Teresa Graves: First African-American Woman to Star in Own Hour-Long Drama Television Series

Written by Jae Jones

was an American actress and singer. She was born January 10, 1948 in Houston, Texas. Graves is best-known as the star of the 1974 ! She is also credited for being the first African-American woman to star in her own hour-long drama television series.

After graduating high school Graves pursued a career as a singer. Graves began her career as a singer with the Doodletown Pipers. She later began acting and appeared in two regular shows: Our Place, and the single episode of Turn-On. She also appeared as a regular on the Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (1967) show. The shapely actress was well-recognized as the “Mod, Mod World’s Bikini Girl” on the Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In; which led to her touring with Bob Hope on his USO shows and TV specials. Graves later went on to appear in a number of other films before starring in the 1974 television movie Get Christie Love! She appeared in the movie as a police investigator “Christie Love.” She played the first woman hired by a police department.


Graves was later baptized into the Jehovah faith. While she was in England in 1973 filming Old Drac (1974), Graves became intensely involved in the religion, acting in the film by day, and studying the Bible by night. She began using her celebrity status to bring international awareness to the persecution of witnesses in Malawi under the leader Hastings Kamuzu Banda. After retiring from show business in 1983, she spent time devoting her life to the religion and caring for her elderly mother. In 2002, Graves home engulfed in fire, and she was found unconscious in her bedroom, she later died at the age of 54.



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Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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