This couple sorted through their share of hate mail, but they definitely came out on top. They met in Sydney, Australia, when they were barely in their 20s. Leslie was concerned about the difficulties they would face as a mixed couple stateside. And she knew Grahame Pratt would not understand race in America in the 1960s.
Leslie Uggams made a splash winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe in the iconic 70s TV miniseries “Roots.” She has a Tony award for “Hallelujah, Baby!” Most recently, she’s in “Deadpool” and “Empire.” They married in 1965 and settled down in N.Y.C. These days, it’s easier.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Jessie Walmisley
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Jessie Walmisley married at the cusp of the 20th century. He was a celebrated composer from Britain, and she was a pianist. They met in high school and married in 1899. Jessie’s parents were adamantly opposed to the union.
On the day of the wedding, Jessie’s parents welcomed Samuel into their home with a handshake. The couple faced intense racial issues. Sadly, Coleridge-Taylor passed away at the age of 37 due to exhaustion and other medical conditions.
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were brave, indeed. It was taboo in the 40s for a white woman to marry a Latino man from Cuba. They pitched shows as a comedy duo, but doors closed on them. Finally, they opened their own studio, and “I Love Lucy” became one of the most iconic sitcoms on television. Desilu Productions was incredibly successful. It took on “Star Trek,” for example.
Unfortunately, Desi was unfaithful to his wife. She turned her head, resenting it, and he acted as if it was his right, refusing to stop. They were married for 20 years until the 1960 divorce.
Karyn Parsons-Rockwell and Alexandre Rockwell
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star Karyn Parsons-Rockwell and Alexandre Rockwell found each other on the set of the 2002 film “13 Moons,” and they married the following year. Alexandre is a director/producer best known for “The Soup.”
Karyn played teenager Hilary Banks on “The Fresh Prince” but has since become a writer. The couple returned to film in 2020 with “Sweet Thing.” Karyn and their two kids starred. It won the Crystal Bear award at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Brian Musso and Heather Headley
Brian Musson is an investment banker these days after a short run with the New York Jets. His wife, Heather Headley, brings home the bacon and is a loving mother of their two sons. The pair met in college where she was a musical theater major at Northwestern University, and he played ball.
The actress and Grammy-winning gospel singer appeared in “Chicago Med,” “Sweet Magnolias,” and Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” reboot.