Pam Grier  

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"AS IT IS WRTTEN HENCEFORTH… On the Eighth Day, the Cosmic Strumpet of Mother Nature was spawned to envelope this Third Planet in FUNKADELICAL VIBRATIONS. And she birthed Apostles Ra, Hendrix, Stone, and CLINTON to preserve all funkiness of man unto eternity... But! Fraudulent forces of obnoxious JIVATION grew...only seedling GEORGE remained! As it came to be, he did indeed begat FUNKADELIC to restore Order Within the Universe. And nourished from the pamgrierian mammaristic melonpaps of Mother Nature, the followers of FUNKADELIA multiplied incessantly!" --liner notes of Standing on the Verge of Getting It On by Pedro Bell

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Pamela Suzette Grier (born May 26, 1949) is an iconic American actress. She came to fame in the early 1970s, after starring in a string of moderately successful women-in-prison and blaxploitation films, and has generally remained in the public eye, starring in B-movies such as 1974's Foxy Brown, and in mainstream films such as Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film, Jackie Brown.

Career

Grier moved to Los Angeles, California in 1967, where she was initially hired as a receptionist at the American International Pictures (AIP) company. She was discovered by director Jack Hill, who cast her in his women in prison films The Big Doll House (1971), and The Big Bird Cage (1972). While under contract at AIP, she became a staple of early 1970s blaxploitation movies, playing big, bold, assertive roles, beginning with Jack Hill's Coffy (1973), in which she plays a nurse who seeks revenge on drug dealers; her character was advertised in the trailer as the "baddest one-chick hit-squad that ever hit town!" The film, which was filled with sexual and violent elements typical of the genre, was a box office hit, and Grier was noted as the first African-American female to headline a film, as protagonists of previous blaxploitation films were all male. In his review of Coffy, film critic Roger Ebert noted that Grier was an actress of "beautiful face and astonishing form" and that she possessed a kind of "physical life" missing from other actresses. Grier subsequently played similar characters in the AIP films Foxy Brown (1974), Friday Foster, and Sheba, Baby (both 1975).

With the demise of blaxploitation, Grier's career went on hiatus for many years. She acquired progressively larger character roles in the 1980s, including a prostitute in Fort Apache the Bronx (1981), a witch in Something Wicked this Way Comes (1983), and Steven Seagal's detective partner in Above the Law (1988). She made guest appearances on Miami Vice, Martin, Night Court and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and also had a recurring role in the TV series Crime Story between 1986 and 1988.

In the late 1990s Grier was a cast member of the Showtime series Linc's. She again appeared in 1997 with the title role in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, a film that partly paid homage to her '70s blaxploitation movies. Template:As of, she appears in the cable television series The L Word as Kit Porter and occasionally guest-stars in such television series as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (where she is a recurring character).

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1970 Beyond the Valley of the Dolls Partygoer
1971 Women in Cages Alabama
The Big Doll House Grear
1972 Hit Man Gozelda
Black Mama, White Mama Lee Daniels
The Big Bird Cage Blossom
Cool Breeze Mona
1973 The Arena Mamawi
Scream Blacula Scream Lisa
Coffy Coffy
The Twilight People Ayesa, the Panther Woman
1974 Foxy Brown Foxy Brown
1975 Friday Foster Friday Foster
Bucktown Aretha
Sheba, Baby Sheba Shayne
1976 Drum Regine
1977 Greased Lightning Mary Jones
1981 Fort Apache the Bronx Charlotte
1983 Something Wicked This Way Comes Dust Witch
Tough Enough Myra
1985 On the Edge Cora
Miami Vice Valerie Gordon
1987 The Allnighter Sgt. McLeesh
1988 Above the Law Delores 'Jacks' Jackson
1989 The Package Ruth Butler
1990 Class of 1999 Ms. Connors
1991 Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey Ms. Wardroe
1993 Posse Phoebe
1996 Mars Attacks! Louise Williams
Escape from L.A. Hershe Las Palmas
Original Gangstas Laurie Thompson
1997 Jackie Brown Jackie Brown
1999 Holy Smoke! Carol
In Too Deep Det. Angela Wilson
Jawbreaker Detective Vera Cruz
2000 Snow Day Tina
3 AM
Wilder Detective Della Wilder
2001 Ghosts of Mars Commander Helena Braddock
Law & Order
2002 The Adventures of Pluto Nash Flura Nash
2004 - 2009 The L Word Kate "Kit" Porter
2005 Back in the Day Mrs. Cooper
2008 Ladies of the House (TV movie) Birdie




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pam Grier" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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