Jayne Kennedy (born Jane Harrison on October 27, 1951 in Washington, D.C.) is an American actress, model and sportscaster.
Jayne was crowned Miss Ohio USA 1970 (she was the first African American woman to win the title), and was one of the 10 semi-finalists in the 1970 Miss USA pageant. It was rare for an African American woman at that time to be in the contest. While starting her modeling career, she met Leon Isaac Kennedy, who was a DJ and a struggling actor/writer. They fell in love and married in 1970. Motown’s Smokey Robinson served as best man at the wedding. They moved to California to pursue careers in acting. During the 1970s, she had over 10 notable TV guest appearances, and roles in seven movies. In 1978, she was one of the first women to infiltrate the male-dominated world of sports announcing with a role on The NFL Today.
Starred in a film portraying Dorothy Dandridge in the never released movie “The Dorothy Dandridge Story” in 1980. Utimately, the story was produced by HBO and starred another Cleveland native, Halle Berry.
Was a Ding-a-ling Sister on “Dean Martin Presents the Golddiggers in London” (1968).
Was considered for her own spin-off series to “The New Adventures of Wonder Woman” (1975) but the series didn’t go through
Was considered for one of the roles on “Charlie’s Angels” (1976), but it never materialized.
Was considered to have her own TV show as a spin off from the TV movie Cover Girls (1977) (TV), however, it never materialized.
Her face was once insured for 1 million dollars
Was the first black actress to grace the cover of Playboy magazine.
In the early 1980s, she produced exercise videos; however, she was later diagnosed with Endometriosis. She and Kennedy were divorced in 1982; she married actor Bill Overton in 1985. In spite of the prior problem with endometriosis, they have three daughters, Savannah Re (b. Nov. 20, 1985), Kopper Joi (b. May 17, 1989) and Zaire Ollyea (b. Sept. 15, 1995).
Is a member of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority.
Once aspired to pursue politics, wanting to pattern herself after congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972.
Her career ended abruptly after divorcing Leon Isaac Kennedy. According to a report in the Village Voice, he allegedly attempted to revive his career by releasing a private video of him self and his ex-wife.