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Kennedy in 1980.
October 27, 1951
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Other names||Jayne Kennedy Overton|
|Spouse(s)||Leon Isaac Kennedy (m. 1970–82; divorced)
Bill Overton (m. 1985-present)
|Awards||1982 NAACP Image Award: Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (Body and Soul)|
Jayne Kennedy (née Harrison; October 27, 1951) is an American actress, beauty pageant titleholder, and sportscaster. She won a 1982 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture award for her performance in the 1981's film Body and Soul co-starring alongside her then-husband Leon Issac Kennedy.
Born Jayne Harrison in Washington, D.C., to machinist Herbert Harrison and his wife, Virginia. She was crowned Miss Ohio USA in 1970 (she was the first African American woman to win the title), and was one of the 15 semi-finalists in the Miss USA 1970 pageant. It was rare for an African American woman at that time to be in the contest.
Jayne and her then-husband Leon Isaac Kennedy moved to California to pursue careers in acting. 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. She has been on the cover of Ebony and Jet magazines numerous times. In the early 1980s she produced exercise videos, at the same time, she also had a contract with both Coca-Cola's Tab and Diet Coke.
Since the 1990s, Kennedy has remained busy away from the limelight, spending more time with her family. For many years, she worked for the Children's Miracle Network, where she raised millions of dollars for hospitals. She occasionally appears on various Christian Television Network shows.
While starting her pageantry career, she met Leon Isaac Kennedy, who was a DJ and a struggling actor/writer. They married in 1970. Motown's Smokey Robinson served as best man at the wedding. They divorced in 1982. In 1985 she married actor Bill Overton. They have four children: his daughter Cheyenne (1982) and their three daughters Savannah Re (b. November 20, 1985), Kopper Joi (b. May 17, 1989) and Zaire Ollyea (b. September 15, 1995).
- The Six Million Dollar Man episode: "The Song and Dance Spy" (October 5, 1975)
- The Rockford Files episode: "Foul on the First Play" (TV series, 1976)
- The Muthers — Serena
- Wonder Woman Episode: "Knockout" (1977)
- Chips episode: "Kidnap" (TV series, 1980)
- Chips episode: "Mitchell and Woods" (TV series, 1981)
- Body and Soul — Julie Winters
- Diff'rent Strokes episode: "The Moonlighter" (TV series, 1983)
- Ms. 45 —Seamstress
- Night Trap — Face in the Fire
- Profile, Ebony Magazine (December 1996)
- Jayne Kennedy at AllMovie
- Jayne Kennedy at the Internet Movie Database
- The Legend of Jayne Kennedy ... Nuff