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Teresa Graves
Born January 10, 1948(1948-01-10)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Died October 10, 2002 (aged 54)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Other name(s) Theresa Graves
Years active 1967 – 1983
Spouse(s) William D. Reddick (1977 – divorced)

Teresa Graves (January 10, 1948 – October 10, 2002) was an American actress and singer. As the star of Get Christie Love!, Graves is credited as being the first African American woman to star in her own hour long drama television series.[1]


Early life and career

Born in Houston, Texas, Graves began her career singing with The Doodletown Pipers.[2] She soon turned to acting and became a regular in the two variety flops Our Place (1967) and Turn On (1969). She then became a regular on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In during its third season.[3] Graves appeared in a number of films before her pivotal role in the 1974 television movie Get Christie Love!. She reprised the role of police investigator "Christie Love" in a short-lived TV series of the same name which featured Charles Cioffi and Jack Kelly as Lieutenants Reardon and Ryan, respectively, Love's supervisors. Jet magazine described Graves as "television's most delightful detective, the epitome of a tough lady cop with more feminine features than Venus".[4]

Graves was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1974, and almost immediately began using her celebrity to bring international awareness to the persecution of Witnesses in Malawi under then-leader Hastings Kamuzu Banda's "one-party rule".[5] In 1983, she retired from show business to devote her time to the religion. For the rest of her life, Graves resided in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Los Angeles,California and took care of her mother.[2]


On October 10, 2002, Graves' home caught fire. She was found unconscious in a bedroom before being rushed to the hospital where she later died.[6]


Year Film Role Notes
1973 That Man Bolt Samantha Nightingale
1974 Vampira Countess Vampira Alternative titles: Old Dracula
Old Drac
Black Eye Cynthia
Year Title Role Notes
1969 Turn-On Regular Performer 1 episode
1969-1970 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Regular Performer 5 episodes
1971 The Funny Side Minority Wife Unknown episodes
1972 Keeping Up with the Joneses Television movie
The New Dick Van Dyke Show Nurse Allen 1 episode
1973 The Rookies Susan Davis 1 episode
1974 Get Christie Love! Christie Love Television movie
Get Christie Love! Christie Love 21 episodes

Awards and nominations

Year Award Result Category Film or series
1975 Golden Globe Award Nominated Best TV Actress - Drama Get Christie Love!
1977 TP de Oro Won Best Foreign Actress (Mejor Actriz Extranjera) Get Christie Love!


  1. ^ Levine, Elana (2007). Wallowing in Sex: The New Sexual Culture of 1970s American Television. Duke University Press. p. 134. ISBN 0-822-33919-6.  
  2. ^ a b "`Get Christy Love' TV star Teresa Graves, 54, dies in fire". Jet. 2002-10-28. Retrieved 2008-01-04.  
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (1999). From Beautiful Downtown Burbank: A Critical History of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in, 1968-1973. McFarland. p. 204. ISBN 0-786-40766-2.  
  4. ^ "TV's Tough Lady Copy", Jet magazine, November 14, 1974, cover and pages 58-60, Online
  5. ^ "Choosing Between Two Loves in My Life" as told by Teresa Graves, Awake!, April 22, 1977, page 19
  6. ^ "Teresa Graves, 53, Of 'Get Christie Love'". The New York Times. 2002-10-16. Retrieved 2008-11-02.  

External links

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