In the 1970s, Pam Grier made a name for herself as the lead of many blaxploitation films, including the hits Coffy and Foxy Brown. A couple of decades later, in 1997, she took on one of her most significant roles: the titular character in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, which paid homage to her early career. If you first came to be her fan more recently than that, you may have watched her as Kit Porter on the '00s series, The L Word.
Now, 50 years later after her debut, Grier living a quiet life on her Colorado ranch instead of kicking butt as an action star—but she's been known to return to Hollywood whenever the project is right. The star's career includes movies, TV series, a memoir about her personal life and career, and now, hopeful plans for a biopic about her. Read on to find out more about Grier's life today.
She's proud of her long—and ongoing—acting career.
Grier has been acting consistently since getting her big break in the '70s. Most recently, she's played roles in the TV shows, This Is Us and Bless This Mess, and in the 2019 movie, Poms.
In a 2019 interview with Tribute, Grier was asked how she'd like her body of work to be studied in the future.
"It already is studied, and they always tell me I'm a master class or thesis, and I'm going, 'Whoa. Oh boy!'" she responded. "I'll tell you this, when I started doing stunts, that I'm feeling the pain from now, I didn't have a sports bra and it was a lot harder to be very physical and authentic. I don't want to be remembered as being perfect. I want to be remembered as being real."
She retreats to Colorado whenever she's not working.
When she isn't working on movies or TV shows, Grier lives on a ranch in Colorado with a variety of animals.
"I'm up at three or four, before the sun comes up," she told The New Yorker in 2020. "I get my coffee and all the dogs, and we go down to the barn and check on the horses. I kiss them and hug them. Because I'm a cancer survivor, I say, 'If you wake up breathing, you're going to have a good day.' Then I go back up, check the fences. All the animals eat first, before I do: here's your grain, here's your hay. We're so glad to see each other for twenty-some years. That's longer than my relationships!" Grier was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1988 and has been in remission for quite some time.
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She released a memoir.
Grier published her memoir, Foxy: My Life in Three Acts, in 2010. It tells of her acting career, which she fell into when she was working at a production company, and of her personal life, including harrowing stories of sexual assaults beginning when she was child. She also writes about her relationships with famous men, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Freddie Prinze, and Richard Pryor.
"I've had mentors who know of my legacy and family history, along with my career in surviving and falling, crawling and learning, and being very, very open and curious," she told The New York Times of deciding to share her story. "I said, 'If I do it, I want it to be a work of lessons learned that I can share with others.' You seek help. You seek friendship."
She plans to tell her story in a biopic.
Grier hopes that her life story gets its own movie, and that's something she has been talking about for years. "My book Foxy: My Life in Three Acts was optioned last year, and we just finished the script. It's gonna be amazing," she told Essence in 2013. Since then, there have been occasional updates. For instance, in 2018, Saturday Night Live star Jay Pharoah agreed to play Pryor, as reported by Deadline. Then, in 2020, Grier tweeted her suggestion of having Ava DuVernay direct.
As for who she'd like to play her, Grier told The New Yorker, "Oh! I don't know who could play me—who can sing and play drums and do martial arts? It can be an unknown. I really don't know who's going to bring it."
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