Tune in to Debbie Allen’s Instagram Live on Wednesday Mach 18, at 1pm PST/4pm EST and lets get those bodies moving! All are welcome. Spread the word. See you on the dance floor.
Debbie Allen is a actress, dancer, choreographer, singer-songwriter, director, producer, and a former member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She has been nominated 20 times.
Allen began her career appearing on Broadway theatre. Her Broadway debut in the chorus of Purlie in 1970. She later created the role of Beneatha in the Tony Award-winning musical Raisin (1973), and appeared in Truckload, and Ain’t Misbehavin’. In 1980, she received critical attention for her performance as Anita in the Broadway revival of West Side Story which earned her a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and won Drama Desk Award.
In 1976, Allen made her television debut appearing in the CBS sitcom Good Times in a memorable 2-part episode titled “J.J.’s Fiancée” as J.J.’s drug-addicted fiancée, Diana. The following year, she went to star in the NBC variety show 3 Girls 3. Allen later was selected to appear in the 1979 miniseries Roots: The Next Generations by Alex Haley where she plays the wife of Haley. She made her film debut in a supporting role in the comedy film The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh. In 1981, she played Sarah, in the movie version of the best-selling novel Ragtime. The same role earned a Tony Award for Audra McDonald, for her performance in the Broadway Musical.
Allen is best known for her work in the musical-drama television series Fame (1982-1987), where she portrayed dance teacher Lydia Grant, and served as the series’ principal choreographer. For this role in 1983 she received Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy and two Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography and was nominated for an four Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Allen later began working as director and producer, most notable producing and directing 83 of 144 episodes of NBC comedy series A Different World (1988-1993). She returned to acting playing the leading role in the NBC sitcom In the House from 1995 to 1996, and in 2011 began playing Dr. Catherine Fox in the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy also served as an executive producer/director. She directed more than 50 television and film productions.
In 2001, Allen opened the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles, California. She is the younger sister of actress/director/singer Phylicia Rashad.