Fast Facts

  • In 1964 became the first black dancer to gain entry to the Houston Foundation for Ballet.   
  • Made her Broadway debut in 1971 as a member of the chorus in Purlie.
  • Became a principal dancer and assistant to George Faison, the founder of the Universal Dance Experience, in 1972.
  • Was featured in both film versions (1980 and 2009) and the TV version of Fame.
  • Authored two children's books: Dancing in the Wings and Brothers of the Knight.
  • Founder of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, a nonprofit dance studio located in Los Angeles.
  • Made her theatrical directorial debut in March 2008 with the Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which featured an all-black cast.

Awards

  • 1992, Emmy — Outstanding Individual Achievement in Choreography: Nominee
  • 1993, Emmy — Outstanding Individual Achievement in Choreography: Nominee
  • 1984, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1990, Emmy — Outstanding Achievement in Choreography: Nominee
  • 1986, Emmy — Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program: Nominee
  • 1983, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1984, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1986, Tony — Actress (Musical): Nominee
  • 1985, Emmy — Outstanding Achievement in Music and Lyrics: Nominee
  • 1982, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1985, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1995, Emmy — Outstanding Individual Achievement in Choreography: Nominee
  • 1989, Emmy — Outstanding Directing in a Variety or Music Program: Nominee
  • 1980, Tony — Actress (Featured Role--Musical): Nominee
  • 1983, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 1984, Emmy — Outstanding Achievement in Choreography: Nominee
  • 1982, Emmy — Outstanding Achievement in Choreography: Winner
  • 1985, Emmy — Outstanding Achievement in Choreography: Nominee
  • 1989, Emmy — Outstanding Achievement in Choreography: Nominee
  • 1991, Emmy — Outstanding Achievement in Choreography: Winner
  • 1999, Emmy — Outstanding Choreography: Nominee
  • 1983, Emmy — Outstanding Achievement in Choreography: Winner
  • 1984, Emmy — Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program: Nominee
  • 1985, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee

Relationships

  • Vivian Ayers Allen — Mother
  • Win Wilford — Ex-husband
  • Norman Nixon Jr. — Son
  • Vivian Nichole Nixon — Daughter
  • Norm Nixon — Husband
  • Andrew Allen — Father
  • Phylicia Rashad — Sister
  • Andrew Allen Jr. — Brother
  • Hugh Allen — Brother

College

  • Howard University, Washington, DC (BFA, 1971)

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Details

  • Birth Name: Deborrah Kaye Allen
  • Birth Place: Houston, TX
  • Birthday: January 16, 1950, Capricorn
  • Profession: Dancer, Director, Actor
  • User Rating:3.94 out of 5 (80 ratings)
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