To the younger generation, she is most commonly known as Kit Porter, from the Showtime drama series, The L Word. However, years before she played the loving-sister and quirky singer on the hit show , Pam Grier was the queen of blaxploitation films in the 70s having starred in more than 20 films between 1971 and 1981, trailblazing her way through Hollywood, and in turn became not only a touchstone figure for the hip-hop generation, but one of our favorite female icons.
Throughout her career, Grier exuded a badass, fierce, and one-woman squad type of personality. Popular directors of the exploitation film genre such as Jack Hill, were attracted to the empowering energy that Grier withheld. Her roles in the Blaxploitation genre, all propelled Grier into the spotlight of the genre, where she became a predominant female figure. Although she performed as both risqué and violent characters, Grier also played the roles with great sophistication and a feminine touch, which made her work on screen enticing and widely lauded.
Having starred in both sensational and small-success films, Grier is widely known and accredited for being not only the first, leading African American female in an action film, but probably the first in all of the film industry’s history. From the vengeful Nurse Coffin in Jack Hill’s Coffy, to the flight-attendant in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, the gorgeous Grier has always stood out as one badass woman and inevitably upstaging her all male cast. Even in recurring appearances on TV series or in smaller roles, she never fails to unleash her vibrant and strong personality.
While the world, especially us younger folk, may forget the acts of one, Pam Grier, has been seminal to the film industry. She has pushed the boundaries of female standards and expectations in Hollywood, and has been kicking some major ass for years.