Pam Grier remains one of the most under appreciated actresses of all time. While she had no formal training as an actress, Ms. Grier worked at her acting and the results can be seen in both the Showtime series The L-Word and Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 film Jackie Brown. More so, Ms. Grier’s will not to give into critics for her career and film choices.
The time is the late the mid-1970s. Ms. Grier had been knocking around Hollywood since 1967. To her great fortune, she got a job as a secretary in the office of American International Pictures – because being a secretary is better than going hungry.According to Wikipedia:
She is believed to have been 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 women, 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 tragedy lies in the fact that very few people in the African American community felt happy for Ms. Grier. Sure, she was making a lot of bad films but she was working consistently. Until Pam Grier, there were very few African-African American actresses, much less actors could ever make the same claim.
It wouldn’t be until later in her career that Ms. Grier gain the recognition she quite rightly deserved.
Pam Grier’s movie may not have made have earned her Academy Award consideration but director Quentin Tarantino felt this way about the actress:
“Director Tarantino remarked that she may have been cinema’s first female action star.”
For her part, Ms. Grier definitely was one of the great and talented sex symbols of the 1970s cinema.
Via Wikipedia, Pam Grier’s filmography: