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Black History Month: Women in Film & TV - Teresa Graves

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Teresa Graves was an American actress and singer who was best known for her work in the ABC crime drama Get Christie Love! She was the second African-American woman to star in her own hour-long show, and the first to star in an American drama series. She was once described by Jet Magazine as “television's most delightful detective, the epitome of a tough lady cop with more feminine features than Venus.”

Ms. Graves started her career as a singer with the Doodletown Pipers before turning to acting.

She appeared on many popular TV shows including Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and The Dick Van Dyke Show, however, she is most known for her starring role in Get Christie Love! where she played the first black female cop hired by the Los Angeles Police Department. It originally aired as a made-for-TV movie but was so successful it was turned into a television show. Detective Christie Love was her biggest role but also her last.

The show ran for one season from 1974-1975 on ABC and earned Graves a Golden Globe nomination. After Christie, Graves retired from the entertainment business in order to devote more time to her faith.

On October 10th, 2002, Teresa Graves was tragically killed in a home fire at the age 54, however, she will live on as Detective Christie Love on our screens. She was a trailblazer for Black women in television and her accomplishments will not be forgotten.

To watch the made-for-TV movie, Get Christie Love!, visit to view our Black History Month Film Collection.

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