Claudia Jennings

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Claudia Jennings
Playboy centerfold appearance
November 1969
Preceded byJean Bell
Succeeded byGloria Root
Playboy Playmate of the Year
Preceded byConnie Kreski
Succeeded bySharon Clark
Personal details
BornMary Eileen Chesterton
(1949-12-20)December 20, 1949
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.[1]
DiedOctober 3, 1979(1979-10-03) (aged 29)[1][2]
Malibu, California, U.S.
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[1]

Mary Eileen Chesterton (December 20, 1949 – October 3, 1979),[1] known professionally as Claudia Jennings, was an American actress and model. Jennings was Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month for November 1969 and also Playmate of the Year for 1970. She subsequently pursued a career in acting, and was known as the "Queen of B movies".[3] She died in an automobile accident in 1979.


Mary Eileen Chesterton (known as "Mimi" to friends and family) was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1949, later moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When her family moved from Richmond, Indiana to Evanston, Illinois as a result of her father becoming the advertising director with Skilsaw, she transferred at the start of her sophomore year to Evanston Township High School (ETHS) where she graduated in 1968. She was featured in a silent, plotless movie titled after her nickname which was shot on Super 8 film by fellow ETHS classmate Todd McCarthy. She worked as a receptionist at Playboy and then posed for the magazine in 1969. She adopted the name Claudia Jennings because she didn't want to embarrass her family and that she thought "Mimi" sounded too girlish.[4] Her original pictorial was photographed by Pompeo Posar. She was Playmate of the Year in 1970, and was awarded a pink Mercury Capri.[5]

After her appearances in Playboy, Jennings became an actress in exploitation movies and in television. In 1973, she had a guest appearance on The Brady Bunch episode titled "Adios, Johnny Bravo". Jennings auditioned for the role as Kate Jackson's replacement on the hit television show Charlie's Angels, but the role was awarded to Shelley Hack.[6]


On October 3, 1979, Jennings died in an automobile collision on the Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu, California. She was 29.[2][3]

Jennings was featured in a 2000 episode of E! True Hollywood Story in which several of her friends and acquaintances were interviewed. The episode was made without the cooperation of her family, who considered the show too "tabloid" in style.[7]



Year Title Role
1971 Jud Sunny
1971 The Love Machine Darlene
1972 Trampa mortal
1972 The Stepmother Rita
1972 Unholy Rollers Karen Walker
1973 Group Marriage Elaine
1973 40 Carats Gabriella
1974 Willy & Scratch Jennifer
1974 Truck Stop Women Rose
1974 The Single Girls Allison
1974 'Gator Bait Desiree Thibodeau
1976 The Man Who Fell to Earth Peters' Wife
1976 Sisters of Death Judy
1976 The Great Texas Dynamite Chase Candy Morgan
1977 Moonshine County Express Betty Hammer
1978 Deathsport Deneer
1979 Fast Company Sammy


Year Title Role Episode
1971 Ironside Maralyn "The Professionals"
1973 Barnaby Jones Denise Frazer "To Denise, with Love and Murder"
1973 The Brady Bunch Tami Cutler "Adios, Johnny Bravo"
1974 The F.B.I. Judith Grinnell "Deadly Ambition"
1974 Cannon Leona Wilson / Susan Williams "Bobby Loved Me", "Lady in Red"
1974 The Manhunter Peggy "The Truck Murders"
1975 Movin' On Ann "Ransom"
1975 Caribe Jean Benedict "School for Killers"
1976 The Streets of San Francisco Evie "Underground"
1978 Lucan Debbie Kern[8] "Nightmare"
1979 240-Robert Barbara Rice "Bank Job"

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Claudia Jennings –The Authorized Biography. Midnight Marquee Publishing, 2018, by Eric Jonathan Karell[ISBN missing]


  1. ^ a b c d "Playmate data". Retrieved January 29, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Doviak, Scott Von (2015). Hick Flicks: The Rise and Fall of Redneck Cinema. ISBN 9780786482122. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  3. ^ a b 'B' movie queen dies in crash, Chicago Tribune, October 4, 1979
  4. ^ Williams, Albert. "But She Was A Cheerleader," Reader (Chicago, IL), September 21, 2000. Retrieved September 2, 2021
  5. ^ CC Easter Bunny Special: The Cars Of The Playboy Bunnies Of The Year 1964 – 1988, Curbside Classic, March 27 2016
  6. ^ Brode, Douglas (2003). Boys and Toys: Ultimate Action-Adventure Movies. ISBN 9780806523811. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  7. ^ Albert Williams, But She Was A Cheerleader, Chicago Reader, September 21, 2000
  8. ^ "Claudia Jennings". IMDb. Retrieved June 25, 2020.

External links[edit]