Bring on the tissues, stat.
Reynolds was a regular on the original sitcom, playing protagonist Grace Adler’s (Debra Messing) mom Bobbi in the first eight seasons. The legendary actress died in December 2016 before the show was revived in September 2017.
Tonight, Lourd played Fiona, Bobbi’s granddaughter and the daughter of Grace’s older sister Janet (Mary McCormack). In a description for the new episode, Will and Grace “decide to intervene when they discover Grace’s niece is dating a bisexual man” played by guest star Peter Graham.
Ahead of the episode, McCormack tweeted a photo of himself with Messing and Lourd, who’s holding a picture of Reynolds and Messing. “We miss you, Debbie,” he captioned it.
The show is in its 11th and final season, and it’s had plenty of other famous guest stars to end its run on a high note. Ryan Phillippe guest-starred on tonight’s episode as Jack’s (Sean Hayes) crush, and celebrities like Demi Lovato have also appeared this season.
Tonight wasn’t the first time Lourd paid homage to a family member onscreen; it was revealed this January that the actress portrayed Leia Organa — the character made famous by her mom, the late Carrie Fisher — in a flashback scene in last year’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Lourd plays Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix in the Star Wars films.
Fans are already praising Lourd’s performance in tonight’s episode. “I’m not sure how Billie Lourd was able to do her grandmother’s voice without bursting into tears because I’m only watching it and I’m tearing up,” TV writer Danielle Turchiano tweeted. “Oh wait, she’s one of the greatest young actors of our time.”
Another fan used a sobbing gif to convey how they felt watching Lourd.
Dante Zuccaro said Lourd’s appearance was “something beautiful that I didn’t know I needed. Fantastic episode.”
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