Jayne Kennedy

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Jayne Kennedy
Jayne Kennedy 1980.JPG
Kennedy in 1980.
Born Jayne Harrison
(1951-10-27) October 27, 1951 (age 63)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Nationality American
Other names Jayne Kennedy Overton
Occupation Actress, sportscaster
Years active 1969-90
Spouse(s) Leon Isaac Kennedy (m. 1970–82; divorced)
Bill Overton (m. 1985-present)
Children 3
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.

Early life[edit]

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.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

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).[1]

Select filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Profile, Ebony Magazine (December 1996)

External links[edit]