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James Hibberd
August 24, 2011 AT 05:12 PM EDT

Ready to meet Jackson Avery’s mom?

Actor-director Debbie Allen has been cast in the upcoming season of Grey’s Anatomy, playing Catherine Avery. The move brings Allen out from behind the camera on Grey’s, where she’s previously directed three episodes of the show (not entirely unlike how Eric Stolz directed an episode of Private Practice before appearing in Grey’s).

Allen has a slew of TV directing credits to her name (Everybody Hates Chris, That’s So Raven) and is best known as an actress for her work in the movie Fame (both versions). She’ll lend some insight into Jackson’s family in the fifth episode of the eighth season, which premieres on Sept. 22.

Read more:

Shonda Rhimes teams with ‘Gossip Girl’ writer for new ABC show

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ scoop: Will there be an ‘all boys’ episode?

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