Quantum Leap Wiki
Debbie Allen
2012 DebbieAllen-crop-300w.jpg

Debbie Allen makes a guest appearance as Joanna Chapman in the Season 3 episode "Privage Dancer"; she also directs the episode, as well as "Revenge of The Evil Leaper" in Season 5.

Personal Information
Gender: Female
Born: (1950-11-16) November 16, 1950 (age 70)
Birthplace: Houston, TX, U.S.
Years active: 1976-present
Character information
Appeared on: Quantum Leap (TV series)
Character played:
  • plays Joanna Chapman in "Private Dancer" (also directs 2 episodes in Seasons 3 & 5)
  • Debbie Allen (born November 16, 1950) directed two episodes of Quantum Leap, "Private Dancer" in Season 3 and "Revenge of The Evil Leaper" in Season 5. She also appears in the role of Joanna Chapman, a New York City-area choreographer of a major jazz dance company who, after a failed audition of a girl named Diana Quinna a waitress in a strip club where Sam's leapee Rod "The Bod" McCarty is employed as a male dancer, a where Joanna frequents, who's hearing impaired, gives her a second chance as she makes the cut and avoids a major life decision misstep which has her becoming a dancer herself, then an escort, prostitute, and eventually dying of AiDS in several years in the Private Dancer episode.


    An award-winning actress, dancer, choreographer, television director and producer, and a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities,[1][2] Debbie is perhaps best known for her work on the 1982 NBC-TV musical-drama television series Fame, where she portrayed dance teacher Lydia Grant, and served as the series' principal choreographer. She currently portrays Catherine Avery on Grey's Anatomy. She is the younger sister of actress/director/singer Phylicia Rashad.

    Family/Personal life[]

    Allen is married to former NBA player Norm Nixon,[3] and they have two children, dancer Vivian Nichole Nixon, and basketball player Norman Ellard Nixon Jr. (Wofford College & Southern University). Allen was previously married to Win Wilford from 1975 to 1983.[4][5]

    She is the sister of actress/director/singer Phylicia Rashad (with whom she once co-starred on an episode of The Cosby Show), and Tex Allen (Andrew Arthur Allen III, born 1945), noted jazz composer.


    1. Current Members. President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Archived from the original on January 16, 2005. Retrieved on August 13, 2008.
    2. Debbie Allen, Culver City, California. President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (2008). Archived from the original on January 17, 2009. Retrieved on August 13, 2008.
    3. Peter Vecsey (March 13, 2007). BASN's Hometown Hero. blackathlete.net. Archived from the original on December 11, 2007. Retrieved on April 12, 2008.
    4. PEOPLE: "AND BABY MAKES FOUR". – The Dallas Morning News. – September 2, 1987.
    5. Dave Mackall (May 31, 2007) "Nixon fondly remembers Duquesne". – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

    External links[]