Jayne Kennedy Playboy: A Controversial Moment In The Life Of A Talented Actress


Jayne Kennedy is a well-known actress, model, and television personality who rose to fame in the 1970s and 80s. She was a trailblazer for African-American women in the entertainment industry, breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations of women of color. However, her career was not without controversy, as she posed for Playboy magazine in 1981. In this article, we will explore the story behind Jayne Kennedy’s Playboy shoot and its impact on her career and the entertainment industry as a whole.

Who is Jayne Kennedy?

Jayne Kennedy was born on October 27, 1951, in Washington, D.C. She grew up in a large family and was one of eight children. At a young age, she showed a passion for performing and began participating in beauty pageants. In 1970, she was crowned Miss Ohio USA, and went on to compete in the Miss USA pageant, where she placed in the top 15.

After her success in the pageant world, Kennedy began pursuing a career in modeling and acting. She appeared in numerous commercials and TV shows, including “The Dean Martin Show” and “The Love Boat.” She also hosted her own variety show, “The Jayne Kennedy Show,” in the late 1970s.

The Playboy Shoot

In 1981, Kennedy posed for Playboy magazine. The decision was controversial, as many felt that it went against her image as a role model for young women. However, Kennedy defended her decision, stating that she wanted to break the stereotype that black women were not beautiful.

Despite the controversy, the photoshoot was a success, and Kennedy’s issue of Playboy sold over a million copies. However, the fallout from the shoot had a lasting impact on Kennedy’s career.

The Impact on Kennedy’s Career

After the Playboy shoot, Kennedy’s career took a hit. She received backlash from the African-American community, who felt that she had betrayed her race by posing for a magazine that had a history of objectifying women.

Additionally, many casting directors and producers were hesitant to work with Kennedy, fearing that the controversy surrounding the shoot would negatively affect their projects. As a result, Kennedy’s acting career never reached the heights that it could have.

The Legacy of the Playboy Shoot

The controversy surrounding Jayne Kennedy’s Playboy shoot has had a lasting impact on the entertainment industry. It opened up a larger conversation about the objectification of women in media and the pressure that female celebrities face to conform to certain standards of beauty and sexuality.

It also highlighted the double standards that exist for women of color in the entertainment industry. Kennedy was criticized for posing for Playboy, while white actresses who had done the same were not subjected to the same level of scrutiny.


Jayne Kennedy’s Playboy shoot was a controversial moment in her career and in the entertainment industry as a whole. It brought attention to important issues surrounding women’s rights and the representation of people of color in media. While the fallout from the shoot had a negative impact on Kennedy’s career, her legacy as a trailblazer for women of color in the entertainment industry remains strong.