Megan Mullally is an Emmy-winning actress known for roles on such TV series as ‘Will & Grace’ and ‘Parks and Recreation.’
Megan Mullally was born in Los Angeles in 1958 and was raised in California and Oklahoma. She began acting after high school and landed her first big-screen role in 1983's Risky Business. The mid-1980s found Mullally moving to the small screen, and she landed several supporting roles on hit NBC sitcoms such as Wings, Frasier and Just Shoot Me. These roles helped her land her biggest roles to that point, as one of the lead characters on NBC's Will & Grace. Since the long, successful run of Will & Grace, Mullally has been a fixture on TV, appearing on a string of shows including Children's Hospital, Bob's Burgers and Parks and Recreation.
Megan Mullally was born on November 11, 1958 in Los Angeles to a model mother and an actor father (her father, Carter Mullally Jr., was a contracted actor with Paramount Pictures in the 1950s).The mid-1960s became a turning point for the Mullally family, as her father’s career took a turn for the worse and the family left California for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and her family transitioned from show business to farming. For her part, Megan Mullally attended Casady High School, where the performance genes in her family started to reveal themselves.
She kicked off her life in the performing arts with music and dance, and in the summer she immersed herself in dance, heading to New York City to study with George Balanchine's School of American Ballet. After high school, Mullally moved to Illinois to attend Northwestern University, where she took on a new performing art: acting. After appearing in a string of student productions, Mullally graduated and moved south to Chicago and got involved with the local theater scene.
Career Kicks Off
In 1983, Mullally landed her first film role, a small part in the Tom Cruise hit Risky Business, in which she played one of the many prostitutes. With roles on the TV series American Playhouse and the TV movie First Steps, Mullally moved to Los Angeles to further pursue TV roles, and she landed one on The Ellen Burstyn Show. Her recurring role on that show led to others, and Mullally appeared on such shows as Murder She Wrote, China Beach and Wings, all around the turn of the decade. The 1990s brought more TV success for Mullally, as she landed recurring roles on three series: My Life and Times, Rachel Gunn, RN and Fish Police. While none of these shows caught on, they kept Mullally’s momentum rolling.
Will & Grace and Beyond
The TV roles Mullally took on through the mid-1990s proved to be a great lead-in to roles on the hit sitcoms of the era, and she appeared on shows such as Frasier, Mad About You, Caroline in the City and Just Shoot Me. In 1998, she would hit the mainstream sitcom schedule in a big way when she landed the juicy role of Karen Walker on the show Will & Grace, starring opposite Eric McCormack, Debra Messing and Sean Hayes. For nine seasons, nearly 200 episodes, Mullally chewed the scenery as the shrill-voiced socialite and honorary fourth wheel of the hit comedy. The show made the actress a household name.
When Will & Grace came to an end in 2006, Mullally continued her success in TV, appearing in several hit shows in guest roles. In 2009, she began appearing in more recurring roles, first on In the Motherhood, then Party Down followed by Breaking In and Out There. She also had later notable recurring roles on Parks and Recreation, Children’s Hospital and Bob’s Burgers.
Over the years, Mullally has also appeared regularly on Broadway, from the revival of Grease to How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and in films, with roles in such big-screen offerings as Stealing Harvard, Teacher’s Pet, the Fame remake and Hotel Transylvania 2. In 2015, Mullally kicked off her latest TV series, You, Me and the Apocalypse.
Megan Mullally has been married twice. Her first husband was Michael A. Katcher, whom she married in the 1990s. In 2003, Mullally married Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman. When she’s not acting, Mullally plays with two bands, Supreme Music Program and Nancy and Beth.