Teresa Graves

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Teresa Graves
Teresa Graves Get Christie Love 1974.jpg
Graves in Get Christie Love!, 1974
Terresa M. Graves[citation needed]

(1948-01-10)January 10, 1948
DiedOctober 10, 2002(2002-10-10) (aged 54)
Other names
  • Theresa Graves
  • Tressa Graves
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active1966–1983
Known forDet. Christie Love – Get Christie Love!
William D. Reddick
(m. 1977; div. 1983)

Terresa M. Graves (January 10, 1948 – October 10, 2002), credited as Teresa Graves, was an American actress and singer best known for her starring role as undercover police detective Christie Love in the ABC crime-drama television series Get Christie Love! (1974–1975). Graves was the second African-American woman to star in her own hour–long television series and the first for a drama television series.[1][2]



Graves was born on January 10, 1948, the middle of three children in Houston, Texas to Marshall (1921–1967) and Willie Graves (1920–2005). After graduating from high school in 1966, Graves began the early portion of her career as a singer with The Doodletown Pipers. She also recorded a self-titled album in 1970.[3][4]


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). In 1969, Graves toured with Bob Hope's USO tour in Southeast Asia. Graves later landed more acting roles, becoming a regular on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In during its third season.[5] Graves appeared in several 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 love scene with Fred Williamson, who plays the leading role of Jefferson Bolt.

Graves pivotal role in the 1974 ABC crime drama television movie and later series Get Christie Love! featured Charles Cioffi and Jack Kelly as Lieutenants Reardon and Ryan, respectively, Love's supervisors. At the time of the series creation, Graves' was noted as the second African-American woman to star in her own hour–long television series, after Diahann Carroll in Julia which aired six years prior. An article in the November 1974 issue of Jet magazine described Graves as "television's most delightful detective, the epitome of a tough lady cop with more feminine features than Venus".[6] In 1983, Graves retired from show business to devote her time to her faith.

Personal life and death[edit]

Graves was married once and had no children. On June 25, 1977, Graves married William D. Reddick in Los Angeles, California.[7] The marriage later ended in divorce by 1983.[8] 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".[9]

For the rest of her life, Graves resided at 3437 West 78th Place in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Los Angeles, California where she cared for her mother.[4] On October 10, 2002, Graves' home caught fire due to a space heater. Graves was found unconscious in a bedroom before being rushed to the hospital where she later died.[10] She was 54 years old.

Acting roles[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
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
Old Drac
1974 Black Eye Cynthia
1974 Get Christie Love! Christie Love Television movie
1974–1975 Get Christie Love! Christie Love 22 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

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 978-0-8223-3919-9.
  2. ^ Soul: Black Power, Politics, and Pleasure, edited by Monique Guillory, Richard Green, Richard Green, Dr.Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  3. ^ Kirshner Records KES-104
  4. ^ a b "'Get Christy Love' TV star Teresa Graves, 54, dies in fire". Jet. 2002-10-28. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "TV's Tough Lady Cop", Jet magazine, November 14, 1974, cover and pages 58-60, Online
  7. ^ "California Marriage Index, 1960-1985". FamilySearch. Ancestry, 2007. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  8. ^ Certificate of Death (Report). State of California, Department of Public Health. 2002-10-10.
  9. ^ "Choosing Between Two Loves in My Life" as told by Teresa Graves, Awake!, April 22, 1977, p. 19.
  10. ^ "Teresa Graves, 53, Of 'Get Christie Love'". The New York Times. 2002-10-16. Retrieved 2008-11-02.

External links[edit]