This screen darling of the 1970s is renowned for blaxploitation movies like Sheba Baby, The Big Bird Cage, Foxy Brown, and Coffy. What isn’t known to most people is that Pam Grier had a rough upbringing. She lived with her military father, moving from one part of the country to the other. Sometimes, she had to sleep in makeshift tents under harsh weather conditions.
At age six, she was raped by a couple of boys while she was all alone at a house belonging to her aunt. That’s not all, she was rapped a second time while she was on a date at age 18.
Despite the misfortunes, Pam still became a success in life. She was able to surmount all the rough edges of her life and move ahead to achieve tremendous success in the entertainment industry. Today, she has the pride of place as an Emmy Award nominee and has been ranked as the 2nd greatest female star of all time. In fact, Ebony Magazine ranked her among its 100 Most Fascinating Women of the 20th Century.
Pam Grier Biography
Pamela Suzette Grier joined her family on the 26th day of May 1949, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was born to her father – Clarence Ransom Grier Jr., who worked in the US Airforce as a mechanic and a technical sergeant. Her mother Gwendolyn Sylvia (née Samuels) was a nurse and a homemaker.
Pamela is an American national but with a mixed ancestry of Hispanic, African-American, Cheyenne Indian, Filipino, and Chinese. She is a sister to Gina Grier-Townsie and Rodney Grier, but her sister lost a battle to cancer in 1990 which made her son commit suicide.
Pam Grier achieved her early education at East High School in Denver, which was where her family settled after her dad’s retirement from active service in the military. Though she always dreamt of ending up in the medical profession as a doctor, she took part in several beauty contests as well as stage productions in order to save for her tuition when she eventually joined Metropolitan State College.
Her Husband and Children
The renowned actress has never gone into any marriage and doesn’t have any children. Nevertheless, she has been in some romantic relationships which have been described as high profile. First on the list was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a renowned basketballer who converted to Islam shortly after they became an item. Kareem actually popped the big question but gave Pam an ultimatum to become a Muslim convert before any marriage can take place between them. According to reports, Kareem had a Muslim lady waiting to marry him if Pam declined the offer. Pam Grier rebuffed embracing Islam and Kareem made good his threat and got married to the Muslim lady in waiting.
The next guy she dated was Freddie Prinze, a comedian she met when she was on a promotion for her movie titled Coffy in 1973. The duo became romantically involved with marriage in mind, but the boyfriend wanted Pam to have a baby for him. Pam, who considered Prinze to be unstable, refused to have a baby with him as he was always in constant depression. Even after they decided to call it quits, they were still in touch until he committed suicide in 1977.
While she was dating Prinze, she met her third boyfriend Richard Pryor, but their relationship did not take off until they took roles together in Greased Lightning. Pam assisted Pryor in learning how to read and tried her best to help him curb his addiction to hard drugs. She succeeded for six months before Pryor suffered a relapse. In Pam’s memoir, she revealed that she got a build-up of cocaine residue in her genital organ and cervix from her sexual relationship with Pryor. The obvious conclusion was that Pryor rubbed some cocaine on his genitals during sex with Pam which made the substance accumulate in her cervix. After some time, it was announced that Pryor engaged another woman while his relationship with Pam Grier was still on, this was in 1977.
In 1988, the popular actress was diagnosed with cervical cancer which was already in the fourth stage. The verdict was that she had only a year and six months to live but through vigorous treatment and the strong will to live, Pam Grier made a surprise recovery and has been in remission ever since. She has been romantically involved with other guys like Wilt Chamberlain, a basketballer, and Don Cornelius who works as a host for Soul Train.
Pam got engaged to Kevin Evans, a music executive in 1998. Unfortunately, their relationship crashed the next year – 1999. She was also romantically linked to Peter Hempel, a marketing executive.
The popular actress’ net worth has been pegged at an attractive $10 million. A major bulk of her wealth is believed to have been accrued from her career in the entertainment industry. Pam’s annual income is not yet known to the public.