|Will & Grace character|
|Last appearance||"The Finale"
|Created by||Max Mutchnick|
|Portrayed by||Eric McCormack|
|Full name||William Pierce Truman|
Wilma (by Karen)
Will Woman (a play on Truman)
Willard (by Nathan)
|Title||William Truman, Esq.|
(partner; 1 child)
(son, with Vince)
(daughter-in-law, via Ben)
William Pierce "Will" Truman is a fictional character on the American sitcom Will & Grace, portrayed by Eric McCormack. He is a gay lawyer who lives in the Upper West Side of New York City with his best friend, Grace Adler. The series also portrays his relationship with the two other main characters, Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) and Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes).
Fictional character history
Will was born on October 23, 1966 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to WASP parents Marilyn (Blythe Danner) and George (Sydney Pollack); he has two brothers, Paul and Sam (John Slattery in the first season, Steven Weber in the eighth). Will came out in 1985, during college, when — after being accused of living in denial by Jack McFarland, who refused to take it back — he found himself attracted to a poster of Kevin Bacon. He then realized that his relationship with Grace masked his true sexuality. He and Grace had a fight after Will came out to her — after proposing marriage to her in a desperate means of avoiding sex — and did not speak to each other for a year. Eventually, however, they reconciled, and became inseparable best friends.
After graduating from Columbia University and NYU School of Law, he started working for a successful law firm on track to make partner, but decided to quit and start his own practice. His practice folds in the show's second season, and he begins working for Doucette & Stein, a firm that he works for until the end of the seventh season. His next job is working for the mysterious Malcolm (Alec Baldwin), but that comes to an end when Malcolm reveals that he is an FBI agent. In the eighth season, Will takes a job at the Coalition of Justice, a business providing legal support for people who cannot afford it, though he ultimately returns to Doucette & Stein, having taken back his old job after being offered a partnership by his new boss at the firm (Lily Tomlin).
Will and Grace have been best friends since college. They dated in 1985, before Will realized he was gay; after he came out to her, she was so hurt that they didn't speak for a year, but they eventually reconciled and became irreplaceable in each other's lives. They move in together after Grace breaks up with her fiance Danny and live together for a year. At the beginning of the second season, Grace moves out, albeit only across the hall. They are on-and-off roommates for the rest of the series. Their relationship is somewhat codependent, with each basing the future of every romantic relationship on whether the other approves. Other characters in the series, particularly Jack and Karen, often compare their relationship to a dysfunctional marriage.
In the fourth season, Will and Grace decide to have a baby together through in vitro fertilization. The process is repeatedly delayed through a series of mishaps, however, and Grace changes her mind after she begins dating Leo Markus (Harry Connick, Jr.) (whom she marries in the fifth season). Will is hurt that she does not want to have a baby with him, and the ensuing argument nearly ruins their friendship. Eventually, however, they both realize that they just want want the other to be happy, and reconcile.
Will and Grace become roommates again in the seventh season when Grace divorces Leo for cheating on her. In the eighth season, Grace finds out she is pregnant with Leo's child, and Will assumes that he and Grace will raise the child together. In the series finale, however, Grace reunites with Leo, and Will, feeling betrayed, ends their friendship. They do not see each other again for two years. By the time they reconcile, they both have their own families, and they find that they have no time for each other. They drift apart, until 16 years later, when they meet again while helping their children move in to the same college dorm. Will's son, Ben, and Grace's daughter, Lila, begin dating and eventually marry, and Will and Grace once again become best friends.
Will and Jack meet in 1985, and Jack sees immediately that Will is gay. After Will comes out, Jack helps him find the confidence to start asking men out, and the two become close friends. That closeness does not prevent them from trading insults with each other at virtually every opportunity: Will makes fun of Jack's promiscuity, effeminate behavior and perpetual unemployment, while Jack mocks Will's stagnant love-life and enjoys calling Will "fat and bald" (which he clearly isn’t). However, on several occasions Jack has confessed his love for Will, and it is occasionally suggested that Jack is attracted to him. Jack is often portrayed sponging off of Will, who pays half of his rent and foots the bill for clothes and meals.
In the beginning of the series, Will has an antagonistic relationship with Grace's assistant Karen Walker; she makes fun of his sexuality, while he mocks her alcoholism and vain, spoiled demeanor. They warm up to each other somewhat after Will becomes Karen's lawyer, although they continue to mock each other ruthlessly. Throughout the series' run, however, Karen has expressed concern for him and has even offered her friendship, albeit in her own sarcastic fashion. In one eighth season episode, they get drunk together and bond over their troubles, while still bantering incessantly. She also comforts him at his father's funeral. In the series finale, Will and Karen are portrayed as still being friends 18 years in the future.
Will has had romantic relationships with three women: Grace; his high-school girlfriend, Claire (Megyn Price); and Diane (Mira Sorvino), the woman with whom he had a one-night stand after he and Grace broke up. Diane is the only woman with whom Will has ever had sex — and is also the ex-girlfriend of Grace's husband Leo.
At the beginning of the series, Will's most successful relationship with a man was with long-term boyfriend Michael (Chris Potter), whom he was with from 1989 to November 1996. In the 2004-2005 season, however, he gets involved in a serious relationship with a NYC police officer named Vince D'Angelo (Bobby Cannavale). They break up after Vince, who loses two jobs in a row because he can't resist trying on gloves while on duty, needs to take some time off from the relationship. In the final season (2006), the two reunite after Will's father's death. In the series finale, it is revealed that he and Vince are raising a son named Ben, who is conceived through in vitro fertilization with a surrogate, and who eventually marries Grace's daughter, Lila. By the end of the series, Will and Vince have been together for nearly 20 years.
Will comes from a wealthy, but dysfunctional, family of Connecticut WASPs. His relationship with his parents is complicated, particularly with his father, who is uncomfortable with his son's sexuality. In season eight, the two have a fight in which George confesses that he wishes Will wasn't gay. A few days later, having not spoken with Will since the fight, George dies of a heart attack. Will is devastated, but learns from the tragedy to be more open about his feelings, especially with people he loves.
He was once very close to his brother Sam, but they stopped speaking to each other following a fight over Sam's marriage (Will disliked Sam's wife). They do not see each other for five years after that, until, in the first season episode "Big Brother is Coming", Grace engineers a random meeting and forces them to talk out their problems. They have another fight in the following episode when Sam and Grace sleep together, but they eventually repair their relationship.
Will almost donated sperm to his high school girlfriend Claire (Megyn Price) so she could have a baby. Grace sabotages the plan, however, because she wants Will's sperm to be her "backup plan" for having a child. Will is furious at her, but ultimately sees that he, too, wants to keep his options open.
In the final season, Will reunites with Vince and has a son, Ben, whom Will fathers through artificial insemination with a young woman who sold her eggs for rent money. Ben appears in the series finale in 2006. He is raised by Will and Vince until he goes to college and marries Grace's daughter, Lila. He was played by actor Ben Newmark.
The character met with a mixed reception from critics; some applauded him for not conforming to gay stereotypes, while others criticized him as a "safe" version of a gay man designed to be more palatable to heterosexual viewers.
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