The reigning queen of the 1970s blaxploitation genre, Pam Grier was born May 26, 1949, in Winston-Salem, NC. An Air Force mechanic’s daughter, she was raised on military bases in England and Germany. During her teen years the family settled in Denver, CO, where at the age of 18, Grier entered the Miss Colorado Universe pageant. Named first runner-up, she attracted the attention of Hollywood agent David Baumgarten, who signed her to a contract. After relocating to Los Angeles, Grier struggled to mount an acting career, and worked as a switchboard operator at the studios of Roger Corman’s American International Pictures. Finally, with Corman’s aid, she made her film debut in the 1970 Russ Meyer cult classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, followed by an appearance in Jack Hill’s 1971 cheapie The Big Doll House.
For several years, Grier languished virtually unnoticed in grindhouse fare like 1971’s Women in Cages and 1973’s __Arena (aka Naked Warriors… read more