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Debbie Allen Says ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Character Catherine Fox Is ‘Never Letting’ Richard Webber Go (Exclusive)

Debbie Allen Says Grey s Anatomy Character Catherine Fox Is Never Letting Richard Webber Go
ABC/Raymond Liu

Nothing can break up Grey’s Anatomy power couple Catherine Fox and Richard Webber, at least according to Debbie Allen.

“He’s my husband and I’m not letting him go anywhere. That’s the truth,” Allen, 74, told Us Weekly exclusively while promoting her Gr8 Eye Movement campaign in partnership with Prevent Blindness and Regeneron. “He is not going too far away from me.”

Catherine and Richard (James Pickens Jr.) have seen some ups and downs throughout their time on Grey’s Anatomy, including cancer diagnoses and near-relapses, but there’s no end in sight for the fictional duo.

“I started directing on Grey’s Anatomy in season 7, and then, [creator] Shonda [Rhimes] enjoyed the energy I brought. Then she said, ‘I’m going to put you in the show.’ And then Jim Pickens was like, ‘If she’s coming on the show, she needs to be with me,’” she recalled. “It’s developed into a wonderful relationship that the fans love and stories that they relate to.”


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Allen is very aware of the characters’ story lines because she and Pickens, 69, are “the seniors on that show.” She added, “Everything that happens to us, people can relate to what’s going on.

Allen made her Grey’s debut in 2011, while Pickens is an original cast member who has been on the show since its 2005 inception. Their characters have been married since season 11, which aired 2015, and their love is set to continue as season 20, which premiered on Thursday, March 14.

Grey’s season 20 is a shortened season with only 10 episodes following the SAG-AFTRA strike, which came to an end in November 2023. Allen teased that each installment is “packed with wonderful new characters, great stories and real medical situations.”

Debbie Allen Says Grey s Anatomy Character Catherine Fox Is Never Letting Richard Webber Go
Regeneron/Prevent Blindness

Allen teased “some dynamic medical situations,” as per usual. “Some are extraordinary that you don’t even have a clue about it,” she continued, adding that the cast will “learn about it as we go sometimes, because the writers are always out there looking.”

Other than acting and directing on the Grey’s set, Allen is also focused on her own health, which led to her partnership with Prevent Blindness and Regeneron, and the creation of the Gr8 Eye Movement.

“We got such great reaction from people all over the country,” Allen told Us about Gr8 Eye Movement, which launched in September 2023. “We brought awareness of the retinal diseases that certainly are challenging people, certainly at a certain age.”

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People who are pre-diabetic, like Allen herself, have since learned about wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD), diabetic macular edema (DME) and diabetic retinopathy (DR).

“These were some things that I learned about as well because diabetes has always been a big part of my family history and I’ve always been on the lookout for it. It was personal for me,” she said. “It is personal for me, and I think if I can use my celebrity to bring attention to something good right now, which is being proactive and [getting] information and getting people to go on our website. The Gr8 Eye Movement campaign is just a win-win situation for everybody. It really is.”

Grey’s Anatomy airs on ABC Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.

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