Deborrah Kaye “Debbie” Allen (born January 16, 1950) is an American actress, dancer, choreographer, television director, television producer, and a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She is perhaps best known for her work on the 1982 musical-drama television series Fame, where she portrayed dance teacher Lydia Grant, and served as the series' principal choreographer. She is the younger sister of actress/singer Phylicia Rashād.
Allen was born in Houston, Texas, the youngest of three children to orthodontist Andrew Arthur Allen Sr. and Vivian (née Ayers) Allen, a poet (Spice of Dawns and other books) and museum art director.
She went on to earn a B.A. degree in classical Greek literature, speech, and theater from Howard University. She holds honoris causa Doctors from Howard and the North Carolina School for the Arts. She currently teaches young dancers. She also taught choreography to former L.A. Laker dancer-turned-singer, Paula Abdul. Her daughter, Vivian Nixon, played Kalimba in the Broadway production of Hot Feet. She graduated from Jack Yates Senior high school.