Roseanna Christiansen, Teresa the Maid Actress on ‘Dallas’, Dead at 71

by Joe Rutland

Roseanna Christiansen, who played Teresa the maid on the classic TV show Dallas, is dead at 71 years old, reports indicate. Christiansen appeared in the CBS primetime drama’s final nine seasons. Ironically, she also played a maid prior to this role on another CBS show, The Jeffersons.

The Hollywood Reporter states that she died on July 14 at Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster, California. Steven Rizzo, her husband, informed the outlet of her death. No cause has been revealed at this time. She made her first appearance in the show’s sixth season back in 1982 and stayed through the final season in 1991. Christiansen appeared as Teresa in 112 episodes.

‘Dallas’ Actress’ First Break Happened On ‘The Jeffersons’

Christiansen would meet Rizzo reportedly at a bible study in Culver City, California. It was near where Dallas was filmed and the couple married in June 1989. Besides Rizzo, she also is survived by children Josiah, Grace, and Elba. She was born Roseanna Campos, the fourth of five children, in New York on March 11, 1951.

Her first taste of the acting bug hit when she was just 9 years old. She appeared in an off-off-Broadway play with her brother, Victor. The actress would graduate from high school in 1969 and move to Los Angeles for her future career. Her first big break happened to come in the Norman Lear sitcom The Jeffersons.

She played Carmen, who gets a job thanks to George and Louise Jefferson. They, of course, were played by Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford, respectively. Carmen joined up after Florence quit. Marla Gibbs, who played Florence, really left for her own spinoff titled Checking in. It did not last long, so Gibbs would come on back to the show in her beloved role.

Christiansen Would Become Minister, Acting Coach

A memorial service reportedly was being held on Saturday at Heritage of Faith Christian Center in the north Texas city of Crowley. Later in life, Christiansen would become an ordained minister and acting coach. She founded a school titled Action! Acting. Rizzo said, “Many of her students refer to their private sessions as their ‘therapy sessions.’ Though in years her life was too short, she spent enough time here to plant the seeds of love, encouragement, and beauty into everyone she met.”

Of course, Dallas was quite a primetime soap opera back in the day. You might remember Larry Hagman playing dastardly J.R. Ewing on the show. Other cast members included Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, Charlene Tilton, Ken Kercheval, and Mary Crosby. It would draw millions of viewers to its Friday night timeslot during its run on CBS. The show is probably on TV somewhere in the world this very day. It would become must-see TV back in the day.