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)
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
- Class of 1999
- Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
- Escape from L.A.
- Mars Attacks!
- Jackie Brown
- Snow Day
- Ghosts of Mars
- The Adventures of Pluto Nash
- Larry Crowne
- The Man with the Iron Fists
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.
- 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, Stripperiffic clothes or no clothes at all.
- 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."
- Soul Sista: Would you expect anything else when Hollywood's first Action Girl is an African-American woman?
- Took the Bad Film Seriously: A rare positive example. She invoked this regarding her Girls Behind Bars films."They were my sounding board, where I really learned filmmaking. I was working for Roger Corman...and making $500 a day. I was green; I was hungry. These were my first roles so I made them as close to Shakespeare as possible. That's how I approached it and it got me work. The characters stood out. I got recognized."
- The X of Y: The first episode of the YouTube series Missing Reel was titled "Blaxploitation," and ended by talking about Jackie Brown and called her "The Queen of Badass."