Role in the film
Grace is first seen inside the orphanage where Miss Hannigan is in charge. She explains to Miss Hannigan that she is the secretary for billionaire Oliver Warbucks, and is there to take an orphan to Warbucks' house for Christmas. Grace, taking pity upon Annie, chooses her, much to the joy of the other orphans, and the dismay of Miss Hannigan.
She gives Annie a tour of the house, which includes an indoor swimming pool and a tennis court. She assures Annie that she will live comfortably at Warbucks' mansion and that she will be playing like a pro at tennis in no time (I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here).
During Annie's stay with Oliver Warbucks, Grace makes sure Oliver spends enough time with her. In one instance, Oliver tries to conduct a business meeting over the phone at an ice cream parlor, when he should be with Annie. Gesturing for a pen, Grace instead hands him a spoon, reminding him to spend time with Annie.
While giving Annie a tour of New York City (NYC), Grace is shown to be very protective over Annie, once keeping her from wandering into a busy street.
Oliver Warbucks begins to care for Annie deeply and wishes to adopt her, much to Grace's happiness. However, Annie still wishes to find her real parents. To make Annie happy Grace and Oliver try to find Annie's estranged parents by offering a reward of $50,000 to the couple that can prove they are Annie's parents.
Overwhelmed by the amount of crooks and cons trying to collect the reward money, Grace begins to doubt if they will find Annie's parents. Annie tells Oliver Warbucks that if they can't find her real parents, she would have him as her father. Oliver, delighted to hear Annie say so, decides to celebrate the adoption on Christmas Eve. Annie turns to Grace, and begs her to attend the party, stating that she enjoys it when Oliver and Grace are together.
However, before the adoption can be formalized. A disguised Miss Hannigan, and her brother, "Rooster" Hannigan, act as "Ralph and Shirley Mudge," Annie's estranged parents. Grace and Oliver are disappointed to see that Annie will no longer be staying with them, but act happy nonetheless. When Annie is upset nervous about living with the "Mudges," she suddenly runs to her room in tears. While she is crying, Grace enters her room and consoles her (Maybe/Tomorrow reprise).
However, before the Hannigan siblings can snatch the reward money and Annie, Lily St. Regis, the Hannigans' previous partner-in-crime, rats them out. Soon, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Secret Service also enter the room, arresting the three con artists. President Roosevelt also explains to Annie that her real parents died before they could ever come back to her. Though disappointed by the results, Annie expresses in relief that, "at least she's not a Mudge."
Grace is happy to finally see Oliver Warbucks adopt Annie and joyfully surprised to see Oliver Warbucks suddenly propose with a diamond ring.
- Audra McDonald is the first (and so far, only) African-American woman to portray Grace.
- McDonald would later go on to play Madame de Gardrobe in Beauty and the Beast, another musical produced by Disney.
- "You'll be playing like a pro in no time!"
- "Miss Hannigan, I don't peddle anything. I'm the personal secretary to Mr. Oliver Warbucks."