Born in Houston, Texas, Debbie Allen was born to dance. This gift has led to careers as an actress, choreographer, film director and television producer.
Debbie is currently a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, she was appointed to this position by President George W. Bush in 2001. She also teaches her art to young dancers at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy.
Debbie earned a B.A. degree in classical Greek literature, speech, and theater from Howard University and holds honorary doctorates from both her alma mater and the North Carolina School for the Arts.
She has starred in film and on Broadway and has earned two Tony Award nominations.
Allen is also the sister of actress Phylicia Rashad, aka Phylicia Ayers-Allen, and is married to former NBA player Norm Nixon.
She is perhaps best known for her role as Lydia Grant in the movie and television series, Fame. Allen was first introduced as Lydia Grant in the 1980 movie Fame. Her role in the film was relatively small, but in the television series Lydia would become a central figure in the shows 6 year run. Ms. Grant started off each episode by telling her students: "You've got big dreams. You want fame? Well fame is going to cost. And right here is where start paying...with sweat." Allen was also the lead choreographer for the film and television series, winning two Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe Award. She then spun-off the Fame franchise into a reality show in 2003 but it met with only limited success.