Debbie Allen Talks Future of Grey's Characters Catherine and Richard

Debbie Allen Discusses the Future of Catherine and Richard on Grey’s Anatomy

Debbie Allen, a star of “Grey’s Anatomy,” firmly believes her character, Catherine Fox, will always stay by Richard Webber’s side.

Allen, at 74, shared her thoughts with Us Weekly during an exclusive interview. She was promoting her Gr8 Eye Movement campaign, a collaboration with Prevent Blindness and Regeneron. “He’s my husband, and I have no plans of letting him wander off. He will always be close to me,” she expressed.

Throughout their journey on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Catherine and Richard, portrayed by James Pickens Jr., have encountered numerous challenges. These include battling cancer and facing the brink of relapse. Despite these hurdles, the couple’s bond remains unbreakable.

Allen reminisced about her initial involvement with “Grey’s Anatomy” during its seventh season. She began as a director, which caught the attention of the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, and eventually led to her acting role. “Shonda loved the energy I brought, and Jim Pickens insisted I should join him if I was to be part of the show. This led to a beloved relationship that fans adore and find relatable,” she explained.

The article also touches on the significant milestone of television shows reaching over 100 episodes. Shows like “Riverdale” have achieved this by drawing audiences with their connection to familiar characters, such as those from Archie Comics.

Allen and Pickens are considered the veterans on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Allen made her debut in 2011, while Pickens has been a part of the show since it began in 2005. Their characters have been married since the show’s eleventh season in 2015, and their storyline continues to evolve in season 20.

The twentieth season of “Grey’s Anatomy” is notably shorter, with only ten episodes. This change is due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, which concluded in November 2023. Allen hinted at the season being filled with intriguing new characters, compelling stories, and authentic medical scenarios.

Allen also shared her excitement about the medical situations portrayed in the show. “We’re often learning about these extraordinary cases right along with the audience, thanks to our writers’ diligent research,” she said.

Beyond her roles on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Allen is passionate about her health. This led to her partnership with Prevent Blindness and Regeneron, and the launch of the Gr8 Eye Movement. The campaign, which began in September 2023, aims to raise awareness about retinal diseases, particularly among older adults.

Allen, who is pre-diabetic, has learned a great deal about conditions such as wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD), diabetic macular edema (DME), and diabetic retinopathy (DR). “Diabetes has been a significant concern in my family, so this campaign is very personal to me. I hope to use my platform to promote proactive health measures and provide valuable information to those affected,” she stated.

“Grey’s Anatomy” continues to captivate audiences every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.