This ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Upcoming Guest Star Has a Connection to One of the Cast Members

Season 16 of the ABC hit series Grey’s Anatomy is about to air, and fans are counting down the days. With a series of cliffhangers in last season’s final episode, viewer are hoping for some resolution to several open-ended questions.

With some hints over the summer as to what the new season may entail, there have also been some rumblings about upcoming guest stars. Social media exploded when it was announced that Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs will appear in an episode as sisters, reminiscent of the two actresses’ familial characters on the former CW series Charmed. Another actress will be getting some decent airtime this season in an upcoming recurring role, giving her the opportunity to work again with a former colleague.

Jasmine Guy | Paras Griffin/Getty Images

First appeared last season

According to Deadline, actress Jasmine Guy will reprise her role as Gemma, a woman who who appeared last season in Grey Sloan Memorial’s emergency room following a freak accident. There she was reunited with a familiar face – Dr. Richard Webber, played by James Pickens, Jr., whom she knew from his time in Alcoholics Anonymous.

The episode, entitled “Head Over High Heels,” aired just a few weeks before the season finale. The storyline that began with Pickens will almost assuredly be resurrected in Season 16.

From dancing to acting

Guy originally hit the stage as a dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City, according to IMDb. She performed on several international venues, including Broadway. She also appeared as a dancer in a non-speaking role on the 1982 series Fame.

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Guy switched to acting when she landed the role of Whitley Gilbert on the Cosby Show spin-off A Different World in 1987, for which she received six consecutive N.A.A.C.P. Image Awards. She appeared on several other popular televisions shows, including Melrose Place, NYPD Blue, and The Prince of Bel Air.

The actress has also made it onto the big screen, with film credits including Harlem Nights with Eddie Murphy, and Spike Lee’s School Daze.

A professional history

Actress and executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy Debbie Allen knows Guy from way back. Guy was under Allen’s choreographical direction in Fame over 30 years ago, and Allen also served as the director-producer of A Different World.

Allen, who plays Weber’s wife Dr. Katherine Avery, recently spoke on her tenure on A Different World, revealing that she tried to create a genuine bond between the cast. “I would cook for them sometimes so we could keep that family feel,” Allen told Elle in February. “I broke them down to where I made them understand that they were an ensemble company, and every week we had a new play, so nobody was more special than anybody else.”

Guy reflected on her work in A Different World a few years ago, giving props to Allen for creating episodes with cultural relevance. “I think our heavier shows were our funnier shows—like the LA Riot episode. It was a comedy but all of our humor comes from reality,” Guy told BET in 2011. Debbie [Allen] fought for those issue episodes. Those are the shows I’m most proud of because we were still funny.”

Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes met Allen when she took her daughter to the Debbie Allen Dance Academy for dance lessons. “I was awed to discover that Debbie Allen was actually there. All the time,” Rhimes told Elle. “I hung around in the shadows a little bit, and then finally we met and started talking.” When Rhimes learned of Allen’s extensive producing and directing credentials, she knew she had to recruit her for Grey’s.

Though it is still unknown if Guy and Allen will share any screen time, their professional reunion – even if it’s contained to Allen behind the camera with Guy in front – will be sure to make for great television.

Watch ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy season premiere on September 26!