Pam Grier, star of 'Jackie Brown,' addresses stage 4 cancer rumors

Earlier this year, Grier sat down with TODAY's Al Roker to discuss her long career, her personal demons and aging.
Pam Grier at the opening ceremony during the 51st Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantastic de Catalunya Sitges in Sitges, Spain on Oct. 4, 2018.Peter Sabok / NurPhoto via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY
By Ronnie Koenig

Pam Grier, the star of 1970s classic blaxploitation films "Foxy Brown" and "Coffy," is denying online rumors that she is suffering from stage 4 cancer. A rep for the 70 year-old star said that Grier is healthy despite a social media rumor that began this week that she is in a battle for her life.

Grier, a Golden Globe nominee for her role as the title character in Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film "Jackie Brown," is a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer back in 1988. Grier was given only 18 months to live but beat the odds, remaining in remission since undergoing aggressive treatment for the gynecological cancer that is among the diseases that affect women the most.

Earlier this year, Grier sat down with TODAY's Al Roker to discuss her long career, her personal demons that she was able to excise through playing strong female characters on screen and how she truly believes that age is just a number.

Grier had no acting experience when she came out to Los Angeles and hadn't initially planned to be a movie star. She said that she found inspiration to play her strong leading lady roles from her own mother, who she called "a black pioneer woman" and her aunt.

Her 50 year-long career has captivated audiences worldwide and Grier is one of the most familiar sex symbols of her generation, though she herself is a sexual assault survivor. Grier told Al that fighting in her on-screen movie roles helped her overcome her past. "It's been therapy," she said.

Grier went on to play roles on Showtime's "The L Word" and most recently graced the big screen in the comedy "Poms," playing alongside Diane Keaton as cheerleaders at a retirement home.

A rep for Grier says she is working on season three of her ABC show, "Bless This Mess," and that the star shows no signs of slowing down, putting in eight to 10 hour days on the set.

"It's getting older and being bolder," Grier told Al regarding aging. "If you wake up breathing you're going to have a good day. I don't worry about age."

Ronnie Koenig