Spotlight on: 'Jayne Harrison (Kennedy) Overton'
Jayne Harrison (Kennedy) Overton:
Actress, Talk Show Hostess, Model and one
of the very first women Sports Broadcasters
While yet still in high school, Jayne (Harrison) was the
very first person of the African-American Ethnic grouping to
win the Miss Ohio crown in the Miss USA / Universe Pageant.
As one of the first female sports broadcasters,
she destroyed the myth that women couldn't
make it in the world of sports broadcasting,
blasting the doors wide open for
women in sports beyond competition.
Rhonda Windham, former General Manager
of the Los Angeles Sparks, credits
Jayne for her success and says,
"The WNBA owes a debt of
gratitude to Jayne Kennedy.
She is also the only female to ever work
ringside as a TV color commentator for
men's professional boxing through her
work with Muhammad Ali Professional Sports.
But breaking ground is nothing new for Jayne.
There seemed to always be a hurdle on the track as she raced
through a career that brought her acclaim as an actress,
broadcaster, TV personality, producer, exercise guru,
talk show host, model, singer, dancer, infomercial host,
lecturer, product spokeswoman, and now author of her
soon to be released autobiography, 'Plain -Jayne'.
Jayne's honors and awards are numerous:
an EMMY Award for her 1981 Rose Parade coverage,
an EMMY nomination for her Speak Up America show
NAACP IMAGE Award, a CEBA Award for her work in the
television commercial industry, a NAACP THEATRE Award
for "Best Producer" for her staged musical production of
'The Journey of the African American', chronicling 400
years of African-American history in song and dance, and
a Black Achievers Award as an African-American role model.
Jayne was also recently named an Honorary Board Member
of the Didi Hirsh Foundation's 'Erasing-The-Stigma Awards'
and the A.C.E. Ambassador (Arts, Culture & Entertainment)
for the City of Los Angeles' Cultural Affairs Department
where she is working to bridge the gap between the
entertainment industry and the LA community.
She has become a founding board member
of the WonderVision Foundation.
Created by Stevie Wonder; its goal is to
systematically eradicate blindness worldwide
through preventative, assistive, and therapeutic means.
Despite the achievements of her career, Jayne says her most
fulfilling role is that of "Mom" (to daughters Cheyenne (24),
Savannah (20), Kopper (17), and Zaire (11), and "Wife" (to her
actor/producer/author/entrepreneur husband, Bill Overton.)
Both Bill and Jayne are totally committed to raising "good, smart kids."
In fact, because she promised herself years ago that she
would be there for her kids, Jayne had spent the last 10
years at home being a full time wife and mom; without
a doubt, she says, the hardest work she's ever done!
It is because of her genuine commitment to a better
world for all our kids, Jayne worked 17 years for
'The Children's Miracle Network' where she helped
to raise over a billion and a half dollars for 165
children's hospitals throughout the United States.
Now that baby Zaire is a baby no more, Jayne is
ready to return to the professional fast track.
She is staging her comeback through the development
of a one-hour prime time TV drama, a half-hour
animated children's TV series, writing a collection
of children's books, starring in her first dramatic
on-stage appearance in an award winning play,
assisting her husband in marketing his book &
exhibit collection of 19th Century prints entitled
'The Media: Shaping The Image Of A People',
serving as Creative Consultant for 'Backstreet
Art Galleries', producing an annual Multi-Cultural
Faire for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School
District and sits on the board of their 'African-American
Parent Student Staff Support Group' and the 'SMMUSD
Site Governance' committee, as well as bringing city
youth on retreat through the non-profit Visionary Farm.
Jayne Harrison (Kennedy) Overton:
(a.k.a.: "Jayne Kennedy" and
maiden name: `Jayne Harrison')
Date of birth:
November 27, 1951
William Overton (actor, Married 1985-current)
3 biological daughters- Savannah, Kopper, Zaire
and 1 step-daughter - Cheyenne
Jayne is of the Christian faith
The first female NFL sportscaster for NBC Network (USA)
Contestant in the Miss USA pagent: Miss Ohio 1970
Co-host the tv show 'Speak Up America'