International Film Festival will travel to Eleuthera for a continuation of this year's celebration to be known as ?The Best of the Fest Eleuthera?. During its visit to Harbour Island and Governor?s Harbour, a full programme of films and festivities will be offered including daily film screening at Seagrapes, Harbour Island and the Globe Princess Theater in Governor?s Harbour and Closing Night Film and Farewell Party. Visiting Filmmakers will be on hand for panel discussions, seminars and training sessions.

Messing landed her first television job in a recurring role on the hit drama NYPD Blue in 1994. Her career advanced steadily from there, with guest spots on shows such as Seinfeld and a series of film roles: Keanu Reeves's wife in A Walk in the Clouds (1995), a bit part in Woody Allen's Celebrity (1998), and Mary Magdalene in the miniseries Jesus. Messing took her first star turn as comedic lead Stacey Colbert in the sitcom Ned and Stacey, opposite Thomas Haden Church. The show ran from 1995 to 1999.

 In 1998, Messing landed the role that would make her a household name - that of Grace Adler, a neurotic interior decorator sharing an apartment with her gay best friend in the hit sitcom Will & Grace. Before accepting the role, Messing ensured she would have the freedom to make her character "funny and unusual in a way that tickled me and surprised me," she recalled. "I didn't want to be the pretty straight woman. I knew I would not be happy. I grew up watching Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett with curtain rods in her arms, falling down stairs. To me, that's funny." Will & Grace, one of the first major network programmes to feature gay characters in starring roles, was considered rather controversial at the time in the late nineties. But audiences immediately took to the brash banter between Messing and co-stars Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes. "As much as this is an extraordinary premise because two of the four main characters were gay and we'd never seen this before, it was really a universal theme and that was friendship," Messing said of the show's success. The show remained a popular staple of NBC's prime-time lineup for eight seasons.

When Will & Grace was not filming, Messing continued to act in movies. She took roles in The Mothman Prophecies, Along Came Polly and The Wedding Date. She also played Woody Allen's girlfriend in the famed director's 2002 film Hollywood Ending, a role she viewed as a dream job. "I erupted!" Messing said, recalling the call from her agent telling her that Allen wanted her for the part. "This scream came from the lower depths of my body. I don't know how I didn't get into a car accident. It was as if I went blind for a minute with joy and shock." 

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