Debbie Allen has enjoyed an illustrious career as a dancer, choreographer and actress. The Emmy and Golden Globe winner’s recent work behind the camera that is equally impressive.
Allen, 66, has directed more than two-dozen television dramas and comedies including Shonda Rhimes’ hospital hit Grey’s Anatomy, on which she also has a recurring role as Catherine Avery. She is also a wife and a mother who has directed episodes of Everybody Hates Chris and Witches of East End.
In time for her upcoming ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood honor, here are five shows you probably didn’t know Allen had a directorial hand in:
Allen directed the season one finale, which included musical performances by Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson and pop star Rita Ora.
Remember that riveting season-four episode where Marla Gibbs guest stars as an elderly woman looking for her friend, who also happens to be Olivia’s (Kerry Washington) neighbor? Yup. Allen directed that and two other Scandal installments.
How To Get Away with Murder
In season one of HTGAWM, Allen earned kudos on Twitter and beyond when she directed the “He Has a Wife” episode featuring guest star Lynn Whitfield.
Jane the Virgin
Allen directed two episodes of this modern and sexy telenovela during the show’s first season. This includes episode 20 when Alva (Yvonne Coll) gets her memory back after having been pushed down a flight of stairs.
Fans may have chuckled about Reggie’s (RonReaco Lee) business prospects or Cam’s (Jessie Usher) budding romance without realizing that Allen was overseeing the season two installment titled “Guts.”
Get full access to ESSENCE's Black Women in Hollywood by tuning into the live stream on ESSENCE.com starting at 11:45am PT/2:45pm ET on February 25.
Black Women in Hollywood be televised as an ESSENCE and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network special airing Saturday, February 27 at 10 p.m ET/PT on OWN.