Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Allow Pam Grier to tell you about the time she saved Richard Pryor's horse

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives (Getty Images)

Perhaps you’ve been wondering if at any point in the 1970s did film and television icon Pam Grier drive down a busy Los Angeles freeway in a luxury sports car with Richard Pryor’s injured horse, Ginger, in tow? Well, wonder no more, friends.


Those curious for more details (and how could you not be) are in luck, since Grier previously told this story in her 2010 autobiography Foxy: My Life in Three Acts.

Ginger, it turns out, was a mini-horse, given to Pryor by The Richard Pryor Show producer Burt Sugarman. Ginger was injured by Pryor’s dogs, who had been accidentally let out by his housekeeper. Pryor was distraught, but Grier jumped into action, loading both Pryor and Ginger into her car. Inevitably, someone noticed Richard Pyror and a horse driving down the 405, at which point Grier says a line of cars began to follow them. Eventually, the couple made it to the vet, who patched up Ginger, and the two made the return trip back later that day, but not before Ginger peed a mini-horse-sized amount in Grier’s brand-new Jaguar. As Grier writes, that was the moment she realized she couldn’t have a child with Pryor and needed to cut him out of her life. “I’d saved Ginger, but I couldn’t save Richard. That was strike three.”

As a bonus, here’s Pryor talking about Ginger in his legendary 1979 stand-up film Richard Pryor: Live In Concert.

And, yes, if your immediately thought on hearing all of this was to get “Old Town Road” stuck in your head, Pam Grier is well aware.


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About the author

Gabe Worgaftik

Contributor, The A.V. Club.