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The Broad Museum Celebrates the Opening of Soul Of A Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983 Art Exhibition

Source: FayesVision/ / WENN

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.


Source: ABC Photo Archives / Getty


Source: ABC Photo Archives / Getty

This is a photo of Allen during her Roots: The Next Generation days.

Debbie Allen

Source: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images / Getty

Yassss to this entire look and glamour shot!


Source: ABC Photo Archives / Getty

Another fierce photo of Allen from her time on ABC’s Roots spinoff.

"The Parade of Stars"

Source: Ron Galella / Getty

Check out Allen with another dancer, the late Gregory Hines, and legendary actor Harry Belafonte at The Parade of Stars in 1983.

"Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling" Film Still

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty

This image is a still of Allen and the late comedian Richard Pryor in the 1986 film, Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling. 

Actress Debbie Allen Posing For A Portrait

Source: Santi Visalli / Getty

Who can’t appreciate a close-up?

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson - Season 29

Source: NBC / Getty

Allen sported a big smile and big fashions while visiting The Tonight Show in 1990.

1994 Cable Ace Awards

Source: Jeff Kravitz / Getty

Sister, sister! Allen and her big sister Phylicia have one of the best sisterly bonds in Hollywood.

In The House - Season 2

Source: NBC / Getty

This chic shot of Allen is from her days on the NBC comedy In the House. 

The 4th Annual Family Television Awards - Show

Source: Michael Caulfield Archive / Getty

Crack a smile! It’s the birthday of this very lovely and iconic star!

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