Jayne Kennedy: Life Story and Gorgeous Photos of The First African-American Miss Ohio

Jayne Kennedy is a former fashion model, actress, and Television personality. She was the first African American woman, who was crowned as Miss Ohio in 1970. She also participated in the Miss USA beauty pageant and was the fourth runner-up. Her face was once insured for $1 million.


She made her acting debut with the B-Movie ‘Group Marriage’ in 1973. She went on to appear in a string of B-movies over the next few years. Kennedy also appeared in many TV series including ‘Ironside’, Banacek’, ‘The Rockford Files’, ‘Wonder Woman’ and many more. In 1978, she became one of the first female network sports anchors in an era when hiring attractive women was merely a rating ploy designed to lure male viewers. She also served a stint with comedian Bob Hope on his overseas tours to entertain American troops in Southeast Asia toward the end of the Vietnam War.
In the early 1980s Kennedy the celebrity-exercise bandwagon and released a how-to video, Love Your Body, that was a top seller in the early 1980s.

Personal life

In her early modeling career, Kennedy-Overton met famous DJ Leon Isaac and they both fell in love. The couple got married after a year and moved to Los Angeles. The marriage lasted for eleven years and ended with a divorce. After three years, she married actor Bill Overton and they are still married and have four kids. She suffered from endometriosis, a painful uterine-tissue condition, for a number of years. She also underwent surgery and she left her career to raise her children.

She now devotes her time to community causes and to writing her memoirs. She has also done charity work for groups including the National Lung Association, the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, and many more.

Here below are some beautiful photos of Jayne Kennedy from her modeling and acting career.

#5 Jayne Kennedy at the 32nd annual Emmy Awards , 1980.

#8 Jayne Kennedy at the 10th Annual NAACP Image Awards on April 24, 1977 at Century Plaza Hotel

#9 Jayne Kennedy attends the NBC Affiliates Party on May 15, 1977

#10 Jayne Kennedy at the wrap party for ‘Xanadu’, February 9, 1980

#11 Jayne Kennedy attends Celebrity Challenge of the Sexes on March 22, 1980 at Mt. San Antonio College in Pamona, California.

#12 Jayne Kennedy with Catherine Bach and Tom Wopat, 1980.

#13 Jayne Kennedy attends 17th Annual Publicist’s Guild of America Awards on April 11, 1980.

#14 Jayne Kennedy wearing red boxing gloves and shorts with a towel draped over her shoulders, 1980.

#17 Jayne Kennedy at the Cannes Film Festival on May 23, 1980.

#18 Jayne Kennedy with Dwight Hemion at The 32nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 7, 1980

#19 Jayne Kennedy attends reception at The Limelight in Atlanta, Georgia, 1981.

#20 Jayne Kennedy attends the opening party for “Body and Soul” on November 19, 1981.

#22 Jayne Kennedy with Suzy Coehlo, Susan Macgyver and Sonny Bond, 1975.

#23 Jayne Kennedy with David Hasselhoff and Peter Allen at the State Sport Centre in Homebush March 12, 1985 in Sydney, Australia.

#24 Jayne Kennedy and Leana Roberts on the show ‘The Second Annual Super Comedy Bowl’, 1971.

#26 Jayne Kennedy attends the “Richard Pryor – Live on Sunset Strip” Westwood Premiere on March 11, 1982 at Mann Westwood Theatre in Westwood.

#27 Jayne Kennedy sitting in the swing in her backyard, 1985.

#29 Jayne Kennedy at the Wrap-Up Party for the Eighth Season of “The Love Boat” on March 31, 1985 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

#32 Jayne Kennedy with Muhammad Ali and a child during Press Conference For Children’s Peace Foundation, 1986.

#33 Jayne Kennedy at the 1987 Commuications Excellence to Black Audiences (CEBA) Awards on October 15, 1987.

#34 Jayne Kennedy attends the 38th Annual BMI Pop Awards on May 8, 1990 at Beverly Wilshire Hote. #45

#39 Jayne Kennedy with actor Leon Isaac Kennedy attend the party for “Look Magazine” on February 14, 1979

#41 Jayne Kennedy poses for a portrait in circa 1982.

#43 Jayne Kennedy with Bill Overton at The Limelight in Atlanta, 1982.

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Written by Alicia Linn

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