Pam Grier, actress
Born Pamela Suzette "Pam" Grier - birth May 26, 1949 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
An "army brat" along with her two siblings, she moved frequently in her youth as her father was an Army Tech Sergeant, traveling to various places in the United States and in Europe. The family frequently suffered the effects of racial segregation practices near some of the military bases where they were stationed (recounted in Grier's memoir Foxy: My Life in Three Acts ). She was also subject to sexual assault at the age of 6 when left unattended at a relatives home, an event which caused long-lasting effects and pain for Grier and her family.
While in High School she competed in beauty contests and participated in stage productions. She moved to Los Angeles and became a receptionist at American International Pictures in 1967, and eventually began to appear in AIP productions, particularly a string of highly-successful "blaxploitation" movies that were produced on typically low budgets but featured fast-moving plots, violence, street slang and funk music soundtracks. The films also reflected combinations of American nihilism, street ethics concerning justice, and presentations of urban or ethnic neighborhood situations which made them unique as a sub-genre.
Grier's career slowed during the demise of the urban theatre-chains which catered to the Blaxploitation films, and she changed her focus to television (a long run on Miami Vice and Smallville, for example) and less frequent film portrayals. She was the star of director Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film Jackie Brown which garnered multiple acting award nominations and awards for Grier.
Pam Grier has accumulated 97 acting credits since 1970.
Original Page Feb 2014 | Updated June 2015