Debbie Allen

Actress + Choreographer + Television Director + Television Producer + Singer + Dancer
Born Jan 16, 1950

Deborrah Kaye “Debbie” Allen is an American actress, dancer, choreographer, television director, television producer, and a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She is perhaps best known for her work on the 1982 musical-drama television series Fame, where she portrayed dance teacher Lydia Grant, and served as the series' principal choreographer. She is the younger sister of actress/singer Phylicia Rashād.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Debbie Allen.

  • S default mini
    Syncopated Ladies: Fierce Feminine Strong
    Huffington Post - May 25, 2016
  • Tony Goldwyn Teases Scandal's Winter Premiere: 'fitz Is Alone Really For The First Time In His Life'
    Yahoo News - Feb 06, 2016
  • Debbie Allen Tackles Gun Violence, Race Relations In 'freeze Frame'
    LATimes - Jan 30, 2016
  • S oscar statue mini
    Black Work Matters More Than An Oscar
    Huffington Post - Jan 20, 2016


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Debbie Allen.


1950 Birth Born on January 16, 1950.


1975 25 Years Old Allen is married to former NBA player Norm Nixon, and they have three children, dancer Vivian Nichole Nixon, and basketball player Norman Ellard Nixon Jr. (Wofford College & Southern University). Allen was previously married to Win Wilford from 1975 to 1983. … Read More
1979 29 Years Old Debbie Allen was also selected to appear in the 1979 miniseries Roots: The Next Generations by Alex Haley where she plays the wife of Haley.


Debbie Allen had her Broadway debut in the chorus of Purlie. Allen also created the role of Beneatha in the Tony Award-winning musical Raisin. She first began receiving critical attention in 1980 for her appearance in the role of Anita in the Broadway revival of West Side Story which earned her a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award, she would receive a second Tony Award nomination in 1986 for her performance in the title role of Bob Fosse's Sweet Charity. … Read More
1981 31 Years Old In 1981, she had the important role of Sarah, the lover of Coalhouse Walker (Howard E. Rollins) who is killed while trying to defend him in the movie version of the best-selling novel Ragtime. … Read More
1986 36 Years Old Allen has released two solo albums, 1986's Sweet Charity and 1989's Special Look which also had several singles off the album.


1995 45 Years Old In 1995, Allen lent her voice (as well directing the voice cast) to the children's animated series C Bear and Jamal for Film Roman and Fox Kids.


2001 51 Years Old In 2001, Allen fulfilled a lifelong dream by opening the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles, California. … Read More
2008 58 Years Old In 2008 she directed the all-African-American Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, starring stage veterans James Earl Jones (Big Daddy), her sister Phylicia Rashad (Big Mama) and Anika Noni Rose (Maggie, the Cat), as well as film actor Terrence Howard, who made his Broadway debut as Brick. … Read More
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