She was hot as Coffy back in 1973, she was cool as Jackie Brown in 1997. In between, Pam Grier (right) did everything from Fort Apache, The Bronx, to Miami Vice. And this week she's back on the big screen in Hong Kong, dealing with a lecherous boyfriend (played by Harvey Keitel) in Jane Campion's off-beat Holy Smoke. Born on May 26, 1949, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Grier's big break came at 18 when she was voted first runner-up in the Miss Colorado Universe competition. From there she burst - quite literally - on to the big screen in Russ Meyer's 1970s breastfest, Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls. But for many, Grier came to represent the female face of the 1970s' Blaxploitation movement; films made for a black audience. As Coffy, Grier presented a woman forced by a wicked world into fighting back, kicking her way through all manner of lowlifes and deadbeats. When her reign as Blaxploitation's queen came to an end, the decent parts seemed to dry up. She shone as the hooker without a heart in 1981's Fort Apache, The Bronx, then drifted through a succession of TV roles, including a stint in the neon nightmare that was Miami Vice. And that's when Quentin Tarantino came to the rescue. A long-time fan, Tarantino wrote the role of Jackie Brown specifically with Grier in mind. The performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination (best actress, musical or comedy).