Object of my obsession: Pamela Suzette “Pam” Grier – May 26, 1949
My favorite appearances: Sheba Baby (Sheba Shane), The Big Bird House (Grear), Friday Foster (Friday Foster)
Growing up a child of the 70’s – 80’s there wasn’t a lot of black female TV or movie stars to look up to. While roles were changing, many actresses were still regulated to supporting the main character, or consistently tragic roles. There were notable exceptions including the Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura in Star Trek (I know it was a 60’s series but it ran overtime in 70’s and 80’s syndication). But she really didn’t get to be badass. Then there was Teresa Graves as TV’s Christie Love in the series Get Christie Love. She was an undercover cop, but she came across as more befuddled than badass and if she said ‘Sugah’ on more time… Tamara Dobson stood out as Cleopatra Jones, the black female James Bond. She was striking with her 6’ 2” frame but she never came across to me as comfortable with her role. No, I didn’t want to be Teresa or Tamara or Nichelle, I wanted to be Pam Grier.
Pam Grier to me is the queen of Blaxplotiation. Foxy Brown, Coffy, Sheba Baby to just name a few of her films. She seemed comfortable in each role, while she ran, jumped, fought, and shot; looking sexy while she was doing it. Who cared if the plots were flimsy, the dialogue sometimes corny, watching Ms. Grier was always an experience.
Although most of her work I enjoy is from the 70’s, I’ve enjoyed her in more recent movies as well, including Ghost of Mars, Bones, and Jackie Brown. I have no good excuse for not seeing her in the TV show The L Word yet, I must rectify this soon.
Below I leave you with the trailer from my favorite Pam Grier movie, Sheba Baby. It’s not her best acting but it’s a sentimental favorite since the plot centers around, and was filmed in, my hometown.