Megan Mullally is an American actress, talk show host and singer, best known for her role as Karen Walker on the sitcom Will & Grace, from 1998-2006.
Born in Los Angeles, Mullally moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at the age of 7. Her father, Carter Mullally, Jr., was a contract player with Paramount Pictures during the 1950s and her mother was a model.
She studied ballet from the age of six and performed in a ballet company during high school. She revealed on a March 2006 episode of NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno that she spent her summers in Los Angeles because of her mother's work.
Following her graduation from Casady School, she attended Northwestern University, where she majored in English Literature and Art History. She became active in local theatre and eventually left college without graduating. She worked in Chicago theatre for six years.
Mullally moved to Los Angeles in 1981, after just two weeks as a client with the William Morris Agency, she began appearing in bit parts in films and television, such as Murder She Wrote with Angela Lansbury.
Megan made her series debut in The Ellen Burstyn Show and guest starred in popular sitcoms such as Seinfeld, Frasier, Wings, Ned and Stacey (with future Will & Grace castmate Debra Messing, although the pair did not appear in any scenes together as they were involved in completely separate storylines), Mad About You, and Just Shoot Me!.
In 1998, she landed the role of Karen Walker, Grace Adler's shrill-voiced, pill-popping, eccentric assistant in the NBC sitcom Will & Grace.
She won Emmy Awards in 2000 and 2006 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (and was also nominated in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005), and she has also won three Screen Actors Guild Awards.
In addition, Mullally earned four Golden Globe Award nominations for the show.
Although she did not win the Emmy in 2005, she did, based on votes from viewers, win the "Emmy Idol" award for singing the Green Acres theme song, in character as Karen, alongside Donald Trump.
Although her own voice has a fairly high range, she developed an exaggerated high voice for the Karen Walker character. However, in the pilot episode of the series, she used her real voice.
Will & Grace ended in May 2006.
In 2005, Mullally "discovered" comedian and actor Bill Hader while he was with the troupe "Animals From The Future," bringing Hader to the attention of Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels.
Following Will & Grace, Mullally hosted her own talk show, The Megan Mullally Show, which was launched in September 2006. The talk show was canceled in early 2007 due to poor ratings.
Mullally was the host of the 2006 TV Land Awards. She has also been featured in advertisements for M&M's candies and the website cheaptickets.com.
Mullally also had a voice cameo as the mother of Neil Patrick Harris' character's mother on a November 2006 episode of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, and guest starred on Campus Ladies.
She was in one episode of the drama Boston Legal in 2007.
She made her Broadway debut in 1994 in a revival of Grease in the role of Marty, with Rosie O'Donnell and later appeared in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying with Matthew Broderick. She is heard in the cast albums of both productions.
She opened in her own one-woman show, Sweetheart, in Los Angeles in 1999.
Mullally has performed at the Orange County Performing Arts Center as part of their 2006 Cabaret series. After a launch for testing in Seattle, she returned to the Broadway stage in Mel Brooks' musical Young Frankenstein, in which she played Elizabeth, the prissy fiancée of Dr. Frankenstein, in November 2007.
Mullally is also a singer and performs in her own group called The Supreme Music Program. The band has released three albums, The Sweetheart Break-In, Big as a Berry and Free Again!.
She also recorded a duet with Carly Simon on the track The Right Thing To Do for the Will & Grace: Let the Music Out! soundtrack. The third album from the SMP was originally titled "The Many Moods.. Vol, 1." however, the title was changed before going to print.
The third album, "Free Again!", was released online on 28th July 2007.
Her feature film debut was as a call girl in Risky Business and had parts in Stealing Harvard, Anywhere but Here and the Martin Lawrence comedy Rebound.
She is also a voice actress who has done work on several cartoons, such as the 1990s version The Flintstones, Batman: The Animated Series, King of the Hill, the Disney feature film Teacher's Pet, and the Dreamworks film Bee Movie.
Mullally commented in an interview in The Advocate magazine, "I consider myself bisexual, and my philosophy is, everyone innately is."
Mullally dated actor William H. Macy while in college. Her first marriage, in the mid-1990s, was to talent agent Michael Katcher.
In 2003, Mullally married actor Nick Offerman (who guest-starred on Will & Grace during its fourth season).