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Teresa Graves Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (14) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 10 January 1948Houston, Texas, USA
Date of Death 10 October 2002Los Angeles, California, USA  (house fire)
Birth NameTerresa Graves
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Teresa Graves started her career as a singer with The Doodletown Pipers. She later turned to acting, appearing regularly on Laugh-In (1967) as the "Mod, Mod World" bikini girl in 1969 and 1970. She had supporting roles in several films during the 1970s, including Black Eye (1974), That Man Bolt (1973) and Old Dracula (1974), with David Niven. On Get Christie Love! (1974), which ran during the 1974-1975 season, she played the first black woman hired by a big-city police department. She left acting shortly afterward. She died tragically in a house fire in 2002, aged only 54.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Michaelginty@hotmail.com

Spouse (1)

William D. Reddick (25 June 1977 - ?)

Trivia (14)

Upon graduation from high school, she got her professional start in show business as a member of the singing group The Doodletown Pipers, which toured clubs in America, Canada and Puerto Rico. She stayed with the company for two years before leaving and searching for an acting career.
Completely abandoned her acting career in 1983 in order to concentrate on her spiritual life as a Jehovah's Witness.
Firefighters responding to a fire in the Hyde Park section of Los Angeles found Graves unconscious in a rear bedroom of her home. She was taken to Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital in nearby Inglewood, where she died. A faulty portable space heater was determined to be the cause of the blaze. A smoke alarm in the front of the house was activated but Teresa failed to hear it. Neighbors said they didn't know of the highly religious Graves's past life as a TV star. She died of burns and smoke inhalation not long after arriving at the hospital. [October 2002]
Profiled in "Women of Blaxploitation: How the Black Action Film Heroine Changed American Popular Culture" by Yvonne D. Sims (McFarland, 2006).
Had two brothers: A.D. and Mannie Graves.
In 1973, fellow Laugh-In (1967) cast member Jeremy Lloyd, who wrote the screenplay for Old Dracula (1974), was instrumental in Teresa being cast in the film in the lead role of Dracula's wife, Countess Vampira. This was her first movie lead, which was filmed in England.
Was influenced by her Bible-studying cousin Peggy to become a Jehovah's Witness. While she was in England in 1973 filming Old Dracula (1974), Teresa became intensely involved in the religion, acting in the film by day and studying the Bible by night.
Was acknowledged as the first African-American woman to play the lead in a police film and TV show and the first to have her own one-hour series.
By coincidence, 84-year-old actor Dennis Patrick died three days after Teresa in a Los Angeles home fire.
Among those attending her memorial on October 16, 2002 were fellow Laugh-In (1967) regulars Ruth Buzzi, Henry Gibson and Gary Owens.
The shapely actress was widely recognized as the "Mod, Mod World's Bikini Girl" on the Laugh-In (1967) series. That led to her touring with Bob Hope on his USO shows and TV specials. Her final professional appearance, in fact, was on a Hope TV special in 1982.
Nicknamed "Tootie" (or "Tudie"), Teresa lived with her ailing mother, Willie Graves, in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles for quite some time. Her mother was hospitalized after suffering a stroke at the time of the 12:30 a.m. fatal home fire on October 10, 2002, which probably saved her life.
Teresa never married, deciding to only "marry in the Lord." She became a full-time Jehovah's Witness preacher in the mid-1970s.
The "Blaxploitation" TV movie pilot of Get Christie Love!: Get Christie Love! (1974) was so well-received that it quickly became the one-hour series _"Get Christie Love!" (1974). By the time the series began, however, Teresa had become so entrenched in her newly-found religion that she made what producers considered unreasonable demands on the set, refusing to do any scenes that violated Biblical scripture. As the sassy, slugging, sexy, super-hip undercover detective, Teresa insisted on not being involved in any sexy or violent scenes, would not do scenes in which her character killed anyone or even lied--difficult as an undercover cop--and would work only until 5:00 p.m. in order to attend her Christian studies. The show barely lasted one season.

Personal Quotes (1)

Jehovah is first. My job is second.

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