Tamara Dobson, a fashion, beauty, and cinematic icon, passed away this past Monday of complications from pneumonia and multiple sclerosis. While she had begun her career modeling for Vogue, Essence, and Madamoiselle magazines, as well as serving as the face of the Faberge ‘Tigress’, she was best known as the badass, Afro-rocking government super agent, Cleopatra Jones, in the 1973 self-titled movie.
(If you folks never saw or heard of this movie or its successor, Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold (1975), run- don’t walk- to your nearest Blockbuster or Netflix. Cheesy 70s fun, yes, but also a great chance to see a sista command her scenes wearing the flyest of clothes.)
While I’d seen plenty of blaxploitation movies before and since, Ms. Dobson’s fierce beauty, statuesque carriage, and fabulous fashion sense set her apart from the rest of the urban avengers on the silver screen. Never did she look less than her best, even in the rawest of kick-ass scenes.