Debbie Allen


Highest Rated:   90% Ragtime (1981)
Lowest Rated:   11% Blank Check (1994)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
African American actress/dancer Debbie Allen had built up a solid reputation as a Broadway choreographer by the time she made her screen debut in The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979). In 1980, she created the role of demanding dance instructor Lydia Grant in Fame (1980), a role she carried over into the long-running TV series of the same name. Each and every episode of this five-season series began with Debbie addressing a roomful of students: "You want fame?...Well, fame costs. And the price is sweat." Practicing what she preached, Debbie not only co-starred in the series but directed several episodes and handled the choreography, winning a brace of Emmies in the process. She went on to be nominated for a Tony award for the 1986 Broadway revival of Sweet Charity. The older sister of Cosby Show co-star Phylicia Rashad, Debbie Allen has herself remained active on the small screen, in the early '90s mapping out the production numbers of the annual Academy Awards telecast and in the mid-'90s co-starring with rapper LL Cool J on the weekly NBC sitcom In the House. In 1997 she was one of the producer's of Steven Spielberg's period drama Amistad. Four years later she directed and starred in the made-for-TV drama The Old Settler opposite her sister. She played herself in the remake of the TV show Fame. She continued directing for television including episodes of That's So Raven, and the Lifetime movie biopic The Fantasia Barrino Story: Life Is Not a Fairy Tale. In 2009 she returned to her roots yet again by playing the principal of the high school for performing arts that is the setting for the 2009 big-screen remake of Fame.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet The Least of These
  • Actor
2018
No Score Yet A Star For Rose
  • Rose
2013
24% Fame
  • Principal Simms
$22.5M 2009
21% Next Day Air
  • Ms. Jackson
$10.1M 2009
No Score Yet Life Is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story
  • Director
2006
No Score Yet Soldiers of Change
  • Bertha Lee Gilmore
  • Executive Producer
2006
No Score Yet Everything's Jake
  • Librarian
2006
No Score Yet Tournament of Dreams
  • Rhonda Dillins
2005
No Score Yet Confessions of an Action Star
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Battle Night: The Krump Wars
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Broadway's Lost Treasures III: The Best of the Tony Awards
  • West Side Story
2005
No Score Yet Soldiers of Change (The Painting)
  • Executive Producer
  • Bertha Lee Gilmore
2002
No Score Yet All About You
  • Ruth
2001
No Score Yet The Old Settler
  • Director
  • Quilly McGrath
2001
No Score Yet Michael Jordan: An American Hero
  • Deloris Jordan
1999
No Score Yet It's Black Entertainment
  • Actor
1999
77% Amistad
  • Producer
1997
No Score Yet Out of Sync
  • Manicurist
  • Director
1995
11% Blank Check
  • Yvonne
1994
No Score Yet Polly
  • Director
1989
No Score Yet Liberty Weekend
  • Actor
1986
55% Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling
  • Michelle
1986
No Score Yet Celebrity
  • Regina Brown
1985
No Score Yet Alice at the Palace
  • Actor
1982
90% Ragtime
  • Sarah
1981
83% Fame
  • Lydia
1980
No Score Yet The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh
  • Ola
1979

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Black Hollywood: They've Gotta Have Us
2018
  • Appearing
  • 2018
46% S.W.A.T.
2017
  • Charice Harrelson
  • 2018
75% Grey's Anatomy
2005
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • Director
  • Catherine Avery Dr. Catherine Avery
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
No Score Yet Dance Moms
2011-2016
  • Appearing
  • 2016
97% Insecure
2016
  • Director
  • 2016
100% Jane the Virgin
2014
  • Director
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
85% Empire
2015
  • Director
  • 2015
No Score Yet FABLife
2015-2016
  • Guest
  • 2015
97% Survivor's Remorse
2014-2017
  • Director
  • 2015
93% Scandal
2012
  • Director
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
No Score Yet The Talk
2010
  • Guest
  • 2015
  • 2011
93% How to Get Away With Murder
2014
  • Director
  • 2014
70% Witches of East End
2013-2014
  • Director
  • 2014
No Score Yet So You Think You Can Dance
2005
  • Appearing
  • Judge
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
65% Hellcats
2010-2011
  • Director
  • 2011
  • 2010
95% Everybody Hates Chris
2005-2009
  • Director
  • Mother
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
No Score Yet The Game
2006-2015
  • Director
  • 2008
No Score Yet That's So Raven
2003-2007
  • Director
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2004
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
2002-2003
  • Director
  • 2003
No Score Yet Quantum Leap
1989-1993
  • Director
  • Joanne
  • 1993
  • 1991
No Score Yet A Different World
1987-1993
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Dr. Langhorn
  • 1993
  • 1992
  • 1991
  • 1990
  • 1989
  • 1988
No Score Yet The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
1990-1996
  • Director
  • 1990
No Score Yet The Cosby Show
1984-1992
  • Emma Neuhausen
  • 1988
No Score Yet Family Ties
1982-1989
  • Director
  • 1988
  • 1987
No Score Yet Good Times
1974-1979
  • Diana
  • 1976
  • 1975
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
  • Actor

Quotes from Debbie Allen's Characters


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