Leslie Graves

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This article is about the American actress. For the nonprofit executive, see Leslie Graves (nonprofit executive).
Leslie Graves
Born (1959-09-29)September 29, 1959
Silver City, New Mexico, US
Died August 23, 1995(1995-08-23) (aged 35)
Height 4 ft 11 in (1.50 m)
Spouse(s) Jerry Schoenkopf

Leslie Marie Graves (September 29, 1959 – August 23, 1995) was an American actress.

Early years[edit]

Leslie Graves's father, Michael Graves, was a theatre actor and introduced her to the entertainment industry when she was about 10. So she started her career with a small role in a Broadway play A Cry of Players (1968–1969) written by William Gibson, and then moved to acting for TV series: Sesame Street (1969, first 13 episodes), The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1971, in the episode titled "Baby Sit-Com"), Here We Go Again (1973),[1] and some uncredited commercials.

In the late-70s, she left Hollywood, supposedly to move with a boyfriend to Texas, where she worked on a shrimp boat for three years.[2]


Leslie Graves's comeback to Hollywood in early 1980 was marked by some nude photoshoots. Phillip Dixon shot her for OUI Magazine, a Playboy corporation affiliate and put her on the cover in November 1980 and again in May 1981 with a shoot by five photographers).

At that time some rumors about her involvement with Penthouse publisher, Bob Guccione, and an argument with Playboy publisher, Hugh Hefner, arose, as reported in specialised entertainment business magazines[2] and books.[3]

As she started to be noticed, she had small roles in two slasher movies: Piranha: the Spawning (1981) and Death Wish II (1982).[4]

CBS in 1982 cast her, at 23, in the role of Brenda Clegg in the daytime soap Capitol.

On the set she found in Carolyn Jones a sort of second, supportive mother. When Jones died, Graves was devastated and suffered from depression[3] [5] and eventually became addicted to drugs.[6]

In late summer 1984, Graves left the CBS show due to a serious drug problem and a heroin overdose, although her departure was reported as stress-related.

Her last public appearance was a nude photo shoot by Jean Rougeron published in the October 1984 issue of OUI Magazine.


Year Title Role Notes
1970 Mary Tyler Moore Dee Dee TV series
1973 Here We Go Again Cindy Standish TV series
1981 Piranha II: The Spawning Allison Dumont Directed by James Cameron
1982 Death Wish 2 Nirvana's Girl #2 Directed by Michael Winner
1982-84 Capitol Brenda Clegg #1 TV series

Personal life[edit]

Leslie Graves was married and had two children. On August 23, 1995 she died of an AIDS-related illness.


  1. ^ Bob Leszczak (2012). Single Season Sitcoms, 1948-1979: A Complete Guide. McFarland. ISBN 0786468122. 
  2. ^ a b Alice Koenisberg (1984). "Soaps' Young Sirens". Daytime TV Magazine. 
  3. ^ a b Jason Bonderoff (1987). Soap opera babylon. Perigee Books. ISBN 0-399-51291-8. 
  4. ^ Paul Talbot (2006). Bronson's Loose!: The Making of the Death Wish Films. iUniverse, Inc. ISBN 0595379826. 
  5. ^ James Pylant (2012). In Morticia's Shadow: The Life and Career of Carolyn Jones. Jacobus Books. ISBN 9780984185757. 
  6. ^ Bernie Anthony Bourns (2008). The Life. Authorhouse. ISBN 1434389006. 

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