At Home with Debbie Allen

By Collier, Aldore | Ebony, March 1998 | Go to article overview

At Home with Debbie Allen


Collier, Aldore, Ebony


FROM the time she became internationally recognized as Lydia Grant on the TV show Fame, Debbie Allen has come to be known as a woman who wears as many hats as mannequins in a haberdashery. She has been a director, dancer, actress, singer and choreographer. And with the recent release of the movie Amistad, she became the producer of a project that took her 13 years to bring to the screen.

With the opening of the movie came months of exhausting travel to promote the project around the world. So when she wants to escape the unending pressures of Hollywood, and all that's associated with Hollywood, she doesn't choose such popular exotic locales as the South of France the calming Caribbean. No, Allen relaxes by spending quiet, but sometimes hectic, time at home, where she relishes the role of wife and mother as she interacts with her family, which includes her husband, Norm and their two children, Vivian, 13, and Jr., 10.

Instead of settling into those glitzy, celebrity packed Los Angeles suburbs of Beverly Hills or Malibu, the Nixons chose the quiet elegance of Santa Monica, a somewhat unique beachside community that combines class, privacy and vitality. The Nixons' home, for example, is located just a few minutes' walk from Santa Monica Beach, one of the world's most popular areas for sun and fun.

In addition to her role as wife and mother, Allen, at home, wears another hat--this one as art lover and collector. In fact, both she and her husband were serious collectors before they were married in 1984.

Upon entering their home, it's immediately apparent that their surroundings is a testament to their love of African art and works by Black American artists, which include some visually stunning sculptures that tell an emotional story. …

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