The 11 Best “Will & Grace” Celebrity Guest Stars

Did your favorite make the list?

After months of teases and promotion, the Will & Grace revival finally premieres this week.

To celebrate the occasion, we’ve gone back through the W&G vaults and put together a list of our favorite celebrity appearances on the Emmy-winning show. And there were a lot: Everyone from Britney Spears to Michael Douglas—and that’s not even including the stars (J-Lo, Kevin Bacon, Janet Jackson) who just played themselves.

  1. Eileen Brennan

    The late great Brennan played caustic acting teacher Zandra Zoggin, who finally kicked Jack out after five years of torture. She was unintentionally responsible for the launch of “The McFarland Method.”

  2. Neil Patrick Harris

    In the Season Two episode “Girls Interrupted,” a still technically closeted NPH plays Bill, the leader of the ex-gay group Welcome Home. “Well, that’s what we’re here for, to support you in your new life. Girls! We’ve got a slider.” Jack pretends to be ex-gay to seduce Bill—and it works!

  3. Molly Shannon

    Shannon played Val, a confirmed nutjob and one of our favorite recurring W&G characters. “Hi. Oh, I’m sorry. I was just doing a little something for the security camera. Little gift for the boys in the basement. ”

  4. Macaulay Culkin

    It was a shock to see little Kevin McCallister as snot-nosed lawyer Jason Towne but Macauley made it work. Our favorite part was when he tossed Karen a $20 and told her to get a Brazilian wax because, “I like a clean work place.”

  5. Lesley Ann Warren

    Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

    As Tina, Will’s dad’s mistress, Warren takes ditzy sluttiness to new heights. In one episode, Grace is forced to endure an awkward dinner where Will, his dad and Tina refuse to address the elephant in the room. Tina loves Seussical the Musical because “I love rhyming!”

  6. Lily Tomlin

    Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

    The comedy legend played Will’s ball-busting boss, Margot, in later episodes. “Hector, I’ve only got five minutes before I have to get back to the office,” she barks at an underling in the Season 8 episode “Forbidden Fruit”. “I want what I had yesterday. I don’t remember what it was, and you weren’t working, but I want it anyway.”

  7. Glenn Close

    Close plays a thinly veiled parody of celebrity photographer Annie Leibowitz named Fannie Leiber. (Okay, very thinly veiled.)

    When Will becomes too demanding about his shoot, Close barks, “You know, I’m not in the business of minimizing foreheads. I’m in the business of maximizing truth. You have a big forehead, and that’s the truth!”

  8. Debbie Reynolds

    As Grace’s mother, Bobbi, Reynolds is the perfect balance of smothering and withholding: “Oh, let’s go shopping. We’ll spend your dowry. Might as well put it to some use.”  And who doesn’t love a woman with her own accompanist?

  9. Leslie Jordan


    As Karen’s mincing closeted rival Beverley Leslie, Emmy winner Jordan turned a pint-sized part into comedy gold: “This is a gay bar?! Why, I had no idea! I’m-a half a mind to storm out of here right this minute. But my other half wants to stay and finish my refreshing lemon drop.”

  10. Madonna

    Madge is always being knocked for her lack of acting prowess but she nailed it as Liz, Karen’s flaky roommate: Hey, Karen. I like your friend. He’s very 8 Mile.” Someone give her a sitcom!

  11. Cher

    NBCU Photo Bank

    Do you believe… the Queen of the Gays made not one, but two appearances on W&G? Of course, one was in a fantasy sequence, so we’re not sure it counts.

    CHER: You know, don’t talk to me about rejection, ok? I mean, look how many times I’ve gone down in flames. Remember, I lost the Oscar for Moonstruck.

    JACK: But you won the Oscar for Moonstruck!

    CHER: And don’t you forget it! Oh who are we kidding, of course it counts!