Friday, February 4, 2011

Heroes Of Blaxploitation: Tamara Dobson

Day Four:

Tamara Dobson (1944-2006) was 6 foot 2 and a model that graced the pages of magazines like Vogue, Redbook and countless other beauty as well as black-centric magazines. Her first foray into films was an uncredited role in Come Back, Charleston Blue (1972) and a bit part in the Burt Reynolds actioner Fuzz (1972). But it was in 1973 when Tamara received the role of a lifetime that ignited the screen with her beauty and awesomeness... Cleopatra Jones.

What better fit for Blaxploitation film than with the statuesque beauty and power that Tamara oozed out of every pore. Cleopatra Jones was a significant part, and Tamara played it wonderfully. The film was a smashing success and Tamara followed it up with the fun sequel Cleopatra Jones And The Casino Of Gold (1975).

Tamara next appeared alongside Red Foxx and Pearl Baily in the comedy Norman...Is That You? (1976) and The TV Movie Murder At The World Series (1977). Although high fashion model Tamara never really set her focus on acting, she did take the occasional role. She ended up on the TV series Jason Of Star Command (1979-1981) for a 12 episode run (The show also starred frequent Blaxploitation actor Sig Haig) and eventually returned to genre filmmaking with the excellent women in prison picture Chained Heat (1983).

Finally there was Amazons (1984). A TV movie about beautiful women trying to take over the world... a most fitting title and film for this statuesque woman's final work in Film & Television. Tamara passed away in 2006 from pneumonia and multiple sclerosis, but Cleopatra Jones and the distinct beauty of Ms. Dobson will forever live on in the memory of all those who come across her.

Tamara Dobson... kicking ass and taking names.

Piece O' Trivia: Tamra Dobson has the distinction of being in the Guinness Book Of World Records as the tallest leading lady ever to appear in films.


Darius Whiteplume said...

I really liked her in Chained Heat. I need to rewatch Cleopatra Jones. Never found a copy of Casino of Gold.

Hal said...

CASINO OF GOLD is now on DVD courtesy the Warner Archive!

CHAINED HEAT, sadly, still doesn't have a U.S. release.

Tamara Dobson was also quite charming in FUZZ as Yul Brynner's arm candy. Definitely our loss that she left films for good in 1984; would have loved to have seen her get the same kind of comeback role that her good friend Pam Grier received with JACKIE BROWN.

Hal said...

Also the original CLEOPATRA JONES is available for streaming on Netflix, as is Dobson's Season One appearance (episode 15, "Happy Birthday") on BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY.

Andrew Green said...

Love this chick....
Cleopatra Jones was awesome!

Cinema Du Meep said...

Thanks for the 411 Hal!

Everyone needs to check Cleopatra Jones out at least once.

Alex said...

I had such a crush on her after watching Cleopatra Jones. She's just so cool! Never seen the sequel, though- I've heard mixed reports as to how good/fun it is, but I think I'll check it out for myself! And I still need to see Chained Heat.

And I'm not at all trying to be self-promotey here, but you might like this:

Cinema Du Meep said...

Hey that's pretty great Alex!

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