28 Facts About Debbie Allen


Debbie Allen has been nominated 20 times for an Emmy Award, two Tony Awards, and has won a Golden Globe Award and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991.


Debbie Allen is best known for her work in the musical-drama television series Fame, where she portrayed dance teacher Lydia Grant, and served as the series' principal choreographer.


Debbie Allen later began working as director and producer, most notably producing and directing 83 of 144 episodes of NBC comedy series A Different World.


Debbie Allen has directed more than 50 television and film productions.


Debbie Allen taught choreography to former Los Angeles Lakers dancer-turned-singer, Paula Abdul.


Debbie Allen was a member of Chi Delta Mu Health Professional Fraternity.


Debbie Allen holds honoris causa doctorates from Howard University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.


Debbie Allen auditioned at the Houston Ballet Academy at the age of twelve.


Once admission recruiters from the academy became aware of the situation, they allowed Debbie Allen to stay because they recognized her talent.


Unfortunately, Debbie Allen was refused admission, and was told her body was not suited for ballet.


Debbie Allen had her Broadway debut in the chorus of Purlie in 1970.


Debbie Allen later created the role of Beneatha in the Tony Award-winning musical Raisin, and appeared in Truckload, and Ain't Misbehavin'.


Debbie Allen later was selected to appear in the 1979 miniseries Roots: The Next Generations by Alex Haley where she plays the wife of Haley.


Debbie Allen was first introduced as Lydia Grant in the film Fame.


Debbie Allen 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.


In 1986, Debbie Allen received a second Tony Award nomination, at that time for Best Actress in a Musical, for her performance in the title role of Bob Fosse's Sweet Charity.


Debbie Allen has released two solo albums, Sweet Charity and Special Look, which produced several singles.


Debbie Allen later directed crime drama film Out-of-Sync and well as number of television films.


Debbie Allen was choreographer of The Academy Awards Show for ten years, six of which were consecutive.


In 1995, Debbie Allen lent her voice to the children's animated series C Bear and Jamal for Film Roman and Fox Kids.


Debbie Allen co-produced the 1997 Steven Spielberg historical drama film Amistad receiving a Producers Guild of America Award.


Since 2007, Debbie Allen was participated as a judge and mentor for the US version of So You Think You Can Dance.


Debbie Allen 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.


In 2008, Debbie Allen 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, her sister Phylicia Rashad and Anika Noni Rose, as well as film actor Terrence Howard, who made his Broadway debut as Brick.


Debbie Allen directed and starred in the 2001 play and its television adaptation The Old Settler.


In 2000s and 2010s, Debbie Allen directed television shows, including 44 episodes of All of Us, as well as Girlfriends, Everybody Hates Chris, How to Get Away with Murder, Empire, Scandal and Jane the Virgin.


Debbie Allen is married to former NBA player Norm Nixon; the couple have three children: dancer Vivian Nichole Nixon basketball player Norman Ellard Nixon Jr.


Debbie Allen was previously married to Win Wilford from 1975 to 1983.