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Playwright & Director


Debbie Allen, a B.F.A. graduate of Howard University in Theater and Classical Greek Studies, holds five honorary Doctorate degrees, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was named a Kennedy Center honoree, and is an award-winning director/choreographer who has choreographed the Academy Awards a record ten times. She has directed and choreographed for legendary artists such as Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Gwen Verdon, Lena Horne, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dolly Parton, Savion Glover, and most recently Tyler Perry’s A Jazzman’s Blues.

Ms. Allen received the Golden Globe for her role as Lydia Grant in the 1980s hit series Fame, the Drama Desk Award for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story, and is a four-time Emmy Award winner in Choreography for Fame (twice), The Motown 25th, and Christmas on the Square. She has also received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Movie Made for Television as Executive Producer of Christmas on the Square, and the Governors Award at the 73rd Emmys. Awarded ten Image Awards as director, actress, choreographer and producer for Fame, A Different World, Motown 25th, The Academy Awards, The Debbie Allen Special, and Amistad, she has also directed the best that TV offers, including Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Jane the Virgin, Empire, Insecure, Ms. Pat, and Samuel L. Jackson’s The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. She currently serves as Executive Producing Director of Grey’s Anatomy, where she recurs as Dr. Catherine Fox. She is the daughter of poet Vivian Ayers and Dr. Andrew Allen, wife to NBA All-Star Norman Nixon, sister to Phylicia Rashad, Tex Allen, and Hugh Allen, mother of Vivian and Thump, and grandmother of Shiloh and Aviah.


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