Skip to main content

About Season four

For our fourth season, we’re bring you the story of Pam Grier as only she can tell it. How did a country girl from Colorado become a movie icon – and the face of the genre known as Blaxploitation? It’s a story of bravery, both onscreen and off. It’s a story about race in Hollywood and race in America. And it’s a story about how real life is a lot messier than the movies. Join host Ben Mankiewicz as he speaks with Pam Grier as well as her colleagues, family and friends to discover what it took to survive one of Hollywood’s greatest decades.

The Players

Pam Grier

Actress who exploded onto screens in the 1970s and became the face of Blaxploitation and Hollywood’s first female action star.

Ben Mankiewicz

Host of The Plot Thickens and Turner Classic Movies, Ben is a journalist, movie expert and scion of a legendary showbiz family.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Basketball phenom who dominated the sport in the 1970s, and was Pam’s first serious boyfriend in Los Angeles.

Jack Hill

“Titan of Exploitation Films” who helped discover Pam and created several of her first starring vehicles.

Richard Pryor

Brilliant, self-destructive comic who found peace and love with Pam before destroying their relationship.

Quentin Tarantino

Celebrated filmmaker and exploitation expert who gave Pam the role of a lifetime in the 1990s.

Freddie Prinze

Hotshot young comedian who conquered Hollywood and stole Pam’s heart.

Gloria Steinem

Feminist icon and magazine publisher who recognized Pam as a kindred spirit.

Michael Schultz

Trailblazing filmmaker who directed Pam and Richard Pryor together.

Ilene Chaiken

TV Producer and creator of the groundbreaking television series The L Word.

Roger Corman

Revered B-movie producer who gave Pam her first acting jobs.

Philip Bailey

Singer and musician who performed in the same choir as Pam growing up.

Bob Minor

Actor and stuntman whose career took off during the Blaxploitation era.

Jadie David

Stuntwoman and advocate who doubled for Pam in numerous movies.

Heywood Gould

Screenwriter and director who witnessed one of Pam’s greatest performances.