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William "Will" Truman is a lawyer living in New York City with his best friend Grace.

Biography

Will was born on October 23, 1966 in Bridgeport, Connecticut as the youngest son of George and Marilyn Truman. His brothers are Paul and Sam.

Early childhood and family

Will often recalls his rather unhappy childhood, growing up in the closet in a conservative WASP family. As a boy, he performed plays during family events, including Ben Him and an Easter show Everything's Coming Up Jesus but his mother would discourage him, retrospectively admitting she was not prepared to raise a gay son.[1]

Grace says his brothers used to dress him up in his mother's clothes. On his 8th birthday, Will wanted a cowboy-themed party but his mom gave him a clown party instead and he had to fake smile his way through it. [2] He also recalls almost drowning in the neighbor's pool when his mother failed to save him because she just got her hair done. Will was traumatized by this that he never learned to swim until Jack taught him in "The Old Man and the Sea".[3] In any case, his siblings knew that Will is their mother's favorite.[4]

When Will was 9, he and his brothers chipped in to buy their parents a garden gnome for their anniversary which he named Squatsy.[5]

Will has also been described as an insecure, chubby and shiny kid who was friends with the lunch lady and a girl with a small leg.[6] During elementary, a bully named Kevin Wolchek terrorized him that he ate lunch every day with the janitor and drank kahlua.[7] He mentions kissing a poster of the football team and being caught by the football team.[8]

In 1994, after his brother Sam's engagement to Ginny, Will told him that he should not get married because she is "morose and controlling and icy." This led to the estrangement of the two brothers, and Sam cutting of Will out of his life, splitting the family. Sam and Ginny would later divorce and Will and his brother would resolve their issues after Grace intervenes.[9]

High school

During his high school years, he was best friends with Claire, whom he also used to date. She recalls that while driving at the beach after senior prom, she made her move on him and he panicked, crashing the car into a Dodge Dart. Although he seems to have shown hints of his sexuality early on, Will says that he was confused until his sophomore year in high school when during a game of basketball, he and Jay Barr touched stomachs, and he truly realized he's gay.[10] For his sweet sixteen party, he turned the basement into a roller disco.[11]

While attending Columbia, he dated Grace Adler who lived across the hall from his dorm room. Grace says he used take her every Saturday night to Chippendale's because they "made a killer mai tai." Grace also mentions that she and Will were also part of an improv group called The Zanys. During college, he also met Jack McFarland literally inside the closet of his dorm room. Jack who is openly gay, instantly knew that Will is in the closet and pushed him to be true to himself, asking him the question "aren't you tired yet?".[12][13] Will says Jack sent him to a job interview wearing leg warmers and Chinese slippers.[14]

Coming Out

Will finally came out on Thanksgiving of 1985 when Grace invited him to her parents' house with the plan of losing her virginity to him. Will panicked and proposed to Grace to keep them from having sex but later admitted that he is, in fact gay. This broke her heart so she threw him out. Will felt miserable and went to another party, got drunk and unwittingly slept with a girl named Diane. This is the only time Will ever had sex with a woman. The next morning before Diane woke up, Will baked cookies and did her laundry as a way of apologizing before leaving and ignoring her calls.[15] He went to see Jack who comforted him saying that everything's going to be okay.[3] Jack also admitted to having feelings for Will later on, but says he was just joking after Will politely turned him down.

Will and Grace avoided each for over a year, during which he also came out to his friends and family (causing his father to crash his car into a telephone pole). He eventually starts a new relationship with Grace as platonic friends after bumping into her at D'Agostino and realizing how much they mean to each other.

During the 70s, Jack accompanied Will on his first night at a gay bar where Jack bribed a guy named Zac to go out with Will. Will recalls that this built his confidence in dating other guys afterwards.[16] Will also recalls that after saying "I love you" to his first boyfriend, he said "Did you just eat falafel?".[8]

Career

Will occasionally mentions his interest in becoming a playwright even before he became a lawyer. Before he came out, he wrote a play entitled "Bye-Bisexual". It is implied that his playwrighting professor took advantage of him by pretending to take interest in his play.[17]

After graduating from Columbia and the New York University School of Law, Will worked at a large corporate law firm, almost making partner. He eventually decided to quit and start his own practice. However he closes down his firm after his biggest client,

Harlin Polk fires him[18] and he begins working for Doucette & Stein during the second season.[19] During his time there, Will manages to get Stanley as one of the firm's biggest clients.[20]

By the seventh season, Will has become increasingly unhappy with his role as a lawyer. Although he gets promoted as partner in his firm[21], he eventually decides to leave law and dedicate his life to doing something meaningful.[22] After an extremely brief stint as a freelance writer, Will returns to corporate law, working for a mysterious man named Malcolm.[23] This position is also short-lived, as Malcolm reveals himself as an FBI agent working for Karen's husband, Stanley.[24] Afterwards, still seeking a more meaningful career path, Will takes a job at the Coalition of Justice, a not-for-profit business providing legal support for the impoverished.[25] Will ultimately returns to Doucette & Stein, having taken back his old job after being offered a partnership by his new boss at the firm.

In 1990, Will wrote his will, endowing Grace $1400, which is all he had at that time. He would try to rewrite it many times later, but admits feeling he is just another corporate lawyer and has nothing meaningful to give. He would eventually rewrite it 15 years later, after he and Grace almost get hit by a bus.[22]

Personality

Will is characterized as the most mature and intelligent character, with a penchant for crafts and good housekeeping. Although he occasionally seems distant and aloof, there have been many times when Will has shown his sensitive side, often going to great lengths to protect those he loves. In one particular instance, Will was willing to throw away his chances of becoming a senior partner at his law firm in order to take care of his then emotionally devastated boyfriend Vince.[21] It is mentioned in various occasions that Will supports Jack who is a struggling actor.[4]

Will's controlling and perfectionist personality also becomes an issue to his friends from time to time that it is often pointed out to be the problem in his relationships.[26] Though fun-loving at times, Will's maturity sometimes translates as dullness to Karen, who describes him as sullen, morose and humorless.[27]

Being a good lawyer, his friends and family usually comes to him for legal assistance. Will is also portrayed as a person with integrity when he decided to work for the Coalition of Justice.

Fandom

Will is a die-hard Barry Manilow fan[28], participating in "Fanilow" chatrooms as 'no1fanilow' and maintaining a website called The Manilow-down.[22] He is also a Jennifer Lopez fan[29] and had a crush on Hugh Jackman before his 2004 film Van Helsing.[30] He has also written fanmail to pop singer Justin Timberlake.[31]

Media

Relationships

Grace Adler

Will & Grace promo
Will Truman is Grace's best friend whom she dated in college. They met during a party in front of Paradise Juice where she told Nancy Jacob that Will is "the man I'm going to spend the rest of my life with"[32] after which they eventually started dating. She mentions selling Will's college term papers for a profit of which he had no knowledge of.[33] On Thanksgiving night of 1985, Will accidentally proposed to Grace to keep them from having sex. Will then came out to Grace later that night and the two broke up and did not speak to each other for a year. After bumping into each other, they resolved their issues and started their relationship as best friends.[13] Will says that the two of them are destined to meet and that "fate brought us together and fate was gonna keep us together".[34]

During the fifth season, Will and Grace attempt to make a baby via in vitro fertilization. The plan however does not push through after Grace meets Leo while on the way to the fertility clinic.[35]

Their closeness is constantly made fun of by other characters. Karen hilariously refers to Will as Grace's husband, "sexless lover", "non-romantic life partner" and the reason that Grace is not in a relationship.[36] They can finish each others sentences at times, which helps them in their fast rounds in trivia and parlor games. They can also be quite dysfunctional and co-dependent, sometimes even requiring the other's approval of clothing and boyfriends.[37]

Grace moves in and out of Will's apartment throughout the series. In season 2, she moves into the apartment across the hall from Will which she eventually gives to Jack.

Karen Walker

Karen is friends with Will mainly because of Grace. Initially, they find it difficult dealing with each other, with Karen finding Will annoying and not funny. She also makes fun of his clothes while he makes fun of her nasty attitude and addictions. Later on, they discover how much things they have in common and they begin to bond trust each other and have to pretend they don't like each other to appease Jack who have become jealous of their relationship.[38] He also serves as lawyer to Walker, Inc. Karen says that ever since her husband died, Will has become the only man he trusts.[39]

Jack McFarland

Jack is Will's gay best friend. Will met him after a college party, hiding inside the closet of his dorm room. Jack, who is openly gay and was still in high school, implied that he knows Will is gay even if he is dating Grace. Will later comes out with the help of Jack, who eventually admits his attraction to Will. Will however says that he only sees Jack as a friend.[13]

Although Jack is shown to be irresponsible and immature, Will trusts him as he is the one who helped him put his life back together after he came out, which Will considers as the most difficult time of his life.[3]

Vince D'Angelo

Vince is a member of the NYPD Will met after he and Karen were pulled over for speeding. Will challenged him in court, since Vince had failed to signed the ticket. During the hearing, after Will announces his name, both him and Vince realize they were supposed to be set up by mutual friends Joe and Larry.[40]

After Vince gets laid off, the couple decide to take a break so Vince could put his life back together. They reconcile shortly after Will's father dies. They break up again however after Vince asks Will to choose between him and Grace. During the finale, Will and Vince have are seen raising a son together.

Ben

Ben is Will and Vince's son. He is only seen in the finale as a baby and as a college student.

Ex-Lovers

Main article: List of Will's Ex-Lovers

Notes

  • Will's chat nickname is "hat_lawyer".[9]
  • He is angry at the ending of Titanic because it makes him feel vulnerable.[41]
  • He had a pet dog when he was young, named Daisy who died while he was in college.[42]
  • He mentioned holding his mother's curling iron and pretending he was Eartha Kitt when he was young.[43]
  • He is 5'11", not into games, likes horseback riding, skiing, and men who aren't afraid to cry.[20]
  • Series co-creator Max Mutchnick said Will was originally going to be named Will Herman ("her man") because the staff wanted to use names that "speak exactly to the essence" of the characters. However, they changed it to Truman ("true man") since they thought it was more accurate, as Will "really lives his life in an honest way".[44]
  • Eric McCormack admitted that his penchant for making accents was incorportaed into Will, as seen in various episodes.[45]

Quotes

Don't lie. Not here. This is a gym. This is—this is gay church. Stakin' Care of Business

I am so tired of rewarding married couples for not wearing a condom. On baptismal giftsCop To It

If I had a dollar for every piece of Tupperware I never got back... I'd have $13. Last Ex to Brooklyn

You said you like my vest. You said I look like a movie star. If that's not a meaningful connection, I don't know what is. Strangers with Candice

I could put sexual harrassment lawsuit flyers in this lobby and retire. Meeting Jack's boss for the first timeBuy Buy Baby

Why are you in my life you awful, awful woman? To KarenFagmalion Part One: Gay It Forward

"Nuh-uh" was just uttered by an adult. You're both taking a time-out. Grace, Replaced

References

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