Today is a very special day, folks. It’s the day that Debbie Allen, a woman who wears many hats, was born. Deborah Kaye Allen, dancer, actress, television director, producer, choreographer and an overall queen, turns 70 today, and she’s lived quite the epic life in the decades that have passed. Aside from being a happy mother and wife, she’s won an Emmy and Golden Globe for her work on the musical TV drama Fame, she made the TV series A Different World into classic television as producer and director, she was a former member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and she is the brains behind the famous Debbie Allen Dance Academy. She is a woman of so many talents, including rapping:
These are talents she’s cultivated since she was a young girl growing up along her famous big sister Phylicia in Houston at a time of heavy racism.
“I was the entertainment for the family,” she said in an interview with Town and Country magazine in 2018. “I would be in the back yard, performing to the birds and trees and clouds.”
She’s been entertainment for so many other people (and things) since, and created so many forms of it, whether she’s helping put together some fierce moves or directing some of our favorite projects, including Grey’s Anatomy. Debbie Allen has certainly come a long way from dancing for the birds, trees and clouds, and a lot of that journey can be traced through vintage photos of the star. In honor of her 70th born day, hit the flip for throwback photos of Allen, from her work on-camera to her time with famous friends and more.