"Pam Grier was white America's first opportunity to get an eyeful of a really fine black woman without having to listen to her sing, thus empowering millions of us to ignore Destiny's Child. If you don't appreciate the importance of that I guess you weren't around back in the Lena Horne Era. You never heard Pam Grier wail about no 'Stormy Weather'. If it was raining outside that meant it was time for Pam to put on her baddest pair of rainboots and go out there and kick that weatherman's white ass."Born May 26, 1949, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Pam Grier was probably the first movie Action Girl. Any time you see a woman kicking ass in movies, you can thank her. She was voted the second greatest such actress of all time by Rotten Tomatoes (behind Michelle Yeoh)
—John Saleeby, Interesting Motherfuckers
Notable roles include:
- Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
- The Big Doll House
- Women In Cages
- Black Mama, White Mama
- Scream Blacula Scream
- Foxy Brown
- Sheba Baby
- Friday Foster
- Something Wicked This Way Comes
- Above the Law
- Escape from L.A.
- Mars Attacks!
- Jackie Brown
- Ghosts of Mars
Tropes associated with this actress:
- Action Girl: Before Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor codified this trope in movies, Pam Grier pretty much defined it.
- Afro Asskicker: She may very well be the Trope Codifier.
- And Starring: The L Word put its actors' names in the credits in strict alphabetical order... with the exception of the final name: "and Pam Grier as Kit". It presumably helped that Jennifer Beals, its other big-name star, has a name early on in the alphabet.
- Badass: Pretty much all of her parts were as badass ActionGirls.
- Blaxploitation: She and Tamara Dobson became the genre's leading actresses.
- B-Movie: Grier is actually not a bad actress, so it's unfortunate that she has mostly starred in B-movies, except for Jackie Brown.
- Ms. Fanservice: Especially in her early films, she spent a lot of time wearing lingerie, Stripperific clothes or no clothes at all.
- One of Us: Grier is a self-described bookish nerd in real life.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis: To many people it may seem as if she only made blaxploitation movies, which isn't true. Younger generations may only know her from appearing in Jackie Brown.
- Sassy Black Woman: A common characteristic of most of her parts.
- Silk Hiding Steel: As a trailer for Foxy Brown has it, "She's brown sugar with a touch of spice...and murder if you don't treat her nice."