Pam Grier

Highest Rated: 100% The Big Bird Cage (1972)
Birthday: May 26, 1949
Birthplace: Not Available
The reigning queen of the 1970s blaxploitation genre, Pam Grier was born May 26, 1949, in Winston-Salem, NC. An Air Force mechanic's daughter, she was raised on military bases in England and Germany. During her teen years the family settled in Denver, CO, where at the age of 18, Grier entered the Miss Colorado Universe pageant. Named first runner-up, she attracted the attention of Hollywood agent David Baumgarten, who signed her to a contract. After relocating to Los Angeles, Grier struggled to mount an acting career, and worked as a switchboard operator at the studios of Roger Corman's American International Pictures. Finally, with Corman's aid, she made her film debut in the 1970 Russ Meyer cult classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, followed by an appearance in Jack Hill's 1971 cheapie The Big Doll House. For several years, Grier languished virtually unnoticed in grindhouse fare like 1971's Women in Cages and 1973's Arena (aka Naked Warriors) before winning the title role in Hill's 1973 action outing Coffy. Playing a nurse seeking vengeance against the drug dealers responsible for her sister's descent into heroin addiction, Grier immediately rose to the forefront of the so-called "blaxploitation" genre, a group of action-adventure films aimed squarely at African-American audiences. Portraying the 1974 superheroine Foxy Brown, she became a major cult figure, as her character's fierce independence, no-nonsense attitude, and empowered spirit made her a role model for blacks and feminists alike. At the peak of her popularity, Grier even appeared on the covers of Ms. and New York magazines. Her films' often racy content also made her a sex symbol, and additionally she posed nude for the men's magazine Players. Successive action roles as gumshoe Sheba Shayne in 1975's Sheba, Baby and as the titular reporter Friday Foster further elevated Grier's visibility, but fearing continued typecasting she shifted gears to star opposite Richard Pryor in the fact-based 1977 auto-racing drama Greased Lightning. She did not reappear onscreen for four years, resurfacing to acclaim in 1981 as a murderous prostitute in Fort Apache, the Bronx; however, no other major roles were forthcoming, and she spent much of the decade appearing on television and in straight-to-cable features. A major role in the 1988 Steven Seagal action hit Above the Law marked the beginning of a comeback, and after appearing in 1993's Posse, Grier starred with fellow blaxploitation vets Jim Brown, Richard Roundtree, and Fred "the Hammer" Williamson in 1996's Original Gangstas, a throwback to the films of the early '70s. In 1997, the actress' career resurgence was complete with the title role in Jackie Brown, written in her honor by director and longtime fan Quentin Tarantino. Grier's tough, sexy portrayal of a jaded flight attendant earned praise from critics far and wide, as well as the promise of steady work. She could subsequently be seen in a consistently wide range of films, like Jawbreaker (1999), Holy Smoke (1999), The Invited, and Larry Crowne, in addition to a host of successful TV roles on shows like Smallville and The L Word.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
34% Poms Olive 2019
No Score Yet Being Rose Lilly 2019
No Score Yet Bad Grandmas Coralee $15K 2017
No Score Yet Cleveland Abduction Carla 2015
51% The Man With the Iron Fists Jane $15.7M 2012
20% Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day Detective Barrick $1.3M 2012
92% Corman's World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel Pam Grier $7.5K 2011
36% Larry Crowne Frances $35.6M 2011
No Score Yet Mafia Actor 2011
45% Just Wright Janice Wright $21.6M 2010
No Score Yet The Invited Actor 2009
No Score Yet Ladies of the House Birdie 2008
No Score Yet Serial Killer Capt. Maggie Davis 2004
No Score Yet Back in the Day Reggie's Mother 2004
No Score Yet Slow Burn Della Wilder 2003
28% Love the Hard Way Linda Fox 2003
No Score Yet James Patterson's '1st to Die' Claire Washburn 2003
77% A Decade Under the Influence Actor 2003
4% The Adventures of Pluto Nash Flura $4.4M 2002
No Score Yet The Feast of All Saints Suzette Lermontant 2001
21% Bones Pearl $6.9M 2001
21% John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars Helena Bradock $7.4M 2001
No Score Yet 3 A.M. George 2001
No Score Yet Baadasssss Cinema Actor 2001
29% Snow Day Tina 2000
45% Holy Smoke Carol 2000
36% In Too Deep Det. Angela Wilson Producer 1999
No Score Yet No Tomorrow Diane 1999
11% Jawbreaker Det. Vera Cruz 1999
0% Fortress 2: Re-Entry Susan Teller 1999
87% Jackie Brown Jackie Brown 1997
No Score Yet Strip Search Janette 1997
No Score Yet Fakin' Da Funk Anneabelle Lee 1997
53% Mars Attacks! Louise Williams 1996
52% John Carpenter's Escape from L.A. Hershe 1996
53% Original Gangstas Laurie Thompson 1996
No Score Yet Serial Killer Actor 1995
29% Posse Phoebe 1993
No Score Yet A Mother's Right: The Elizabeth Morgan Story Linda Holman 1992
54% Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey Ms. Wardrobe 1991
67% Class of 1999 Ms. Connors 1990
64% The Package Ruth Butler 1989
53% Above the Law Delores Jackson 1988
0% The Allnighter Sgt. MacLeish 1987
No Score Yet The Vindicator Hunter 1986
No Score Yet Stand Alone Cathryn Bolan 1985
No Score Yet Badge of the Assassin Alie Horn 1985
No Score Yet Miami Vice 2 - The Prodigal Son Actor 1985
No Score Yet Tough Enough Myra 1983
60% Something Wicked This Way Comes Dust Witch 1983
85% Fort Apache, the Bronx Charlotte 1981
No Score Yet Greased Lightning Mary Jones 1977
No Score Yet Drum Regine 1976
No Score Yet Sheba, Baby Sheba 1975
No Score Yet Bucktown, USA Aretha 1975
No Score Yet Friday Foster Friday Foster 1975
60% Foxy Brown Foxy Brown 1974
29% Scream, Blacula, Scream Lisa 1973
79% Coffy Coffy 1973
No Score Yet The Arena (Naked Warriors) Mamawi 1973
58% Black Caesar Actor 1973
100% The Big Bird Cage Blossom 1972
No Score Yet Black Mama, White Mama Lee 1972
No Score Yet Twilight People Ayesa, the Panther Woman 1972
No Score Yet Hit Man Gozelda 1972
No Score Yet Women in Cages Grear 1971
100% The Big Doll House Grear 1971
75% Beyond the Valley of the Dolls Fourth Woman 1970

TV

CREDIT
92% Smallville
2001-2011
Amanda Waller
  • 2010
  • 2002
54% The L Word
2004-2009
Kit Porter
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2004
No Score Yet Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
1999
Claudia Williams
  • 2003
  • 2002
95% Justice League
2004
Voice
  • 2002
No Score Yet Night Visions
2001-2002
Dr. Lewis
  • 2002
No Score Yet The Wayans Bros.
1995-1999
  • 1996
  • 1995
No Score Yet Martin
1992-1997
  • 1995
No Score Yet The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
1990-1996
Janice
  • 1994
No Score Yet Miami Vice
1984-1990
Valerie
  • 1990
  • 1985
No Score Yet The Cosby Show
1984-1992
Samantha
  • 1987
No Score Yet Night Court
1984-1992
Benay Benet Collins
  • 1986
82% Bless This Mess
2019
No Score Yet MADtv
1995-2009
Guest

QUOTES FROM Pam Grier CHARACTERS