Erotic depictions of women in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography from the dawn of man to the present.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Centrefold Venus of the Month 43: Sheila Kennedy, December 1981

When we made Connie Lynn Hadden our Centrefold of the Month for October (yes, we know we are still running hugely behind but these posts take ages to format!) someone left a comment to the effect that they would like us to do a post on Sheila Kennedy.  As this was the second US Penthouse magazine we owned we are happy to comply.

December 1981

October 1981

Sheila had been on the cover of the Connie Lynn Hadden issue from October 1981 and, as we mentioned, it was her picture that attracted our bi-sexual girlfriend, only for her to be disappointed that she didn't appear inside.  We can't think of any other occasion when the same girl appeared on Penthouse's cover twice in three issues.


When we returned to college in January (after a really snowy Christmas period) our girlfriend had picked up the December issue in London over the holiday as a welcome back present and inside there was Sheila Kennedy, in all her glory, as Pet of the Month.

 Sheila in front of the Victor Emanuel monument (or, more properly, l'Altare della Patria)   

This pictorial was shot by Bob Guccione himself in Rome, a city which Triple P was to visit many times in the eighties and nineties and where he developed an interest in, and appreciation of, Italian food, wine and women that remains with him to this day.  Our experience was very much enhanced by the fact that our employers at the time insisted that when we visited anywhere abroad we stay at five star hotels.  In Rome (we later also stayed in Milan a lot) those hotels were the Excelsior and the Grand, both, at the time, part of the CIGA group and very fine hotels indeed.  

Although the Excelsior was more famous, thanks to the film La Dolce Vita, the Grand had been more recently renovated and the service was that much more polished.  The best thing about it was the house cocktail: The Vodka Imperial.  This was an entire bottle of Vodka frozen into a block of ice into which were set flowers (orchids we seem to remember).  This was then upended into a jug of tropical fruit and...well, that was it.  It looked spectacular, cost £75 (in 1986!) and was delivered in such a theatrical way that when we had one with our Italian friend one evening we also managed to attract an entire 747s worth of Australian stewardesses.  £75 very well spent on that occasion.

Anyway, Triple P spent many happy hours wandering around Rome at the weekends looking at the monuments and museums.  We collected a lot of local lovelies during our time there as we came to realise that we were considered exotic by the female population.  Sadly, it's over twenty years since we were there last but we suspect it hasn't changed that much.  Hopefully, the standard of the women hasn't either.

Sheila's own exterior wanderings are soon over and for the rest of the pictorial she relocates inside.

This cool, Roman interior is very evocative for Triple P.  We spent a lot of time in places like this and we were constantly amazed by what splendid buildings often held seemingly mundane offices.

Talking of Roman splendour, here is Sheila revealed for the first time in her pictorial, contemplating her feet and seemingly inadvertently just revealing her pussy.  The crockery in the foreground is a typical Guccione touch to balance the composition.  The top one of these two almost looks like a watercolour, which is no doubt the effect Guccione was striving for as he had always been a painter first and a photographer second.

Here is Sheila in the first of a series of her in an enticingly rumpled looking bed.  Penthouse had started it's soft-focus approach in 1973.  Jane Hargrave's pictorial of July 1975 being a high point (or low point; the approach was not universally popular with the readers) of the initial diffuse approach.

For the rest of the seventies the soft-focus was dialled right back, with just a hint of blur in some pictorials.  It started to reappear again in 1981 and Sheila's was the first really soft-focus Pet of the Month pictorial for six years.

Guccione knew Rome well, of course, having shot Caligula there a few years before.  He'd also shot a Pet of the Month pictorial there with English girl Anna Grimwood who was Pet of the Month for June 1976 and who appeared, very briefly in the film.

Here is Sheila next to a very Italian looking chair looking lovely in her white vest and ankle socks.  What a perfect outfit for a young lady around the house!

Triple P stayed in a lot of other nice hotels in Italy back in the late eighties and early nineties and he preferred the traditional style ones.  Apart from the Grand in Rome we also stayed in the Excelsior and the Eden there.  In Milan we tended to stay at the Principe di Savoia, the Excelsior Gallia or the Duca di Milano.

Many of them had interiors like this and we enjoyed the company of several young ladies dressed in the white towelling bathrobes provided.  We particularly remember our friend K who came across from London for a short but entertaining stay in the Duca di Milano where our friend M had got us a splendid suite.  K was very happy pottering about the place just dressed in her bathrobe which she always, enticingly, kept undone like this, thus providing constant flashes of her dancer's body.  Most diverting!

The level of soft focus in these is as extreme as anything Penthouse did in the seventies or eighties.  In the one immediately below, despite the explicit pose, Sheila's body becomes a series of seeming disconnected lit surfaces emerging from the gloom.  It takes a little time to spot her face even; partially obscured and tucked away to one side.

So, that's all the photographs from her original Pet of the Month pictorial.  Unusually, we haven't been able to find any more taken at the same time.

Penthouse's Pet of the Year appeared less predictably then Playboy's equivalent which was always a girl chosen from the previous year's Playmates.  So it was two years since her Pet of the Month pictorial that Sheila returned as Pet of the Year for the December 1983 issue.

By this point Bob Guccione was photographing girls for the magazine less and less and in 1983 had shot just two Pets plus actress Pia Zadora.  He continued to take the Pet of the Year pictorial, however and, as always included a self portrait of himself with the lady in question.

There was also the usual shot of the Pet of the Year with her prize winner's car.  In this case Sheila picked up two cars: a Mistubishi Cordia Turbo and a Mitsubishi diesel truck.  Other vehicles awarded as part of her prizes included a scooter and a dune bike.

Although his trademark soft focus is much in evidence it wasn't nearly as diffused as his original pictorial had been.  In the two above the paler, more soft-focus one is from the magazine while the one below is from  the website which seems to indicate that there was post photography manipulation to make the image even softer.  Anyway, Sheila looks very cute in her fluffy hat and jacket.

Right from when it was first published in 1965 Penthouse always liked to have shots of its models dressed from the waist up but showing their naked bottoms.  An effective look.

In quite a number of the shots from this pictorial she is wearing a cap.  Here she enhances a bicycle wearing s white vest and some very tight shorts indeed.

Inside and the vest is replaced with a jacket sporting very big shoulders, even for the eighties.  The boots are nice, though.  By this time she is much blonder than in her original pictorial.

Another top and some white stockings for these ones on the bed.  This is a very fetching little outfit!

The final pictures in the pictorial are the most explicit and have Sheila in an enticing lace top.  The bottom photo, which was a two page spread in the magazine, says a lot about the tactile thrill of a fluffy pussy.

Here we have a few more from the shoot which didn't appear in the magazine itself.  Again, these are much less soft-focus than the images used in the magazine.

Nearly four years after her Pet of the Year issue Sheila was back on the cover and inside Penthouse for her fourth and final appearance in October 1987.

That year she also made the cover of the Girls of Penthouse March/April edition: the newsstand specials where they dispensed with all that tedious writing and just stuck to the pictures.

Sheila in The First Turn On (1983)

In the meantime she had appeared in a few films as she had studied acting for fifteen years.  She had a very small part in dismal teen comedy Spring Break (1983) which also featured, in a much bigger role, Corrine Alphen (June 1978 and August 1981 Pet of the Month).  That year she also appeared in The First Turn On (1983) a similar teen exploitation film where she appeared, appropriately, as "Dreamgirl".

Ellie (1984)

Her next film, also for low budget supremos Troma, was in the title role of the Deep South set (Kennedy was born in Tennessee) Ellie (1984) in which Sheila strips off quite a lot in this updated version of Aeschylus's Elektra.  Sheila then appeared briefly as a game show hostess in National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) and had a part as a stripper in low budget thriller Dead Boyz Can't Fly (1992) a straight to video release that was actually filmed in 1988.

Sheila with the mother of Penthouse Pet Corrine Alphen

Sheila had a son in 1991 but was out of the public eye until 2008 when she appeared in Season 9 of Big Brother on American TV, at the age of 46, where she came third.

Sheila in Big Brother (2008)

This led to more TV appearances in the last few years including co-hosting one of the support shows to Big Brother 10.

It was also revealed at this time that to prepare herself for Big Brother she had taken part in a before and after advertising campaign for a diet suppressant product.  It worked.

On Millionaire Matchmaker

Unlike some models from the period she is still recognisably the same attractive woman she was back in the early eighties.

Sheila with a couple of her Penthouse covers

Recently she has been writing a book about her life, including her ten years living in Bob Guccione's New York Mansion.  Could be interesting!


  1. Thanks! She's lovely. Too bad she came along in the soft-focus era....

  2. I know what you mean! Just a month or two earlier and she would have been much more crisp!

  3. —and since you're teasing us with it, may we have a bigger scan of Wendy Blodgett's cent(re/er)fold?

    Thanks for everything you do here.

  4. Better than that I'll make her the June centrefold!

  5. Thanks a lot, Mr. Triple P!

    Incidentally, the December 1981 issue was also the second US Penthouse issue I owned, after that of November 1981.

    Personally, I found Sheila Kennedy's pictorial to soft-focussed - especially after I had fallen in love with Connie Lynn Hadden! She has always been the reference point for all later models and pictorials.

    Thanks for all your work. I continue to be impressed!

  6. I've just found a few more of Miss Kennedy which I will add to the post later today.

  7. If you or anyone else here is interested, Sheila is active on facebook and open to friend requests.

    1. Thanks. I never have understood facebook!

  8. She recently posted on Facebook that her book is coming out this December.

  9. Much preferred Sheila as a brunette. I remember her being an instant favorite at the end of 1981, a sure bet for Pet of the Year; every time I think of Sheila I visualize her excellent hips and bottom, from shot after shot of the same.

  10. Very Beautiful! But what's the point of the soft focus? Just imagine these pictures in crisp and clear focus.....! That would have been up there with the very best.