Debbie Allen

Choreographer, Director, Actor
With notable credits on stage as an actress and on TV as an actor, producer, director and choreographer, Debbie Allen has become one of the more diversified talents in TV. The career of this dynamic, award-winning ... Read more »
Born: 01/16/1950 in Houston, Texas, USA

Filmography

Actor (134)

A Different World 1982 - 2003, 2015 - 2016 (Tv Show)

Actor

Cool Women 1982 - 2003, 2015 - 2016 (TV Show)

Actor

Fame 1982 - 2003, 2015 - 2016 (Tv Show)

Actor

Grey's Anatomy 1982 - 2003, 2010 - 2016 (Tv Show)

Actor

Quantum Leap 1982 - 2003, 2015 - 2016 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Sinbad Show 1990 - 2003, 2015 - 2016 (TV Show)

Actor

So You Think You Can Dance 2007 - 2009, 2011 - 2012, 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Tournament of Dreams 2014 (Movie)

Rhonda Dillins (Actor)

Let's Stay Together 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley 2012 (Movie)

Interviewee (Actor)

Everybody Hates Chris 2006 - 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

Fame 2009 (Movie)

Principal Simms (Actor)

Next Day Air 2009 (Movie)

Ms. Jackson (Actor)

All of Us 2003 - 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

Movies That Shook the World 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Oprah Winfrey's Legends' Ball 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Black in the '80s 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Painting 2005 (Movie)

(Actor)

Confessions of an Action Star 2004 (Movie)

(Actor)

Cosby 1990 - 1991, 1994 - 1998, 2002 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

In the House 1994 - 1996, 2002 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 9th Annual Lady of Soul Train Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The Division 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Touched By an Angel 1994 - 1997, 2002 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Mariah Carey: The E! True Hollywood Story 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Just Cause (03/11/01) 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

What Is a Producer? 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

49th Annual Miss Universe Pageant 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Harriet Taubman 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

An American Celebration at Ford's Theatre 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Bob Fosse: The E! True Hollywood Story 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Everything's Jake 1999 (Movie)

Librarian (Actor)

Intimate Portrait: Josephine Baker 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Michael Jordan: An American Hero 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Stars Over Mississippi, With Prince Edward 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1999 Trumpet Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Nicholas Brothers: Flying High 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

International DanceSport Championship 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

One Day 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Celebrate the Dream: 50 Years of Ebony 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 28th NAACP Image Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The Screen Actors Guild Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Family Film Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1996 World Music Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

50 Years of Funny Females 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The Newsweek American Achievement Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Blank Check 1994 (Movie)

Yvonne (Actor)

In a New Light '93 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Mona Must Die 1994 (Movie)

Betty (Actor)

She Tv 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The 26th Annual NAACP Image Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Back to School '92 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Soul Train Comedy Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Essence Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Motown 30: What's Goin' On! 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Spike & Co: Do It A Cappella 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Story of a People: Expressions in Black 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Sunday in Paris 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1989 Miss America Pageant 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The 22nd Annual NAACP Image Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Television Academy Hall of Fame 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

16th Annual Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

All-Star Tribute to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

At Rona's 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The 15th Annual People's Choice Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The Debbie Allen Special 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Las Vegas: An All Star 75th Anniversary 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The Cosby Show 1988 (Tv Show)

Actor

Emmanuel Lewis: My Very Own Show 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Happy Birthday, Hollywood! 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Our Kids and the Best of Everything 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Superstars & Their Moms 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The 19th Annual NAACP Image Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling 1986 (Movie)

Michelle (Actor)

Liberty Weekend 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Texas 150: A Celebration Special 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The 40th Annual Tony Awards 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Disneyland's 30th Anniversary Celebration 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Motown Returns to the Apollo 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Night of 100 Stars II 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Celebrity 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

John Schneider's Christmas Holiday 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Network Stars XIII 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Loretta Lynn in the Big Apple 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Parade of Stars 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Texaco Star Theater: Opening Night 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

The Kids From Fame 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Network Stars XII 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Ragtime 1981 (Movie)

Sarah (Actor)

Fame 1980 (Movie)

Lydia (Actor)

Ben Vereen: His Roots 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Three Girls Three 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

The Jim Stafford Show 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Ebony, Ivory and Jade (TV Show)

Actor

Fame (TV Show)

Actor

It's Black Entertainment (TV Show)

Actor

Roots: The Next Generations (TV Show)

Actor

Stompin' at the Savoy (TV Show)

Actor

The Old Settler (TV Show)

Actor

Women of San Quentin (TV Show)

Actor
Director (24)

Family Ties 1982 - 2003, 2015 - 2016 (Tv Show)

Director

Linc's 1989 - 2003, 2015 - 2016 (Tv Show)

Director

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 1990 - 2003, 2015 - 2016 (Tv Show)

Director

Jane the Virgin 2014 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Director

Scandal 2014 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Director

How To Get Away With Murder 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Witches of East End 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Army Wives 2013 (Tv Show)

Director

The Client List 2013 (Tv Show)

Director

Hellcats 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Director

Girlfriends 2005 - 2008 (Tv Show)

Director

The Game 2008 (Tv Show)

Director

That's So Raven 2004, 2006 (Tv Show)

Director

Between Brothers 1990 - 1999, 2001 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Director

The Jamie Foxx Show 1990 - 1998, 2002 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Director

The Parkers 2003 (Tv Show)

Director

The Twilight Zone 2003 (Tv Show)

Director

Out of Sync 1995 (Movie)

(Director)

The Boys 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Director

Empire (Tv Show)

Director

Polly (TV Show)

Director

Polly Comin' Home! (TV Show)

Director
Producer (4)

The Painting 2005 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Ship of Slaves: The Middle Passage 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Amistad 1997 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker (TV Show)

Executive Producer
Music (2)

Amistad 1997 (Movie)

songs("Timuyandya" "The Ladder Is Broken" "Ya Weh" "Let's Stand Together" "Today We Face the Wall") (Song)

Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation 1986 (Movie)

("The Fight Song") (Song Performer)
Other (10)

An American Celebration at Ford's Theatre 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Choreographer

The 73rd Annual Academy Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Choreographer

The 71st Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Forget Paris 1995 (Movie)

(Choreographer)

The 67th Annual Academy Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Choreographer

The 66th Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Choreographer

The 65th Annual Academy Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Choreographer

The 64th Annual Academy Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Motown 30: What's Goin' On! 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Choreographer

The 63rd Annual Academy Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Biography

With notable credits on stage as an actress and on TV as an actor, producer, director and choreographer, Debbie Allen has become one of the more diversified talents in TV. The career of this dynamic, award-winning singer-dancer has been an inspirational beacon to Black women in the entertainment industry. On Broadway, Allen was a fiery Anita in the 1980 revival of "West Side Story" and a high-kicking prostitute with a heart of gold in Bob Fosse's 1986 revival of "Sweet Charity". She began appearing regularly on TV in the mid-1970s in guest shots, summer replacement series, variety specials and TV-movies. Featured as hard-driving dance teacher Lydia Grant in the film "Fame" (1980), she reprised the greatly expanded role on the critically acclaimed TV series (NBC, 1982-83; first-run syndication, 1983-87) which she also choreographed.

Relationships

Andrew Arthur Allen Jr

Brother
Born in 1945

Andrew Allen

Father
Louisiana Creole died in 1984

Hugh Allen Actor

Brother

Vivian Ayers

Mother
Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize

Norman Nixon Actor

Husband
Married April 27, 1984

Vivian Nixon

Daughter
Born in 1984 father, Norm Nixon made her debut on Broadway as Kalimba in "Hot Feet"

Norman Nixon

Son
Born August 26, 1987 father, Norm Nixon

Phylicia Rashad

Sister
Played Clair Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" from 1984-1992 directed by her sister in an all-African American production of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in 2008

Winnfred Wilford

Husband
Married June 22, 1975 Divorced 1983

EDUCATION

Howard University

Washington , Washington D.C. 1971
Graduated magna cum laude

Howard University

Washington , Washington D.C. 1971
Graduated magna cum laude

Jack Yates Senior High School

Houston , Texas 1967

Howard University

Washington , Washington D.C. 1971
Graduated magna cum laude

Milestones

2009

Played the school's principal in the feature remake of "Fame"

2008

Directed the all-African-American Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," co-starring sister Phylicia Rashad

2007

Was a frequent guest judge on the FOX reality dance competition, "So You Think You Can Dance"

2006

Directed the CW sitcom, "Everybody Hates Chris"; created and executive produced by Chris Rock

2005

Directed episodes of the sitcom, "Girlfriends" (UPN, 2005-2006; The CW, 2006-2008)

2004

Helmed several episodes of Disney Channel's "That's So Raven"

2003

Directed episodes of "All of Us" (UPN, 2003-2006; The CW, 2006-2007); executive produced by Jada Pinkett and Will Smith

2003

Produced and co-hosted NBC's reality dance competition, "Fame"

2002

Staged a production of "Carmen Jones" at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC

2001

Co-starred with sister Phylicia Rashad in the PBS production of "The Old Settler"; also directed and co-produced

1999

Returned as choreographer for the 71st Academy Awards show

1998

Directed the musical "Brothers of the Knight" at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC

1997

Produced the Steven Spielberg-directed epic, "Amistead"

1995

Made feature directorial debut with "Out Of Sync"

1993

Directed the HBO special, "Sinbad Live From the Paramount"; released on video, in an expanded form, as "Afros & Bellbottoms"

1992

Produced and directed the CBS TV-movie, "Stompin' at the Savoy"

1991

Choreographed the 63rd through the 67th Academy Award shows

1990

Helmed the successful pilot for "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," (NBC) starring Will Smith

1990

Re-teamed with Phylicia Rashad to direct "Polly: Coming Home" (NBC)

1989

Produced, directed, choreographed and hosted "The Debbie Allen Special" on ABC; earned Emmy nominations for directing and choreography

1989

Directed and choreographed the NBC TV-movie, "Polly," starring her sister Phylicia Rashad

1988

Joined "A Different World," (NBC) the popular spinoff from "The Cosby Show" during its second season as producer and primary director

1986

Played the title role in the Broadway revival of "Sweet Charity"; earned a Tony Award nomination

1985

Appeared in Richard Pryor's movie, "Jo-Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling"

1983

Acted in the television movie, "Women of San Quentin" (NBC)

1982

Played dance teacher Lydia Grant in the TV adaptation of "Fame" (NBC, 1982-1983; syndicated, 1983-1987); also choreographed the series

1981

First film in a leading role, Milos Forman's feature adaptation of "Ragtime"

1980

Received critical attention for playing the role of Anita in the Broadway revival of "West Side Story"; earned a Tony Award nomination

1980

First introduced as Lydia Grant in the film, "Fame"

1979

Feature acting debut, "The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh"

1979

Made miniseries debut in "Roots: The Next Generation" (ABC)

1977

Appeared as a regular on "3 Girls 3," an NBC variety series

1976

Early TV guest spot, "Good Times," (CBS) as Jimmy Walker's heroin-addicted girlfriend, Diana

1972

First appeared on Broadway in "Purlie"

1972

Made her Off-Broadway debut in "Ti-Jean and His Brothers"

Bonus Trivia

.

Received an Honorary doctorate from The North Carolina School of the Arts and from Howard University.

.

Founder of the Debbie Allen Dance Institute in Culver City, CA.

.

In 2001, Debbie Allen was appointed by President George W. Bush as a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

.

Allen was presented with the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement in 1992.

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