50 Years Ago, They Received Hate Letters For Their Love – Today, They Are Still Going Strong

Lesslie Uggams is a 79-year-old American actress and singer who began her career as a child in the early 1950s. She made a record for MGM at just the age of 10.

She is best known for her roles in the Deadpool series and Roots. Her other notable projects include Black Girl, Dotty & Soul, Sugar Hill, and Empire.

In 1969, Leslie hosted her own variety TV show, The Lesslie Uggams Show, the first variety show hosted by a person of color since The Nat King Cole Show.

Apart from her career, Lesslie is also a winner in her personal life.

The Deadpool star has been married to her longtime manager, Grahame Pratt, since 1965.

And it was a love marriage… against all odds!

According to PEOPLE, “The Roots actress fell for Pratt, who became her longtime manager, while on tour in Australia (he’s Australian), and they wed in 1965, at the time a rare high-profile interracial marriage.”

In 2018, Uggams spoke to the publication about the love of her life and revealed that she received hate letters from her fans after marrying Pratt.

“He’s smart and witty and fearless,” she said. “It was not as hard as I expected it to be. I think the reason is that Grahame was not an American white man. But of course, we did get mail.”

“Sometimes when I go on tour through the States I get anonymous letters about being married to a white man,” Uggams added. “I remember I got one in Detroit of all places. It came to the club addressed to ‘The Little Negro Entertainer.’ They’re always addressed something like that and they’re not pleasant to read.”

The Roots actress tied the knot with Grahame, a white man, at the peak of her career. She already won a Tony award for her debut Broadway performance and was the ‘first black woman to be featured on a weekly national prime-time series.’

In another interview with Ebony in 1967, Uggams revealed that it was indeed a difficult time when she was dating Pratt because people didn’t like the concept of her being in an interracial relationship and expected her to marry a black man.

“I remember the shock I got once when I was dating a white boy. He sent me a colour picture of himself. I showed it to my aunt. He was a good looking boy with beautiful hair. I thought he was gorgeous. But my aunt to one look and started in to lecture me. ‘Well he’s alright, I suppose,” she told me, “but only for dates, huh, honey? When you’re thinking of settling down for keeps you’ll make sure you marry a nice [Black] fella, won’t you?’”

Over the course of 58 years, the couple welcomed two children, Danielle, 53, and Justice, 47, and one grandchild, Cassidy, 12, an aspiring actress.

“We laugh all the time — but it ain’t always roses. We have fun together,” she said about her relationship with Pratt.

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Source: PEOPLE

1 comment
  1. Congrats to a lifelong relationship of love & mutual respect. It’s a lot more than some of us get in a relationship with someone of the same color. When asked what my race is, I reply, “The human race. And you?”

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