Pam was one of four children born to Air Force mechanic Clarence Grier and Gwendolyn Samuels, a nurse. One sister died from cancer in 1990 and the son of that sister committed suicide because of his mother's illness. Pam herself was diagnosed with cancer in 1988 and given 18 months to live which has had an effect on how she has chosen to live. She has never been wed, although she has been romantically linked to Richard Pryor and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the past.IMDb Mini Biography By: John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Pam Grier has been a major African-American actress from the early seventies. Her career started back in 1971, when Roger Corman of New World Pictures launched her into The Big Doll House (1971), about a woman's penitentiary, and The Big Bird Cage (1972). Her strong role put her into a five-year contract with Samuel Z. Arkoff of American International Pictures and, from then, Grier became a leading lady in action films such as two of the Jack Hill films: Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974), and the comic strip character, Friday Foster (1975), and the William Girdler film, 'Sheba, Baby' (1975). She continued working with American International, where she portrayed William Marshall's vampire victim in the Blacula (1972) sequel, Scream Blacula Scream (1973).
During the eighties, she became a regular on "Miami Vice" (1984) and played a supporting role as an evil witch in Ray Bradbury's and Walt Disney Pictures' Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) and then returned to action as Steven Seagal's partner in Above the Law (1988). Her most famous role of the 90s was probably Jackie Brown (1997), directed by Quentin Tarantino, which was a homage to her earlier 70s action roles, but she occasionally did supporting roles, as in Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! (1996), In Too Deep (1999) and her funny performance in Jawbreaker (1999). More recently, she appeared in John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars (2001) and co-starred with Snoop Dogg in Bones (2001). Her entire career of over thirty years has brought only success for this beautiful and talented actress.
Auditioned for a part in Pulp Fiction (1994), and at the time, right after Rosanna Arquette took the nod, was considered for the part of Bonnie (Jimmie's wife). She didn't land either role, until Jackie Brown (1997) came along. Quentin Tarantino renamed the character of Jackie Burke from "Rum Punch" to "Jackie Brown" as homage to Foxy Brown (1974).
While a student at UCLA, she sang back-up for singer-composer Bobby Womack. Interestingly, Womack's composition and 1972 recording of the song "Across 110th Street" was the theme song of the film Jackie Brown (1997), which marked a major comeback for Grier in the starring and title role. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and an NAACP Image Award for her performance.
Was the first Black woman to appear on the cover of MS. Magazine (August 1975 issue).
Named as one of Ebony Magazine's "100 Most Fascinating Women of the 20th Century".
Awarded a "Career Achievement Award" at the 34th Annual Chicago International Film Festival. [17 October 1998]
Her early films such as Women in Cages (1971) and The Big Doll House (1971) were filmed in the Philippines. While there she contracted a deadly tropical disease and nearly died. She lost her hair and was temporarily blind for almost a month. It took nearly a year for her to recover.
Graduated from East High School, Denver, Colorado.
When she met her boyfriend they found out they both grew up in Denver, Colorado. Upon further conversation she found out that he grew up in her house, after her family moved out.
Profiled in "Women of Blaxploitation: How the Black Action Film Heroine Changed American Popular Culture" by Yvonne D. Sims (McFarland, 2006).
Lives in Franktown, Colorado.
Cousin of Roosevelt Grier.
I can't talk about myself. I just can't. I know I've influenced people, and I'm proud of that. But as I see it, I really haven't done anything. I haven't saved anybody from a burning building. Foxy Brown actually approached me at the start of her career to ask if she could use the name. I told her, 'You didn't need to ask.' If you're an independent woman, every woman is Foxy Brown. - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 7, 2006
Film and television is the bulk of my work. I get my personal fulfillment from theater; plays are where you can take chances and really work with the moment. Movies and TV just aren't like that.
People see me as a strong black figure, and I'm proud of that, but I'm a mix of several races: Hispanic, Chinese, Filipino. My dad was black, and my mom was Cheyenne Indian. So you look at things beyond just race, or even religion: I was raised Catholic, baptized a Methodist, and almost married a Muslim.
|The Big Doll House (1971)||$500/week|
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