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Jean Bell

 -Annie Lee Morgan-

Born November 23, 1944, St. Louis, MO

Bell grew up in Houston, Texas, along with three younger sisters and attended Texas Southern University, majoring in business administration. Jean was the first African American woman to participate in the Miss Texas Pageant, which is part of the Miss Universe competition. She aspired to professional bowling or acting.

When she appeared in the October 1969 issue of Playboy, Bell was only the second African-American woman to grace the centerfold (the first being Jennifer Jackson, in March 1965). Her centerfold was photographed by Don Klumpp. A few months later, Bell became the first black person to appear on the magazine's cover. Darine Stern, who is often erroneously credited with this distinction, was actually the first black woman to appear on the cover of Playboy on her own, in the October 1971 issue. Bell was featured with four other playmates on the January 1970 cover of the magazine.

After Bell's appearance in Playboy, she enjoyed a brief acting career, working on such films as Mean Streets and The Klansman (for some roles she was credited as Jeanne Bell). Her most notable role was the title character in 1975's TNT Jackson. Bell dated Richard Burton and helped him quit drinking and as a result was credited with getting him back together with Elizabeth Taylor afterwards. An Earl Wilson column in September 1975 revealed Bell's three-month friendship with the actor. She visited Burton at his villa in Céligny, Switzerland, during her effort to help him "dry out". With his assistance Bell acquired a place of her own in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Around that time, Bell worked at Splendors Gentlemen's club in Houston and went by "Bunny". Bell posed nude again for Playboy in the December 1979 pictorial "Playmates Forever!", and subsequently disappeared from public life. In 1986 she married businessman Gary Judis after an eight-year courtship. 

[above cited from Wikipedia]

Jean Bell: Text

Jean Bell

~In Progress~

Playboy, January 1970

Jean Bell: Image
Jean Bell: Pro Gallery
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