After tying the knot, they were inundated with hate mail, but even after 55 years, their bond remains unshakeable.

Leslie Uggams has enjoyed a captivating career, gracing both the silver screen and the stage.

While she’s perhaps most recognized for her role in the Deadpool series, this Harlem-born singer and actress boasts a successful journey spanning an impressive seven decades.

However, beyond the spotlight, her personal life could easily be the plot of a movie. In 1965, she exchanged vows with Grahame Pratt, a White Australian man, defying the odds of interracial love with their enduring affection throughout the years.

Leslie’s musical talents were evident early on; at the tender age of 10 in 1953, she recorded for MGM. Under the guidance of her aunt, singer Eloise Uggams, she attended the Professional Children’s School of New York and the esteemed New York music school, Juilliard.

But her musical career was only the start of her journey and by 1969 she had her own TV variety show “The Leslie Uggams Show”, the first network variety show to be hosted by a black person since “The Nat King Cole Show.”

But behind the scenes she had met and fallen in love with actor Grahame Pratt. After first meeting him at Professional Children’s School of New York, where they were both students, the couple then ran into each other while she was performing in Sydney during one of Leslie’s celebrity tours in Australia.

Leslie knew what the repercussions would be of dating a white man as she’d done so in her teens and her aunt had told her not to entertain the idea of a future with him.

“I remember the shock I got once when I was dating a white boy,” Leslie said in a 1967 interview with Ebony.

“He sent me a color 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 took 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?’”

After her chance meeting with Grahame Leslie said she kept seeing him.

“I found myself really falling for him, which was quite a thing for me to realize as I was only 21.”

Leslie Uggams and her husband Grahame Pratt at the “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing: How The Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment” reception at the Museum of the City of New York on February 7, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Shahar Azran/WireImage)

When she left Australia it would be 12 months before she saw him again.

The two had fallen in love, despite Leslie’s reservations over her family’s reaction and what it would mean for the two of them as Grahame would have to move to the U.S. for Leslie’s career. They got engaged for 5 months and Grahame visited her in New York.

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