ENTERTAINMENT Despite receiving hate mail for their interracial love 50 years ago, their marriage remains unbreakably strong today


    Leslie Uggams has enjoyed an enthralling career as a theater and movie actor.

    Born in Harlem, this talented singer and actress is best known for her role in the Deadpool series, but her brilliant career has spanned over seven decades.

    Behind the scenes, her personal life could inspire a film of its own. In 1965, she married Grahame Pratt, a white Australian, and their enduring love affair has triumphed over the challenges of interracial relationships.



    Leslie Uggams has enjoyed a captivating career as both a theater and movie actor.


    Born in Harlem, this talented singer and actress is best known for her role in the Deadpool series, yet her illustrious career has spanned more than seven decades.

    Off the stage and screen, her personal life could easily inspire a movie. In 1965, she married Grahame Pratt, a white Australian, and together they have navigated the complexities of an interracial relationship with enduring success.



    In a 1967 interview with Ebony, Leslie Uggams shared a poignant memory from her dating life. ‘I remember the shock I felt when I was dating a white boy,’ she said. ‘He sent me a color photograph of himself, which I showed to my aunt. He was a handsome young man with lovely hair, and I thought he was stunning. But my aunt took one glance at me and began lecturing. “Well, I suppose he’s okay for dates, eh, honey? But you’ll marry a fine [Black] fella when you’re ready to settle down for good, won’t you?”‘

    Leslie continued to see Grahame after their fortuitous meeting. ‘I found myself falling for him, which was quite surprising given that I was only 21,’ she stated. However, she wouldn’t see him again for 12 months after leaving Australia.

    Despite Leslie’s concerns about her family’s reaction and the implications of Grahame relocating to the United States for her career, the two had fallen deeply in love. After a five-month engagement, Grahame visited her in New York


    Knowing my family’s views on mixed marriages, I wanted to know if they would truly accept Grahame and not just tolerate him,” she explained.

    Leslie, on the other hand, had nothing to worry about because Grahame was an Australian.


    He lacked the self-consciousness about his situation that many white Americans do.’ He readily blended in with my friends because he liked them. And they liked him too, both the men and the women,” Leslie shared about her husband, Grahame.

    Although they didn’t face as many racial challenges as the rest of the country while living in New York, Leslie revealed that they still received hate mail because of their interracial marriage.

    “It wasn’t as difficult as I anticipated,” Leslie remarked in an interview with PEOPLE. “I believe it’s because Grahame was not a white American man. But, of course, we did receive mail.”

    “When I go on tour in the United States, I sometimes receive anonymous letters about being married to a white man,” Leslie stated. “I recall getting one in Detroit, of all places. It was addressed to ‘The Little Negro Entertainer’ and arrived at the club. These letters are consistently hurtful and unpleasant to read.”

    Grahame became Leslie’s manager, and the couple had two daughters, Danielle in 1970 and Justice in 1976.

    By 1977, one year after the birth of their second child, Leslie had secured the lead role in the miniseries “Roots,” earning her an Emmy nomination for her performance as Kizzy.

    Two years later, she starred as Lillian Rogers Parks in the miniseries “Backstairs at the White House,” receiving another Emmy nomination for Best Actress.

    She portrayed Rose Keefer on “All My Children” in 1996 and won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1983 as the host of the NBC game show “Fantasy.”

    Leslie has also appeared as herself on television shows such as “Family Guy,” “I Spy,” “Hollywood Squares,” “The Muppet Show,” “The Love Boat,” and “Magnum P.I.”

    After 55 years, Leslie and Grahame are still happily married and share two children and a granddaughter named Cassidy.

    “We laugh all the time—but it ain’t always roses,” Leslie said of their marriage. “We enjoy our time together.”

    The love between these two has defied all odds and has stood the test of time. They are devoted to each other, continuously supporting and inspiring one another.