by Tim Gordon
Happy Heavenly Birthday to trailblazing actress and singer Teresa M. Graves, credited as Teresa Graves, who was born on this day in 1948.
Graves was best known for her starring role as undercover police detective Christie Love in the ABC crime-drama television series Get Christie Love! She was the second African-American woman to star in her own hour–long television series, after Diahann Carroll in Julia which aired six years prior and the first for a drama television series.
She was described in Jet magazine as “television’s most delightful detective, the epitome of a tough lady cop with more feminine features than Venus”. Graves retired from show business in 1983 to devote her time to her faith.
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. She was 54 years old.