Pam Grier

  1. Cec Verrell, Hell Comes to Frogtown, 1987.  Mississippi auteur Donald G Jackson briefly wanted Pam to be Centinella. Of course, he did! But this was some low-budget post-Apocalyptic rubbish about humanoid frogs!  Written in six days, shot in 19… Verrell was the sole actress agreeing to nudity in the mess. Jackson (1943-2003)  directed  39 other  movies,  producing 48, writing 43 (some as Maxcimo T Bird!), acting in 17 – including Vampire Child, Ghost Taxi, Ghost Baby  and who can forget  Lingerie Kickboxer. He helped pay for his 1976 debut, The Demon Lover, with a $8,00 insurance paymewnt  after he losing two fingers in a factory accident! 

  2. Angela Basset, What’s Love Got To Do With It, 1992.    
    Pam  was  astonished to be asked to test. “I was like ‘Tina is five feet! I’m five nine!’ And they had already hired Lawrence Fishburne to play Ike and I was like ‘How tall is he? I just saw him at his one-man play in New York and he came out of the theatre and I had on flat shoes, he had on flat shoes, and I looked him dead in the eye. If I put on high heels, I’ll be looking at his forehead. It’s not going to work.’ But we want you to test with him. ‘I’d absolutely love to, are you kidding me? I can sing. I can dance. I have the energy. I’ve always wanted to be one of the Ikettes and Tina. But I knew I wouldn’t get the role, and it would break my heart, because I was too tall and there’s no way they could do it. My skin coloring was similar to Tina’s, but I was too tall and I wasn’t going to get it.” Finalists for Tina Turner to choose from were Bassett, Halle Berry, Robin Givens (the ex-Mrs Mike Tyson),  Whitney Houston (a crazy idea, but pregnant), Janet Jackson (crazier), Jennifer Lewis (who finished up playing Tina’s Mama) and Vanessa L Williams.    Tina  voted for Angela after seeing  her sing Proud Mary .  Even then, Angela submitted herself to intense work with dancing, dialect and physical training coaches. Tina sang the songs.  Of course. And Halle enacted Dorothy Dandridge’s life six years later.

  3. Rosanna Arquette, Pulp Fiction, 1993.   
  4. Queen Latifah, Chicago, 2002.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  4