Debbie Allen to Receive Governors Award at 2021 Emmys

LOS ANGELES, CA. October 06, 2018: Debbie Allen at the 2018 Carousel of Hope Ball at the Beverly Hilton Hotel — Photo by Featureflash

Debbie Allen will be honored with the 2021 Governors Award at next month’s Emmys, the Television Academy announced Thursday.

Each year the honor goes to an individual or organization in TV whose achievement is “so exceptional and universal in nature that it goes beyond the scope of annual Emmy Awards recognition.”

Allen is also being recognized for her philanthropic efforts.

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The Academy’s board of governors said it chose Allen as its latest recipient for her achievements as a choreographer, producer and director; and her commitment to inspire and engage marginalized young people through dance, theater arts and mentorship.

“Debbie Allen has been a creative voice for a generation of performers and storytellers and has left an indelible mark on the television industry,” Governors Award selection committee Co-Chair Eva Basler said in a press release.

Allen, 71, added that she is humbled by the honor.

“To be celebrated by the Television Academy is an overwhelming honor that humbles me and says to my community of dancing gypsies, actors, writers and musicians that if you stay passionate about your craft and do the work, you can go far,” she said.

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Over the years, the Houston native has served as a choreographer for such artists as Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Gwen Verdon, Carmen de Lavallade, Diane Carroll, Lena Horne, Sammy Davis Jr., Dolly Parton and Savion Glover.

She is also a veteran television director and producer with credits that include Fame, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, Jane the Virgin, Empire, Insecure, A Different World, Everybody Hates Chris, Stompin’ At The Savoy, Polly, That’s So Raven, Cool Women, Quantum Leap, The Fantasia Barrino Story and Christmas on the Square.

In 2000, Allen opened the Debbie Allen Dance Academy to expand the reach of dance and theater arts to marginalized students in Los Angeles and around the world.

A three-time Emmy Award winner in choreography (Fame and The Motown 25th), Allen is also a Kennedy Center Honoree, the recipient of 10 Image Awards, the Olivier Award, a Golden Globe, a Drama Desk Award, and multiple Tony nominations.

Previous recipients of the Governors Award include Tyler Perry; Star Trek; American Idol; William S. Paley; Hallmark Cards Inc.; Masterpiece Theater; Comic Relief; and ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and A+E networks.

Allen will receive her Emmy statuette during the 73rd Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 19. The telecast will air live from downtown Los Angeles on CBS.