Teresa Graves (born Terresa 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.
Early life and career
Born in Houston, Texas, Graves began her career singing with The Doodletown Pipers. 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. Graves appeared in a number of films. In the film That Man Bolt (1973), 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". In 1969 she toured with Bob Hope's USO tour in Southeast Asia.
Later years and death
Graves was baptized as one of 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". On June 25, 1977, she married William D. Reddick.  The marriage ended in divorce.  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. 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. She was 54 years old.
|1969||Turn-On||Regular Performer||1 episode|
|1969–1970||Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In||Regular performer||26 episodes|
|1971||The Funny Side||Minority Wife||Unknown episodes|
|1972||Keeping Up with the Joneses||Television movie|
|1972||The New Dick Van Dyke Show||Nurse Allen||1 episode|
|1973||The Rookies||Susan Davis||1 episode|
|1973||That Man Bolt||Samantha Nightingale|
|1974||Vampira||Countess Vampira||Alternative titles: Old Dracula|
|1974||Get Christie Love!||Christie Love||Television movie|
|1974||Get Christie Love!||Christie Love||22 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!|
- Levine, Elana (2007). Wallowing in Sex: The New Sexual Culture of 1970s American Television. Duke University Press. p. 134. ISBN 0-8223-3919-6.
- "`Get Christy Love' TV star Teresa Graves, 54, dies in fire". Jet. 2002-10-28. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- 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.
- "TV's Tough Lady Copy", Jet magazine, November 14, 1974, cover and pages 58-60, Online
- "Choosing Between Two Loves in My Life" as told by Teresa Graves, Awake!, April 22, 1977, p. 19.
- "California Marriage Index, 1960-1985". FamilySearch. Ancestry, 2007. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
- Certificate of Death (Report). State of California, Department of Public Health. 2002-10-10.
- "Teresa Graves, 53, Of 'Get Christie Love'". The New York Times. 2002-10-16. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
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