Celebrity Then And Now
Pam Grier
Name: Pam Grier
Birthdate: May 26, 1949
Famous Years: 1970-Present
Currently Known For: This is Us
Networth: $10 MillionFamous For: Foxy Brown, Jackie Brown, The Big Bird Cage
Pam Grier
Name Pam Grier
Birthdate May 26, 1949
Famous Years 1970-Present
Currently Known For This is Us
Networth $10 Million
Famous For Foxy Brown, Jackie Brown, The Big Bird Cage

The 1970s had a lot of gritty films, and America needed a strong African-American female as a star, and Pam Grier answered the call. Grier has been called one of the greatest female action stars of all-time, and for good reason. Her memorable list of films have helped her establish a reputation, one that she still keeps to this day.

Grier was born on May 26, 1949 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, being born into a military family. Grier would move houses frequently as a child because her father’s military career, and eventually landed in Los Angeles when she was 18 years old. Almost immediately, Grier would start landing roles in low budget movies, in the “women-in-prison” genre that was much more commonplace in the early 1970s.

Looking back at this time in her career, Grier says that she’s “very proud,” adding that “It was the time of the women’s movement...All we wanted to do was have fun and entertainment and ease that message in underneath like a prompt so it doesn’t hit men over the head and scare them, but to show that this is what’s coming!”

Some of her first notable films included “The Big Doll House” and “The Big Bird Cage”, which led her into several blaxploitation films such as “Foxy Brown” and “Friday Foster”. Of these genres from the past, Grier was perhaps the biggest star to come out of them. She became more of a mainstream name during the 1980s, appearing in films such as “Tough Enough” and “Above the Law”, as well as television shows like “Crime Story” and “Miami Vice”.

The big revitalization for Grier’s career came in the 1990s when she happened upon director Quentin Tarantino. According to Grier, she was at a red light on Hollywood Boulevard when Tarantino was in the car next to her. The two got to talking and Tarantino said he’d be working on a project for her, which she didn’t believe at first. According to Grier, “He’s in tennis shoes, shorts and a T-shirt, wild hair and he’s just filled with excitement.”

She added, “He says, ‘You’re bad***. You stand up for women. You get up and you put your neck on the chopping block.’” She had waited for several months, but then got a script for the film “Jackie Brown”. “I’m just speechless,” she said when she saw the script. “My face is just wet, from crying.” She hadn’t been in a film for several years at that point, performing mainly on stage and would also start filming “Escape From L.A.” and a pair of other films as Grier was back in business.

“Jackie Brown” would also star the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Bridget Fonda and Robert De Niro, earning Grieg a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Actress. It was a big success both commercially and critically, as the film made a $52 million profit at the box office and has received nearly a 90 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Grier says that well after the role, it’s been the most well-received film she’s been a part of. “People are still seeing it today or revisiting it for the fifth or sixth time and seeing something different each time and are thoroughly enjoying it,” she said. “The amount of fan mail I get from Greece and the Netherlands and China, and people stop me in the street and go, ‘Jackie Brown!’”

Following her performance in “Jackie Brown”, Grier would star in movies such as “Jawbreaker” and “In Too Deep” to round out the decade, though she only appeared in a handful of movies during the early 2000s such as “Ghosts of Mars”. She would return to television for some guest roles, including a TV movie that earned her several award nominations. Her guest appearance in two episodes of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” was also highly recognized and came with award nominations.

More recently, Grier would star on the series “The L Word” as Kit Porter. Grier would appear in 70 episodes of the show, and has also popped up in show such as “Smallville” and “This Is Us” in 2018. Even video games came calling, as Grier has lent her voice to the massively successful video games “Grand Theft Auto V” and “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare”. In terms of recent movies, the past year has seen Grier star in the films “Bad Grandmas” and “Rose”, and she’s currently filming a movie for next year called “Poms”.

The 69 year old hasn’t been married, and has no children, but that doesn’t mean that her relationships haven’t been very public. Grier has been involved with the likes of basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (whom she almost married), Freddie Prinze, Sr., Richard Pryor and Don Cornelius. Her most recent relationship reportedly ended a decade ago with Peter Hempel.

Grier has already written a memoir that’s gone into great detail about herself called “Foxy: My Life in Three Acts”. Those that are unfamiliar with the book will get a chance to see it come to life, as Grier revealed in 2018 that there’s a biopic coming out simply called “Pam”, and is based off of her memoirs. The film has already found comedian Jay Pharoah to play the role of Richard Pryor, who played a big part in Grier’s career.