Debbie Allen
Actress, choreographer, television director, television producer, singer, dancer
Debbie Allen
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.
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Debbie Allen's personal information overview.
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How Phylicia Rashad's Mother Protected Her From The Malice Of Legal Segregation
Huffington Post - about 1 month
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Huffington Post article
Syncopated Ladies: Fierce Feminine Strong
Huffington Post - 9 months
One of my favorite things about living in NYC is the amazing amount of talent. From subway and street performers to Broadway showstoppers, I can imbibed this cultural delicacy on the regular - ballet, jazz, musicals, theater, and more. I feast on this cultural smorgasbord as much as possible. I dress for the theater as if it's a clandestine meeting with a paramour and the arts never fail to disappoint. Our encounters are enthralling. I love the theater, but unless the production is a "black" story, like Cotton Club on Parade, After Midnight, Shuffle Along, Motown or Cabin in the Sky, I rarely see people of color on stage. Lin-Manuel Miranda is changing the face of Broadway with his Hamilton, but that is not enough. After seeing Maurice Hines' Tappin' Thru Life, I wondered what happened to all the black tap dancing hoofers. We know of the legendary Nicholas and Hines brothers. Was tap dancing a lost art form within the black community? Enter Chloe Arnold, founder of Syncopated ...
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Huffington Post article
Tony Goldwyn Teases Scandal's Winter Premiere: 'Fitz Is Alone Really for the First Time in His Life'
Yahoo News - about 1 year
"We start six months after the last episode ended, so you sort of flash-forward," Tony Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Grant, told PEOPLE and a group of reporters at the U.S. Premiere of Debbie Allen's Freeze Frame Gala Performance in Beverly Hills on Thursday. In the midseason finale, Pope moved out of the White House after getting an abortion. "Fitz is alone really for the first time in his life so he's coping with that – and that's not easy," Goldwyn explains.
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Yahoo News article
Debbie Allen tackles gun violence, race relations in 'Freeze Frame'
LATimes - about 1 year
The Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Baldwin Hills is hot. Hot with sweat, hot with frenetic movement and hot with excitement. On a brisk January morning, the unassuming, cheerful space around the corner from the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is packed with...
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LATimes article
Black Work Matters More Than An Oscar
Huffington Post - about 1 year
For many, 2015 was the year that black-oriented programming transitioned from fun, inconsequential trash into riveting awards season competition. Yet awards season is here, and there's an obvious lack of recognition of the people of color who worked tirelessly to increase the production value of our media. Naturally, I'm miffed; they deserve to be acknowledged for their work. But let's not forget that we don't necessarily need the Oscars (or the Emmys, Golden Globes, Tonys, Grammys... or ANY award show, for that matter) to be PROUD of our brothers and sisters in the entertainment industry. Now, don't get me wrong; I love my Emmy, just as I'm certain that Viola loves hers. We cherish them because they're reminders of the excellent work we've done, but there are greater ways to be rewarded. Last year Scandal, Empire, How To Get Away With Murder, Black-ish, American Crime, and Being Mary Jane set a new standard for black representation on television. We witnessed educated, business-savv ...
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Huffington Post article
The Dawn of the Age of Pragmatic Activism
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Everywhere we look there are protests in the streets and on college campuses. Whether it be #Blacklivesmatter, #concernedstudents1950, or the vigils held in response to the terrorists attacks in Beirut, Nigeria and France, protests concerning diversity and social justice issues seem, to the unobservant eye, to be popping up overnight. It appears as if we're at the dawn of a new unnamed age of activism, especially on college campuses. Let me suggest a name, Pragmatic Activism. One of the biggest lessons anyone can learn is to not fall prey to historical amnesia. Too many people are lulled into recalling only what transpired yesterday, as if the collective, complicated history of this country has no relevance to what is happening today. Compared to many of the countries where civil unrest frequently occurs, we are a relatively young country, but one fraught with a significantly complicated past. What is important to note is that oftentimes the mistakes around social injustice we ...
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Denzel Washington To Direct An Episode Of 'Grey's Anatomy'
Huffington Post - over 1 year
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How Racism Almost Derailed Debbie Allen's Dance Career (VIDEO)
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Dance legend Debbie Allen shot to stardom in her role as Lydia Grant in the 1980s series "Fame," but it wasn't an easy road to get there. Allen says the racial divide she experienced as a child growing up in Texas almost stopped her from attending dance school. In the above clip from the upcoming episode of "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" Allen recalls her struggle to earn acceptance into a ballet program. "Growing up in Houston in the '50s and '60s was many things," Allen says. "It was wonderful; it was a challenge. The challenges were the racial divide and because of that, I couldn't go to the dance school that I really wanted to go to." Allen says she tried for six years to get into the Houston Ballet Foundation. "It made me strong to grow up in that environment," she says. At age 13, she was finally accepted. "I studied there for four years with the most intense ballet program known to man and God, and it really pushed me and made it possible for me to become the Debbie Allen tha ...
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Huffington Post article
These Throwback Pics Of Black Hollywood Are Making Us Excited For Awards Season (PHOTOS)
Huffington Post - about 3 years
The Golden Globes are just days away, marking the official start to Hollywood awards season. And everyone knows that the anticipation of seeing what the stars are wearing is just as -- if not more -- exciting as seeing who walks away with a statue. To that end, we've dug up a few awesome throwback photos, via the Vintage Black Glamour Tumblr, of stylish black stars hitting the awards circuit. The old-school razzle dazzle has us pumped for all the award shows on the horizon. What about you? Check 'em out below! Diana Ross at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 1978 attending the Motion Picture Pioneer of the Year Awards dinner honoring Dr. Jules Stein. Dr. Stein was the founder of an entertainment empire that began with MCA, the talent agency turned music and film behemoth. Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage. Cicely Tyson answers a reporter’s questions on the red carpet as she arrives at the #Oscars on March 27, 1973. Ms. Tyson was nominated in the Best Actress category for her role i ...
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Huffington Post article
A Day In The Life Of Condola Rashad Of 'Romeo And Juliet'
Huffington Post - over 3 years
True, Condola Rashad has showbiz lineage — her mom and aunt are legendary theater and television actresses Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen and her father is former football star and sportscaster Ahmad Rashad — but she’s also worked hard at carving out a niche of her own. She made her theater debut in Lynn Nottage’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize winning drama Ruined and further created a splash on Broadway with her first two shows in Stick Fly (2012) and A Trip to Bountiful (2013), which garnered critical acclaim and Tony Award nominations.
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Huffington Post article
Read Ingredient Labels
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Hello Bloggers, My name is Tichina Arnold and on March 16, 2004, God blessed me with the most beautiful baby girl (Alijah Kai). She was perfect and as I sat gazing at her in the hospital, I wondered what had I gotten myself into. An innocent little human being was solely dependent on me! I took all the CPR and breastfeeding classes and learned quite a bit. I breast fed Alijah for the first four months as she thrived and grew into a healthy child ... so I thought. However, I was a single mom and it was time to get back to work so I decided it was time to wean her to the bottle. I tried my best to research baby formula and after much reading I knew that I did not want to feed her any form of animal's milk. I then began consulting with other moms as to alternatives. A very good friend suggested almond milk because it worked well for her two daughters because it had sufficient nutrients for healthy development. Thus, I started my baby on almond milk. To my dismay and surp ...
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Huffington Post article
Diahann Carroll, Actress And Quick-Witted Honoree Says 'I Certainly Don't Feel Like An Icon'
Huffington Post - over 3 years
LOS ANGELES -- LOS ANGELES (AP) — At 78-years-old Diahann Carroll keeps a sense of humor. "I don't think I realize what the passage of time really means until people talk about things that I did in the '50s and I wonder 'Who the hell are they talking about?,'" the actress, singer and Golden Globe-winner said while being honored at a House of Flowers dinner Saturday evening. Beverly Johnson, Angela Bassett, Regina King and Anika Noni Rose were in attendance to applaud Carroll and fellow honoree Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African American president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The dinner, hosted by television producer Tracey Edmonds and film and television producer Debra Martin Chase, was held at Edmonds' home. Fellow honoree Isaacs said the evening made her feel "on top of the world" and described her new post as AMPAS president as "going from zero to 60 in four seconds." Conceptualized by Chase and deemed House of Flowers after Truman Capote's Broadway ...
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Huffington Post article
Grey's Anatomy Postmortem: James Pickens Jr. Speaks Out on Webber's Fate
Seattle Pi - over 3 years
Grey's Anatomy has never been shy about killing off members of its cast - See: George, Lexie and Mark - so there was genuine fear this summer that Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.), the heart of the hospital, could be the next on executive producer Shonda Rhimes' hit list. Picking up moments later, the Season 10 premiere saw Webber put through the ringer as Bailey (Chandra Wilson) attempted to save his life under Meredith's (Ellen Pompeo) direction. After two major surgeries, Webber woke up - but the Grey's family did lose Brooks (Tina Majorino), who was also electrocuted and hit her head when she discovered Webber's body. How will Webber handle the recovery process? Shonda said, Hey Jim, don't freak out when you see this episode. There's a whole element of self-pity, fear and anger and all the ranges of emotions folks have after something that's so traumatic. How does he feel about Bailey, who was involved in the surgeries, and also called him an alcoholic? Can they ev ...
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Seattle Pi article
The CW Strikes Deal for 'Fame'-Esque Drama From Debbie Allen
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Tim Kenneally LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Apparently, "Fame" really will live forever. Or at least efforts to to find new takes on it will. The CW has ordered a script for a "Fame"-like drama, with "Fame" star Debbie Allen among its executive producers. The as-yet untitled project (when it does receive a title, we'll surely remember its name) is an hour-long drama set at a Los Angeles-area performing arts school. The original "Fame" was set in a similar school on the East Coast. Allen appeared in both the 1980 movie and TV spinoff a couple years later. Former "House M.D. ...
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Yahoo News article
Danai P. Maraire: Alvin Ailey Comes to Town and You Shouldn't Miss It
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
If you have the chance to view this show, you simply must! For anyone who may have failed to look up or notice their surroundings while driving through Los Angeles over the past few weeks, I have an announcement to make. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has come to town. If you've never had the chance to experience this particular dance company, there is no time like the present to discover what I already know: There is nothing like it. I've had the privilege of seeing the company perform a few times in my life. While an undergraduate at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and again during a week-long stint in Seattle, I squealed and wiggled my way through three different performances, each one better then the last. And yes, the performances varied from night to night. And in case you're wondering, the same is true this time. As an undergraduate I sat in my seat amazed by the physical display of black people performing ballet and then seamlessly shifting f ...
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Huffington Post article
Shachi Kurl: TOIFA Vancouver: Opa Shiamak Style!
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
When dancers take the stage at the Pacific Coliseum and BC Place at the Times of India Film Awards in Vancouver this week, it won't be the Harlem Shake we'll see. Not Gangnam style, not even Indian Classical style. It will be Shiamak style. Named for Shiamak Davar, dance master to some of the biggest names in the commercial Hindi cinema industry known as Bollywood, it may be best described as a fusion of ballet, contemporary, and some of the most basic, yet challenging, body movements associated with the ancient Indian practice of yoga. Its essence includes strong core movement and earthy, primitive performances. As with all dance, the key is to make it look easy, fluid, graceful in front of the audience without letting anyone know how much your muscles have been screaming, or how grueling practice has been. And he'll be looking for perfection in those performances Thursday and Saturday night from the likes of superstars Abishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Kh ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Debbie Allen
    FIFTIES
  • 2008
    Age 58
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The production, with some roles recast, had a limited run (2009 – April 2010) in London.
  • 2001
    Age 51
    In 2001, Allen fulfilled a lifelong dream by opening the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles, California.
    More Details Hide Details Allen's academy offers a comprehensive curriculum for boys and girls ages four to eighteen in all the major dance techniques including Classical Ballet, Modern, African, Jazz, and Hip-Hop. In addition, special workshops are held for concentration in the Peking Opera, Martial Arts dance techniques, Flamenco, Salsa, and Tap. Debbie Allen was awarded an honorary doctorate from the North Carolina School of the Arts, as well as from her Alma Mater, Howard University. Since 2007, Allen has participated as a judge and mentor for the U.S. version of So You Think You Can Dance. She had to step aside at the end of Vegas week in Season 4 to avoid perception of bias, as one of her former dancers, Will, made it to the top 20.
  • FORTIES
  • 1995
    Age 45
    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.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1986
    Age 36
    Allen has released two solo albums, 1986's Sweet Charity and 1989's Special Look which also had several singles off the album.
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  • 1981
    Age 31
    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.
    More Details Hide Details When the book was made into a Broadway musical, her role was played by Audra McDonald who won a Tony Award for the part. Allen was also lead choreographer for the film and television series, winning two Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe Award. In an article from the Museum of Broadcast Communications, the Hollywood Reporter commented on Allen's impact as the producer-director of the television series, A Different World. The show dealt with the life of students at the fictional historically black college, Hillman, and ran for six seasons on NBC.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1980
    Age 30
    She is the only actress to have appeared in all three screen incarnations of Fame, playing Lydia Grant in both the 1980 film and 1982 television series and playing the school principal in the 2009 remake.
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    Allen was first introduced as Lydia Grant in the 1980 film Fame.
    More Details Hide Details Although her role in the film was relatively small, Lydia would become a central figure in the television adaptation, which ran from 1982 to 1987. During the opening montage of each episode, Grant told her students: "You've got big dreams? You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying... in sweat." Allen was nominated for the Emmy Award for Best Actress four times during the show's run.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details One of her earlier television appearances was in the TV sitcom Good Times in a memorable 2-part episode titled "J.J.'s Fiancee'" as J.J.'s drug-addicted fiancee, Diana.
  • 1979
    Age 29
    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.
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  • 1975
    Age 25
    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.
    More Details Hide Details She is the sister of actress/director/singer Phylicia Rashad (with whom she once co-starred on an episode of The Cosby Show), and Tex Allen (Andrew Arthur Allen III, born 1945), noted jazz composer.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1950
    Age 0
    Born on January 16, 1950.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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