Teresa Graves

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Teresa Graves
Teresa Graves Get Christie Love 1974.jpg
Born(1948-01-10)January 10, 1948
Houston, Texas, U.S.
DiedOctober 10, 2002(2002-10-10) (aged 54)
Other namesTheresa Graves
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1967–1983
William Reddick(m. 19771983)

Teresa Graves (January 10, 1948 October 10, 2002) was an American actress and singer. As the star of the 1974 Get Christie Love! , Graves is credited as being the first black woman to star in her own hour-long drama television series. [1]

<i>Get Christie Love!</i> television series

Get Christie Love! is an American crime drama TV series starring Teresa Graves as an undercover African-American female police detective. The series is based on Dorothy Uhnak's crime-thriller novel The Ledger. However, the main character "Christie Opara"—a white, New York Police detective—was dropped completely and "Christie Love" emerged.


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 shows: Our Place (1967) and the infamous single episode of 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. In the 1973 film That Man Bolt , in which she played Samantha Nightingale, Graves' character is shot to death when she is in bed during a nude love scene with Fred Williamson, who plays the leading role of Jefferson Bolt. Her pivotal role in the 1974 crime drama series Get Christie Love! 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] In 1969 she toured with Bob Hope's USO tour in Southeast Asia.

The Doodletown Pipers vocal group

The Doodletown Pipers were a 1960s and 1970s easy listening vocal group founded by Ward Ellis, George Wilkins, Bernie Brillstein and Jerry Weintraub.

Our Place is an American musical variety show that aired on CBS during the summer of 1967. The official "host" was one of Jim Henson's early Muppets, Rowlf the Dog. The show's other regulars were comedians Jack Burns and Avery Schreiber and the singing Doodletown Pipers.

Turn-On is an American sketch comedy series that aired on ABC in February 1969. Only one episode was shown, leaving one episode unaired, and the show is considered one of the most infamous flops in TV history.

Later years and death

Graves was baptized as a Jehovah's Witness 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] On June 25, 1977, she married William D. Reddick. [6] The marriage ended in divorce. [7] In 1983, she retired from show business to devote her time to the religion. For the rest of her life, Graves resided at 3437 West 78th Place 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. [8] She was 54 years old.

Acting roles

1969 Turn-On Regular Performer1 episode
1969–1970 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Regular performer26 episodes
1971 The Funny Side Minority WifeUnknown episodes
1972Keeping Up with the JonesesTelevision movie
1972 The New Dick Van Dyke Show Nurse Allen1 episode
1973 The Rookies Susan Davis1 episode
1973 That Man Bolt Samantha Nightingale
1974 Vampira Countess VampiraAlternative titles: Old Dracula
Old Drac
1974 Black Eye Cynthia
1974 Get Christie Love! Christie LoveTelevision movie
1974Get Christie Love!Christie Love22 episodes

Awards and nominations

YearAwardResultCategoryFilm or series
1975 Golden Globe Award Nominated Best TV Actress - Drama Get Christie Love!
1977 TP de Oro WonBest Foreign Actress (Mejor Actriz Extranjera)Get Christie Love!

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  1. Levine, Elana (2007). Wallowing in Sex: The New Sexual Culture of 1970s American Television. Duke University Press. p. 134. ISBN   0-8223-3919-6.
  2. 1 2 "`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   0-7864-0766-2.
  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, p. 19.
  6. "California Marriage Index, 1960-1985". FamilySearch. Ancestry, 2007. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  7. Certificate of Death (Report). State of California, Department of Public Health. 2002-10-10.|access-date= requires |url= (help)
  8. "Teresa Graves, 53, Of 'Get Christie Love'". The New York Times. 2002-10-16. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
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