Former Actress / JW Teresa Graves Dies in Fire

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    'Christie Love's' Graves dies in fire

    LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Actress Teresa Graves, who starred as a sassy undercover cop in the 1970s television police drama "Get Christie Love!", died Thursday in a fire at her home. She was 54.

    Firefighters found Graves unconscious in a bedroom, said police Sgt. Henry Miller. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died.

    The blaze began shortly past midnight at Graves' 1,600-square-foot home in Hyde Park, city fire spokesman Brian Humphrey said. Firefighters found the rear part of the home engulfed in flames.

    Graves started her career as a singer with the Doodletown Pipers. She later turned to acting, appearing regularly on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" in 1969 and 1970.

    She had supporting roles in several films during the 1970s, including "Black Eye," "That Man Bolt" and "Vampira."

    On "Get Christie Love!", which ran during the 1974-75 season, she played the first black woman hired by a big-city police department.

    Graves left acting in the mid-1970s in favor of religion.

    The fire appeared to have started in a 200-square-foot enclosed patio that was added on to the original home, Humphrey said. Smoke alarms inside the home were functional, fire officials said.

    The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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