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Pam Grier

Pam Grier

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Also Known As: Pamela Suzette Grier, Pamela Grier Died:
Born: May 26, 1949 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA Profession: actor, back-up singer, writer, secretary

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Actress Pam Grier was a 1970s pop culture icon thanks to a string of roles as tough and sexy heroines in such blaxploitation classics as "Coffy" (1973), "Foxy Brown" (1974) and "Sheba, Baby" (1975). A statuesque figure who radiated confidence and determination, she surpassed the exploitative bonds of the genre to establish herself as the first black female action hero and box office draw. Grier struggled to surpass the limitations of her early screen roles, but a revival of interest thanks to the home video boom brought her back to films in the '80s and '90s. Unabashed fan Quentin Tarantino paid homage to her screen persona with "Jackie Brown" (1997), which led to a long-overdue career boost; she was soon tackling substantive roles in the Showtime series "The L Word" (2004-09) and reaping the rewards of a career forged in hard work and determination. She remained an enduring symbol of female empowerment at its funkiest and most ferocious.

Actress Pam Grier was a 1970s pop culture icon thanks to a string of roles as tough and sexy heroines in such blaxploitation classics as "Coffy" (1973), "Foxy Brown" (1974) and "Sheba, Baby" (1975). A statuesque figure who radiated confidence and determination, she surpassed the exploitative bonds of the genre to establish herself as the first black female action hero and box office draw. Grier struggled to surpass the limitations of her early screen roles, but a revival of interest thanks to the home video boom brought her back to films in the '80s and '90s. Unabashed fan Quentin Tarantino paid homage to her screen persona with "Jackie Brown" (1997), which led to a long-overdue career boost; she was soon tackling substantive roles in the Showtime series "The L Word" (2004-09) and reaping the rewards of a career forged in hard work and determination. She remained an enduring symbol of female empowerment at its funkiest and most ferocious.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Larry Crowne (2011)
4.
 Just Wright (2010)
5.
6.
 First to Die (2003) Clare Washburn
7.
 Adventures of Pluto Nash, The (2002) Flura Nash
8.
 Wilder (2002) Detective Della Wilder
9.
 Ghosts of Mars (2001) Commander Helena Braddock
10.
 Bones (2001) Pearl
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
:
Traveled around USA with family before settling in Denver, Colorado
:
Participated in beauty contests in order to earn money for college
1967:
Moved to Los Angeles (date approximate)
:
Hired to answer phones at American International Pictures (AIP)
1971:
Feature film debut, "The Big Doll House"
1972:
First blaxploitation feature, "Hit Man"
1973:
Had leading role in "Coffey"
1977:
Co-starred with Richard Pryor in "Greased Lightning"
:
Moved back to Colorado
1979:
TV debut in a miniseries, "Roots: The Next Generation" (ABC)
1985:
Debut in a TV-movie, "Badge of the Assassin" (CBS)
1985:
Episodic TV debut as guest, "Miami Vice"
:
Acted onstage in productions in Colorado
1988:
Diagnosed with cancer; underwent treatment for two years
:
Auditioned for a part in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction"; did not get the role but Tarantino promised to write a role for her
1996:
Reunited with other blaxploitation stars for "Original Gangstas"
1997:
Starred in Tarantino's "Jackie Brown"; Tarantino tailored the part for Grier, her first leading role in over 20 years
1998:
Co-starred in the Showtime comedy-drama "Linc's"
1999:
Played small role of a police detective investigating a possible homicide in "Jawbreaker"
1999:
Appeared in pivotal role in Jame Campion's "Holy Smoke"
2001:
Had co-starring role in "Ghosts of Mars"
2001:
Appeared with Snoop Dogg in "Bones"
2002:
Co-starred in "The Adventures of Pluto Nash"
2003:
Along with Adrien Brody and Jon Seda, co-starred in the crime drama "Love The Hard Way"
2004:
Played the sister of Jennifer Beals' character in the showtime series "The L Word," a story about the lives and loves of a group of lesbian friends
2010:
Appeared in the adventure/drama series "Smallville"
2010:
Co-starred opposite Queen Latifah in "Just Wright"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

East High School: Denver , Colorado -

Notes

"She doesn't like the Hollywood rat race. And she hasn't gone out of her way to look for jobs. When we had the premiere of 'Original Gangstas', she didn't come. She's not interested in promoting herself." --director Larry Cohen quoted in Entertainment Weekly, December 19, 1997.

"I grew up around a lot of black guys, and you can't be black and my age and not know who Pam Grier was and think of her as the Queen of Women. I'm talking about Pam's iconic stature and her presence and all that, but at the end of the day you can throw all that s--- away. Because she's a really good actress. ... " --Quentin Tarantino in Us, January 1998.

"I was brought up to be self-sufficient and to accept that as a member of the human race, there are certain things you have to go through. I always thought that not living here in Hollywood was a way of showing that I'm not afraid of losing my careerl I'm afraid of losing me." --Pam Grier to Michael Keaton in Interview, January 1998.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Professional basketball player. Involved romantically in the early 1970s.
companion:
Richard Pryor. Actor. Together c. 1977.
companion:
Kevin Evans. Record producer. Born in 1961; together since c. 1996; has a son from a previous relationship; announced engagement in January 1998.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Clarence Ransom Grier. US Air Force mechanic.
mother:
Gwendolyn Samuels.

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