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Jean Bell, October 1969 Playboy Playmate

Jean Bell
Playboy centerfold appearance
October 1969
Preceded by Shay Knuth
Succeeded by Claudia Jennings
Personal details
Born November 23, 1944 (1944-11-23) (age 66)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Measurements Bust: 34″
Waist: 23″
Hips: 36″
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Weight 117 lb (53 kg; 8.4 st)

Jean Bell (born Annie Lee Morgan on November 23, 1944 in St. Louis, Missouri AKA Jeannie) was one of the first of Playboy magazine’s African American Playmates of the Month.


When she appeared in the October 1969 issue of Playboy, Bell was only the second African American woman to grace the centerfold (the first was 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 in 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).

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.

Bell posed nude again for Playboy in the December 1979 pictorial “Playmates Forever!”

Film and television work



  • Starsky and Hutch – “Starsky and Hutch Are Guilty” (1977) …. Kate
  • Baretta – “Carla” (1977) …. Midge
  • Kolchak: The Night Stalker – “Primal Scream” (1975) …. Rosetta Mason
  • That’s My Mama – “Clifton’s Big Move” (1974) …. Ginger
  • Police Woman – “Seven-Eleven” (1974) …. Marie
  • Sanford and Son – “Lamont, Is That You?” (1973) …. Judy Ann
  • The Beverly Hillbillies
    • “Hotel for Women” (1970) …. Sugar Jean Bell
    • “Three-Day Reprieve” (1970) …. Sugar Jean Bell
    • “Shorty Spits the Hook” (1970) …. Sugar Jean Bell
    • “Marry Me, Shorty” (1970) …. Sugar Jean Bell

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