Foxy Brown star Pam Grier was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on this day. Her family traveled extensively during her youth, as her father was a mechanic in the United States Air Force, and the family eventually settled in Denver. In 1967, Grier got her first taste of stardom when she placed third in the Colorado state competition for the Miss Universe beauty pageant, where she was scouted by an agent and persuaded to move to Los Angeles and take acting lessons.
At 22, Grier made her acting debut as a provocative inmate in the movie Big Doll House in 1971 and went on to become one of the most recognizable faces of the “Blaxploitation” films of the 1970s — films based on gritty stereotypes of urban Black life — including her most memorable starring roles in Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974). Her comeback as the title character in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown (1997) was critically acclaimed and earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.
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(Photo: Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)