Bobbi Adler was the mother of Grace, well as Janet and Joyce, and was the wife of Martin Adler. Living in Schenectady, New York, Bobbi frequently visited Grace in Manhattan, especially during Jewish holidays such as Hanukkah as their family tradition.[1]


Bobbi was portrayed as very energetic and bubbly with a flair for theatrics. This constantly seems to embarrass Grace that she once asked Bobbi to go with her to her therapist because "he thinks I'm making you up."[2] Whenever she felt vulnerable, Grace asked for help from Will or Jack on how to deal with her mother's criticisms. In "The Unsinkable Mommy Adler", Grace expressed how she thinks Bobbi has the need to be the "flower" of the relationship, who gets tended by the other person. Grace later realizes that she is the same and Bobbi tells her that she should embrace it because they are both wonderful women.

Bobbi has also stated that she's in the theater and has starred in a number of productions with the Schenectady Women's Center involving gender-bending roles, such as "Death of a Salesperson", "The Music Person", "The Ice Person Cometh" and "Queen Lear".[3]

She was shown to enjoy meddling with people's love life, especially Grace's, who implies that her mother has fixed her up on dates with ridiculously unlikable guys such as Stanley Fink the mortician and Scott Barkey, "who had to touch everything 10 times... then smell it", and a guy her mother found on Bobbi has also fixed Will up on a date with Grace's childhood friend Andy Fellner. In her first appearance, she expresses how she wants Will and Grace to get married even though Will is gay.

Bobbi was also close to Jack, as seen in "Fanilow" where she invited him for dinner instead of Grace, thinking Grace doesn't enjoy their traditional Hanukkah dinners. In "Swish Out of Water", Jack helped Grace turn into a "good gay son" by dressing up and acting like Bobbi.

When at home, Bobbi was frequently seen with her pianist Julius singing show tunes. Grace notes that Bobbi is the creator of the obnoxious Adler family "Told you so" song and dance.

In Rosario's Quinceañera Grace revealed that Bobbi had died some time before and showed herself as still devastated by the loss.


  • Her real name is never mentioned, though it may be Barbara or Roberta.
  • Will mentions that Grace's middle name is Elizabeth because Bobbi is a fan of Elizabeth Taylor.[4] In real life, Debbie Reynolds has had a complicated relationship with Elizabeth Taylor due to her affair with Reynolds' then-husband Eddie Fisher.
  • Jack mentions that Bobbi has had a facelift.[4]
  • Debbie Reynolds has stated that Bobbi Adler is one of her favorite roles to play because she doesn't need to change much. She also uses her own wardrobe for the role.[5]
  • Grace says she smells "like brisket and Aqua Net".[6]
  • Bobbi's first appearance is in episode "The Unsinkable Mommy Adler" whose title is a reference to Reynolds' 1964 musical film where she was nominated for an Academy Award.
  • For her performance, Debbie Reynolds was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2000.
  • As Debbie Reynolds died before the show resumed airing, the decision was made that Bobbi had died as well. Grace reveals Bobbi's death in Rosario's Quinceañera.



  1. Fanilow
  2. Whose Mom Is It, Anyway?
  3. Moveable Feast
  4. 4.0 4.1 New Will City
  5. Debbie Reynolds Loved Playing Grace’s Mom On “Will & Grace”
  6. Gypsies, Tramps and Weed

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