On 22nd of June 1975, Debbie got married to Winnfred Wilford. She was happily married to him and they also got bonded in this married life for the next eight years. However, in 1983 they decided to dissolve their married life and they got divorced that year.
Few months later, Debbie began dating Norm Nixon. Norm is the former professional basketball player. He is also famous for being an actor and producer. After being in love for several months, they got married on 27th of April 1984. As a married couple, they have been parents twice.
Debbie is the graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical Greek literature, speech, and theater. She has been active in acting since 1976. She made her acting debut by appearing in the Broadway production, Purlie. Two years later in 1978, she appeared in the television series, The Love Boat. She got her rise in fame in 1980 after she played the role of Anita in the Broadway, West Side Story. She played her first movie role in 1980 movie, Fame. For her role in the television series, A Different World, she earned the salary of $1,000,000. Her net worth is said to be around $3 million.