Jaime Pressly

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Jaime Pressly
Pressly in 2008
Jaime Elizabeth Pressly

(1977-07-30) July 30, 1977 (age 46)
  • Actress
  • model
Years active1991–present
Simran Singh
(m. 2009; div. 2011)
Partner(s)Eric Calvo (2005-2008)
Hamzi Hijazi

Jaime Elizabeth Pressly (born July 30, 1977)[1] is an American actress and model. Known for her role as Joy Turner on the NBC sitcom My Name Is Earl (2005–2009), she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and garnered nominations for a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She has appeared in films including: Jerry Springer's Ringmaster (1998), Not Another Teen Movie (2001), Joe Dirt (2001), I Love You, Man (2009), and A Haunted House 2 (2014). For her portrayal of Jill Kendall on the CBS sitcom Mom (2014–2021), she was nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Early life and modeling[edit]

Pressly was born in Kinston, North Carolina,[1] the daughter of Brenda Sue (née Smith), a dance instructor, and James Liston Pressly, a car salesman. In 1992, she moved with her family to Costa Mesa, California, where she spent the first semester of her high school sophomore year.[2] She spent her childhood and early teenage years training as a gymnast, which led her to modeling jobs.[3] At age 14, she appeared on her first cover, Teen Magazine,[4] and became the spokesmodel for the International Cover Model Search.[5] At 15, she dropped out of school and went to Japan on a modeling contract.[2] She succeeded in having herself legally emancipated from her parents at 15 so she could travel to Japan, as neither of her parents could make the trip.[2]

Acting career[edit]

1997–2004: Career beginnings[edit]

After making an uncredited appearance in Baywatch in 1995, followed by filming a cameo in the film Mercenary in 1996, Pressly starred as Violet, a vengeful seductress, in the 1997 direct-to-DVD film Poison Ivy: The New Seduction, the third installment of the Poison Ivy series. After a small role in the teen cult classic Can't Hardly Wait, television appearances followed, with guest roles in the short-lived Push and Mortal Kombat: Conquest. She went on to play one of the leads in Jack & Jill, which aired for two seasons, from September 26, 1999, to April 15, 2001, on The WB. Pressly headlined the independent film Poor White Trash (2000), playing scheming gold-digger Sandy Lake, and appeared in three 2001 theatrical releases aimed at a teenage audience, which despite varying degrees of success, helped her receive more exposure. The parody film Not Another Teen Movie, most notably, featured her as Priscilla, a high school cheerleader opposite Chris Evans, while she took on the roles of a young wife in the sex comedy Tomcats and that of a Southern love interest in the comedy Joe Dirt, opposite David Spade.[6]

In 2002, Pressly starred as a college student trapped in a haunted island in the independent horror film Demon Island. Felix Vasquez of Cinema Crazed regarded it as a guilty pleasure and stated: "[She] does what she can with her character and comes off as a rather charming character".[7] She next portrayed a crazed, motorcycle-riding criminal in the action thriller Torque (2004), alongside Ice Cube. In a profile, The New Yorker, describing this phase of her career, asserted: "She is typically cast on the strength of her looks and her Southern sassiness, and she has had girlfriend roles in several forgettable teensploitation flicks".[8]

2005–2009: Breakthrough[edit]

Pressly at the premiere of I Love You, Man in 2009

Between 2005 and 2009, Pressly played Joy Turner, the pessimistic, cold-hearted, stubborn and vain ex-wife of a small-time thief, in the NBC sitcom My Name Is Earl, which was a success with critics and audiences. She garnered nominations for a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award, and in 2007, she won a Primetime Emmy Award[9] for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on the show.[10] Pressly once called her role her "greatest release" and thanked creator Greg Garcia for restoring her faith in the business. She remarked: "[The series] came at a time when I was questioning whether this was the path I wanted to continue following. I was tired of living out of my suitcase, coming and going all the time. I wanted a little normalcy in my life."[11]

During the early run of My Name is Earl, Pressly produced and took on the role of a homicidal magazine editor in the independent film Death to the Supermodels (2005), a role she compared to that of Reese Witherspoon in Election.[8] In his review for the film, Scott Weinberg of DVDTalk.com, wrote: "Jaime Pressly is a funny, funny woman. To those of you My Name is Earl fans who are just now discovering the juicy talents of the perpetually sneering, eye-rolling, attitude machine known as Jaime Pressly, I'd recommend you check out her work in flicks like Ringmaster, Tomcats, Joe Dirt, Torque, and Not Another Teen Movie. Basically, if we were giving out an award for "the consistently best thing in a series of generally atrocious comedies," Jaime would be walking home with that prize, no sweat. Regardless of how bad the movie is [...] Jaime always seems like a kooky and kinetic cartoon character who somehow figured out how to become flesh & blood. Yes, she's sexy and all that, but Jaime Pressly is also funny, and that just amplifies all her other assets".[12]

In DOA: Dead or Alive (2006), a British-German-American martial arts action film, Pressly starred as one of four female fighters working together to uncover the secret that the organizer of an invitational martial arts contest is trying to hide. While the film was relatively successful on some markets, it only found a limited audience in North America.[13] In 2006, she also hosted the first annual VH1 Rock Honors,[14] and an episode of Saturday Night Live, and guest-starred on MADtv, playing Hillary Clinton in a parody of My Name Is Earl, "My Name Is Dubya", in which George W. Bush (Frank Caliendo) makes a list of all the bad things he has done in the past and rectifies them one by one.[15] She voiced a bird in the animated comedy film Horton Hears a Who! (2008).[16]

In I Love You, Man (2009), Pressly starred opposite Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, as the best friend of a bride-to-be and one half of a volatile married couple.[17] The film received critical acclaim and was a box office success, grossing US$92 million worldwide.[18][19] Rolling Stone found her "terrific" in her role, asserting: "Her battles with [her on-screen husband] have genuine comic bite".[20]

2010–present: Continued television roles[edit]

The ABC Family television film Beauty & the Briefcase (2010), co-starring Hilary Duff, featured Pressly as a primary editor at Cosmopolitan magazine. The premiere received 2.4 million viewers attracting a strong female audience that drove the network to an all-time high in viewers.[21] Smoke Screen, another 2010 television film, saw her star as a reporter finding herself in the middle of a murder investigation when she wakes up next to a dead body. In 2010, Pressly also guest-starred in two episodes of the CBS comedy Rules of Engagement, as a possible surrogate mother for Jeff and Audrey (Patrick Warburton and Megyn Price).[22]

In 6 Month Rule (2011), an independent film released for limited theaters and digital markets,[23] Pressly played what was described as a "harridan of an ex-fiancée" by the New York Times.[24] She appeared in the interactive educational children's musical comedy The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure (2012), as a flamenco dancer riding a giant flying sombrero. Budgeted at US$20 million, the film only made US$445,000 in more than 2,000 screens during its opening weekend.[25] Pressly next had regular roles in two short-lived series. The Fox sitcom I Hate My Teenage Daughter (2011–2012) saw her portray a mother fearing her daughter is turning into the kind of girl who tormented her in high school, while the TV Land comedy Jennifer Falls (2014) featured her as a single mother, who after being fired from a high-paying job, becomes a waitress in her brother's bar.[26]

Pressly obtained leading roles in three 2014 film releases. In A Haunted House 2, Pressly starred as a mother of two and one half of an interracial couple, alongside Marlon Wayans. She had known Wayans for 15 years prior filming and the project marked the first time they worked together. Describing the process, she said: "It was a match made in heaven. It really was. We're both high energy, and we both like to do something new every take, and when you do comedy like this, where you get to improv the majority of the time, it's about trying to one-up each other, and that makes for a really great comedy".[27] The film was panned by critics, but was a decent box office success.[28] She starred opposite singer Robin Thicke in the romantic comedy Making the Rules, which was filmed in 2012.[29] Finders Keepers, a television horror film, saw Pressly play a divorced mother whose life is thrown into turmoil when her young daughter becomes obsessed with an evil doll left behind by the previous owners.[30]

From 2014 to 2021, Pressly portrayed Jill Kendall, a wealthy socialite and alcoholic, in the CBS sitcom Mom.[31] Mom was met with widespread critical acclaim and ran for eight seasons.[32] Created and executive produced by Chuck Lorre, the show followed a group of women recovering from addiction.[32] On August 4, 2022, Fox announced that Pressly had joined the cast of the sitcom Welcome to Flatch as a series regular for the second season.[33]

Other ventures[edit]


In 2003, Pressly launched a lingerie line, J'aime by Jaime Pressly, and expanded it to clothing and sleepwear.[34][35] In 2007, People magazine called her spring/summer clothing line a "sophisticated and star-studded fashion show" and "one of the biggest shows of L.A. Fashion Week."[36] In spring 2008, she launched a second clothing line, J'aime Collection.[37] "I've always had an interest in design, and I have always loved creating things," Pressly said in an interview with Redbook in 2008.[37] She ended her clothing lines in September 2008.[38]

In the media[edit]

In a 2008 interview with Redbook magazine, Pressly credited her success for "lifelong willingness to defy convention."[37]

Pressly's appearance has often been the subject of media attention.[39] She has appeared on several lists for world's most beautiful or sexiest women. Her changing looks and style have received noteworthy praise from periodicals such as InStyle.[40][41][42]

In 2000, she became a spokesmodel for Liz Claiborne Cosmetics and advertised the company's fragrance "Lucky You". In 2008, she appeared in an infomercial for Susan Lucci's "Youthful Essence" personal microdermabrasion kit, and an advertisement for Axe in 2010.[43][44] She has graced the covers of numerous magazines, including InStyle Weddings, Ocean Drive, Health, Esquire, Redbook, Shape, Stuff, Maxim and Playboy.[45]

Personal life[edit]

Pressly has revealed in interviews that she briefly struggled with bulimia as a teenager.[6]

In 2005, she began dating Eric Calvo. They were friends for more than nine years prior. On May 11, 2007, in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Pressly gave birth to their son.[46] In November 2008, the couple announced their separation.[47]

Nine months later, in July 2009, Pressly announced her engagement to entertainment lawyer Simran Singh.[48] They married on September 26, 2009, at the Dick Clark estate, on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.[49] On January 21, 2011, Pressly filed for divorce from Singh, citing irreconcilable differences.[50][51] The divorce was finalized in November 2011.[52]

In October 2017, Pressly gave birth to twin sons with her longtime boyfriend Hamzi Hijazi.[53]

Legal issues[edit]

On January 5, 2011, two weeks before filing for divorce, Pressly was arrested in Santa Monica, California, for suspicion of driving under the influence.[54] She eventually pleaded no contest and received three years of informal probation.[54]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 Mercenary Pre-teen American Girl
1997 Poison Ivy: The New Seduction Violet
The Journey: Absolution Allison
Against the Law Sally
1998 Can't Hardly Wait Beth Credited as "Jamie Pressly"
Ringmaster Angel Zorzak
1999 Inferno Dottie Matthews
2000 100 Girls Cynthia
Poor White Trash Sandy Lake
2001 Not Another Teen Movie Priscilla
Ticker Claire Manning
Joe Dirt Jill
Tomcats Tricia
2002 Demon Island Tina
2004 Torque China
2005 Death to the Supermodels Tiffany Courtney Producer
2006 Bachelor Party Vegas Herself
DOA: Dead or Alive Tina Armstrong
2008 Horton Hears a Who! Mrs. Quilligan Voice
2009 I Love You, Man Denise McLean
2011 6 Month Rule Claire
2012 The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure Lola Sombrero
2014 A Haunted House 2 Megan
Making the Rules Abby Executive producer
2017 Austin Found Crystal Clemens
2023 The Re-Education of Molly Singer Brenda


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Baywatch Beach Girl Episode: "Promised Land"
1998 Push Nikki Lang Main cast
Silk Stalkings Kara Delaney Episode: "Teacher's Pet"
Night Man Yvette Episode: "Double Vision"
1998–99 Mortal Kombat: Conquest Mika 3 episodes
1999–2001 Jack & Jill Audrey Griffin Main cast
2000 Best Actress Karen Kroll TV movie
2001 Going to California Kylie Guartz Episode: "This Year's Model"
2002 Charmed Mylie Episode: "A Witch's Tail, Part 1"
The Twilight Zone Cindy Episode: "Sensuous Cindy"
The Johnny Chronicles Charlie TV movie
2003 Fastlane Sara Matthews Episode: "Strap On"
Becker Grace Episode: "Sister Spoils the Turkey"
2004 Happy Family Alex Recurring
The Karate Dog Ashley Wilkenson TV movie
Evel Knievel Linda Bork TV movie
2005 Entourage Herself Episode: "My Maserati Does 185"
2005–09 My Name Is Earl Joy Turner Main cast (96 episodes)
2006 Mad TV Herself Episode: "11.13"
Las Vegas Kerry Kowalski Episode: "Coyote Ugly"
Saturday Night Live Herself/host Episode: "Jaime Pressly/Corrine Bailey Rae"
2009 Rex Jaime TV movie
2010 Beauty & the Briefcase Kate White TV movie
Rules of Engagement [55] Pam Milton 2 episodes
Smoke Screen Britt Shelley TV movie
Livin' on a Prayer Steph TV movie
2011–13 Raising Hope Donna 3 episodes
2011–12 I Hate My Teenage Daughter Annie Watson Main cast (13 episodes)
2012 Bad Girls Melinda TV movie
The Greatest Footie Ads Ever Deneice TV movie
2013 Two and a Half Men Tammy 2 episodes
Phineas and Ferb Rosie Voice, Episode: "Mind Share"
Melissa & Joey Meredith Episode: "A New Kind of Christmas"[56]
2014 Hollywood Game Night Herself Episode: "50 Charades of Grey"
RuPaul's Drag Race Herself (Guest Judge) Episode: "Drag Queens of Comedy"
Hot in Cleveland Kelly Episode: "Surprise!"
Jennifer Falls Jennifer Doyle Main cast
Finders Keepers Alyson Simon TV movie
2014–21 Mom Jill Kendall 127 episodes
Recurring role (season 2)
Main cast (season 3–8)
2017 The Guest Book Christy Episode: "Story Four"
2018 BoJack Horseman Sadie 2 episodes
2022 Welcome to Flatch Barb Flatch Main cast, season 2
2023 The Conners Employer at Drive America Tire Company season 5 episode 14

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Saints Row 2 Jessica Parish Voice

Music videos[edit]

Year Artist Song
2001 Dave Matthews Band The Space Between
2002 Aerosmith Girls of Summer
Marilyn Manson Tainted Love
2003 Youngbloodz Lean Low
2010 Jaron Lowenstein Pray For You
2013 Michael Bublé It's a Beautiful Day

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result
2002 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Line in a Movie ("Oh, it's already been broughten!") Not Another Teen Movie Nominated
2002 Teen Choice Awards Choice Breakout Performance – Film Nominated
2006 Gold Derby Awards TV Breakthrough Performer of the Year Nominated
TV Comedy Series Supporting Actress of the Year My Name Is Earl Won
Online Film & Television Association Best Supporting Actress in a Television Comedy Series Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Television Comedy Series Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Television Actress Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2007 Won
Gold Derby Awards TV Comedy Series Supporting Actress of the Year Nominated
Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actress – Comedy Series Won
Online Film & Television Association Best Supporting Actress in a Television Comedy Series Won
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or TV Film Nominated
2008 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Television Actress – Comedy Nominated
2010 Denver Film Critics Society Best Acting Ensemble I Love You, Man Nominated
2021 Critics' Choice Awards Best Television Comedy Series Supporting Actress Mom Nominated


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External links[edit]