Jaime Pressly

Jaime Pressly Headshot

Actress

Birth Date: July 30, 1977

Age: 46 years old

Birth Place: Kinston, North Carolina

A good-natured Southern actress whose penchant for comedy was measured by her ability to play more femme fatale roles, actress Jaime Pressly first gained attention for her provocative layout in Playboy, which naturally led to a string of B-movies that primarily focused on her physique. Following supporting turns in a number of forgettable features, Pressly made her leading debut in "Poison Ivy: The New Seduction" (1997), but managed almost immediately to avoid being typecast with a regular role on the short-lived drama "Push" (ABC, 1998) and a part in the teen comedy "Can't Hardly Wait" (1998).

After a lull that included menial roles in "Inferno" (1999) and "Poor White Trash" (2000), Pressly shined as the star of the all-too-brief sitcom "Jack and Jill" (The WB, 1999-2001), before landing more feature roles in a diverse array of projects like "Joe Dirt" (2001), "Not Another Teen Movie" (2001), "Karate Dog" (2004) and "Death to Supermodels" (2005). Her perseverance in surviving such films finally allowed her to land the role of Joy Hickey, ex-wife and chief nemesis to Jason Lee on the popular comedy "My Name Is Earl" (NBC, 2005-09). Able to show off her knack for broad comedy, Pressly's exuberant turn as the crass and selfish Joy earned her several accolades, including an Emmy Award, and opened doors so she could once and for all prove she was more than a pretty face.

Born on July 30, 1977 in Kinston, NC, Pressly was raised by her father, James, a car salesman, and her mother, Brenda, a classical dance instructor. Starting at a young age, Pressly studied gymnastics and dance for 11 years, and later took up modeling when she was just 14 years old, making a name for herself in the highly competitive field in both the U.S. and abroad. By the time she was 15, Pressly had established her own career even though she was attending Costa Mesa High School in California, where her mother had moved following a divorce from her father.

Having received a modeling offer in Japan, Pressly successfully managed to emancipate herself from her parents in order to take the job and pursue modeling full time. By 1997, Pressly had made inroads into acting, landing her lead debut as a deranged teen temptress in the direct-to-video erotic thriller "Poison Ivy: The New Seduction." Her willingness to appear nude on film led to offers for other projects of this ilk, as well as a 1998 layout in Playboy.

Though all of the exposure essentially cemented her in the minds of producers as a nubile and somewhat predatory femme fatale, Pressly was thankfully possessed of talent that allowed her to eclipse being typecast. In 1998, she tapped her own background to play an assistant gymnastics coach in the short-lived drama "Push" (ABC, 1998), and caught viewers' eyes as a catty high school princess in the likable teen comedy, "Can't Hardly Wait" (1998). However, it was the rude comedy "Ringmaster" (1998) with Jerry Springer playing a version of his real-life job as host of an outrageous talk show that gave audiences a chance to see her comic chops on full blast.

As Angel Zorzak, an unhinged trailer park habitué impregnated by her own stepfather, Pressly took one huge step away from her erotic thriller past and laid the groundwork for her future as a capable comic actress. Following "Ringmaster," Pressly popped up in a wide variety of roles, playing an undead assassin on "Mortal Kombat: Conquest" (syndicated, 1998-99), a roadside waitress in the Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle "Inferno" (1999), and a ruthless gold digger in "Poor White Trash" (2000).

Looking for more opportunities to play for laughs, Pressly was Amanda Peet's best friend and roommate on the short-lived sitcom, "Jack and Jill" (The WB, 1999-2001), while off-screen she dated her series co-star, Simon Rex, for a year starting in 2000. Meanwhile, Pressly continued to appear frequently in magazines like Maxim and Stuff during this period, and was raked eighth on the list of "102 Sexiest Women in the World" in 2003.

On screen, her willingness to spoof her own image worked to her advantage in comedies like "Best Actress" (2000), where she was a softcore starlet nominated for an Oscar, as well as "Joe Dirt" (2001) and "Tomcats" (2001). Also at the time, she earned greater attention for her portrayal of a venal and malapropism-spouting cheerleader in "Not Another Teen Movie" (2001). Fewer people saw her play a vengeful scientist opposite Tom Sizemore, Steven Seagal and Dennis Hopper in "Ticker" (2001) or a teen imperiled by demons in the inept horror feature "Pinata: Survival Island" (2002).

But she did gain further exposure for playing a lovelorn mermaid in an episode of "Charmed" (The WB, 1998-2006), as well as in ad campaigns for Liz Claiborne, a stint with the popular burlesque troupe the Pussycat Dolls, and another pictorial - albeit more demure - for Playboy in 2004.

Despite regular work and a degree of fame, Pressly had yet to find the perfect vehicle for her talents that would push her to the next level, though not for a lack of trying. She appeared in almost every genre of film, starring in the forgettable action movie, "Torque" (2004), where she played a venal biker girl; the bizarre family comedy "Karate Dog" (2004); horror flicks like "Cruel World" (2005); and another comedy, "Death to the Supermodels" (2005). But it was television that offered Pressly greater opportunities, impressing audiences and critics alike with a recurring role as a sassy dental assistant on "The Happy Family" (NBC, 2003-04) opposite John Laroquette and Christine Baranski, as well as a well-received turn as Linda Bork, first wife to Evel Knievel (George Eads) in John Badham's 2004 self-titled biopic about the daredevil rider.

Following that, Pressly was top-billed in a feature film version of the popular video game "DOA: Dead or Alive" (2007), which cast her as an American wrestler who competes in an international fighting competition. The feature was released to little acclaim or commercial success.

Finally finding her niche, Pressly joined the cast of "My Name is Earl" (NBC, 2005-09) and at long last earned mainstream recognition. As Joy, Pressly threw off whatever reins held back her previous comic turns and dove headfirst to play the crass, selfish, hot-heated ex-wife of a small-time crook (Jason Lee), who wins the lottery and tries to rectify all the bad things he has done in life. The role called for Pressly to engage in numerous fistfights while calling anyone she didn't like "dummy," though when push came to shove, Joy was highly protective of her kids.

As the show progressed, her character was shown in a slightly more sympathetic light, which allowed Pressly to net a host of award nominations while winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy in 2007. Meanwhile, in 2006, Pressly became engaged to her longtime boyfriend, DJ Eric Calvo, with whom she had a son, Dezi James, in 2007, though the following year the couple split. Turning toward animated features, Pressly lent her distinctive voice to an animated character in the feature film version of "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" (2008), starring Jim Carrey and Steve Carell.

In 2008, she added another television award nomination to her growing collection when the Hollywood Foreign Press made her a Golden Globe nominee for "Earl," though by the following year the show had been canceled due to low ratings.

Returning to features, she co-starred opposite Paul Rudd and Jason Segal in the hit comedy "I Love You, Man" (2009), and went on to appear in episodes of "Rules of Engagement" (CBS, 2007-13) and "Raising Hope" (Fox, 2010-14). In the made-for-television movie, "Beauty and the Briefcase" (ABC Family, 2010), Pressly took a backseat to Hilary Duff, while in her personal life she married entertainment lawyer, Simran Singh, in 2009, only to file for divorce 16 months later. Back in a regular series role, Pressly starred as an overprotective mother struggling to raise her daughter (Kristi Lauren) the right way on the short-lived sitcom "I Hate My Teenage Daughter" (Fox, 2011-12).

Credits

The Re-Education of Molly Singer

Actor
Brenda
Movie
2023

Welcome to FlatchStream

Actor
Barb Flatch
Series
2022
62%

Access Daily

Guest
Show
2019

STEVE on Watch

Guest
Talk
2017

The Guest BookStream

Guest Star
Christy
Series
2017
64%

Live with Kelly and Ryan

Guest
Talk
2017

Hollywood Medium With Tyler HenryStream

Guest Star
Reality
2016

Rupaul's Drag Race: RuVealed

Guest Star
Show
2015

Mom: Extras

Actor
Show
2014

Jennifer FallsStream

Actor
Jennifer Doyle
Series
2014
56%

A Haunted House 2Stream

Actor
Megan
Movie
2014
8%

Making the Rules

Actor
Abby
Movie
2014

Finders Keepers

Actor
Alyson Simon
Movie
2014

MomStream

Actor
Jill
Series
2013

MomStream

Guest Star
Jill Kendall
Series
2013

The Queen Latifah Show

Guest
Talk
2013

Hollywood Game Night

Guest
Game Show
2013

Blue Collar Comedy: Ten Years of Funny

Host
Show
2012

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

Actor
Lola Sombrero
Movie
2012

I Hate My Teenage Daughter

Actor
Annie
Series
2011
10%

LIVE with Kelly

Guest
Talk
2011

6 Month Rule

Actor
Claire
Movie
2011

The Talk

Guest
Talk
2010

Raising HopeStream

Guest Star
Series
2010
96%

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

Melissa & JoeyStream

Guest Star
Meredith
Series
2010

Hot in ClevelandStream

Guest Star
Kelly
Series
2010

Blue Collar Comedy: Ten Years of Funny

Host
Show
2010

Blue Collar Comedy: Ten Years of Funny

Host
Show
2010

Beauty & the Briefcase

Actor
Kate White
Movie
2010

Sandra Brown's Smoke Screen

Actor
Britt Shelley
Movie
2010

Venus and Vegas

Actor
Tara
Movie
2010

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Guest
Talk
2009

I Love You, ManStream

Actor
Denise
Movie
2009
83%

Teen Choice 2008

Guest
Show
2008

The Wendy Williams Show

Actor
Talk
2008

Celebrity Family Feud

Contestant
Show
2008

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!Stream

Voice
Mrs. Quilligan
Movie
2008
79%

Chelsea Lately

Guest
Talk
2007

Rules of EngagementStream

Guest Star
Pam
Series
2007

D.O.A.: Dead or Alive

Actor
Tina Armstrong
Movie
2006

DOA: Dead or Alive

Actor
Tina Armstrong
Movie
2006

2005 Radio Music Awards

Host
Show
2005

My Name Is EarlStream

Actor
Joy Darville Turner
Series
2005
82%

The Martha Stewart Show

Guest
Reality
2005

The Starlet

Guest Star
Show
2005

The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

Guest
Talk
2005

Cruel World

Actor
Catherine
Movie
2005

Bachelor Party Vegas

Self
Movie
2005

Death to the Supermodels

Actor
Movie
2005

EntourageStream

Guest Star
Herself
Series
2004
65%

Tavis Smiley

Guest
Talk
2004

Karate Dog

Actor
Ashley Wilkenson
Movie
2004

TorqueStream

Actor
China
Movie
2004
22%

Evel KnievelStream

Actor
Linda Bork
Movie
2004

Las VegasStream

Guest Star
Series
2003

Two and a Half MenStream

Guest Star
Tammy
Series
2003
65%

Happy Family

Actor
Alex
Show
2003

Happy Family

Guest Star
Alex
Show
2003

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Guest
Talk
2003

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

Guest
Talk
2003

FastlaneStream

Guest Star
Series
2002
47%

The Twilight ZoneStream

Actor
Series
2002

Demon Island

Actor
Tina
Movie
2002

Tomcats

Actor
Tricia
Movie
2001

Joe DirtStream

Actor
Jill
Movie
2001
9%

Not Another Teen MovieStream

Actor
Priscilla
Movie
2001
31%

TickerStream

Actor
Claire Manning
Movie
2001

Entertainment Studios.com

Guest
Show
2000

Best Actress

Actor
Karen Kroll
Movie
2000

Poor White Trash

Actor
Sandy Lake
Movie
2000

100 Girls

Actor
Cynthia
Movie
2000

Jack & Jill

Actor
Audrey Griffin
Show
1999

Coyote Moon

Actor
Dottie Matthews
Movie
1999

Desert Heat

Actor
Dottie Matthews
Movie
1999

Trash

Actor
C.J. Callum
Movie
1999

BeckerStream

Guest Star
Series
1998

CharmedStream

Guest Star
Series
1998

Mortal Kombat: Conquest

Guest Star
Show
1998

Push

Actor
Show
1998

RingmasterStream

Actor
Angel Zorzak
Movie
1998
21%

NightManStream

Guest Star
Yvette
Series
1997

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

Poison Ivy: The New Seduction

Actor
Violet
Movie
1997

Journey: The Absolution

Actor
Allison Wade
Movie
1997

Access Hollywood

Guest
News
1996

Entertainers: With Byron Allen

Guest
Show
1994

Extra

Guest
News
1994

Late Night With Conan O'Brien

Guest
Talk
1993

Late Show With David Letterman

Guest
Talk
1993

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

Guest
Talk
1992

Entertainment Tonight

Guest
News
1981

Saturday Night LiveStream

Host
Series
1975

Today

Guest
News
1952

News aboutJaime Pressly