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Grier, Pam (1949–)

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GRIER, PAM (1949–). Actress. Born into a military family in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and spent her developing years in Europe. She returned to the United States at age 14 and lived in Denver, Colorado. Planning for a career in medicine she attended Metropolitan State College. As the runner-up in the 1967 Miss Colorado Universe contest, Grier signed with a Hollywood agent and relocated to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. She took acting classes while working at the Agency of Performing Arts switchboard, when she was finally cast in The Birdcage , 1969. From there, she became the reigning queen over an onslaught of black-cast Hollywood movies in the 1970s that became known as the blaxploitation era. She was cast as the first black action shero in films like Coffy , 1973; Foxy Brown , 1974; and Friday Foster , 1975, but found the often- stereotypical character range to be constricting. She took some time off and did not act again until 1981, with a co starring role in Fort Apache: The Bronx , 1981. Grier has since acted on stage and television, and portrayed the title role in Quentin Tarrentino’s Jackie Brown , 1997. Grier has been honored with numerous awards, including an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress, a National Black Theater Festival Award, and the African American Film Society Award.

Filmography: The Birdcage , 1969; Beyond the Valley of the Dolls , 1970; The Big Doll House , 1971; Twilight People , 1972; The Big Bird Cage , 1972; Scream Blackula Scream , 1973; Coffy , 1973; The Arena , 1973; Foxy Brown , 1974; Sheba Baby , 1975; Friday Foster , 1975; Bucktown , 1975; Drum , 1976; Greased Lightning , 1977; Fort Apache, the Bronx , 1981; Something Wicked This Way Comes , 1993; Above the Law , 1988; Class of 1999 , 1990; Posse , 1993; Original Gangstas , 1996; Mars Attacks , 1996; Escape from L. A. , 1996; Woo , 1997; Jackie Brown , 1997; In Too Deep , 1999; Holy Smoke , 1999; Snow Day , 2000; Ghosts of Mars , 2001; Bones , 2001; The Adventures of Pluto Nash , 2002.

Griffin and Phoenix [next] [back] Grier, David Alan (1955–)

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