Jaime Elizabeth Pressly (born July 30, 1977) is an American actress and model. She is best known for playing Joy Turner on the NBC sitcom My Name Is Earl, for which she was nominated for two Emmy Awards (winning one) as well as a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She has also appeared in films such as Poison Ivy: The New Seduction, Joe Dirt, DOA: Dead or Alive and I Love You, Man.
Pressly was born in Kinston, North Carolina, the daughter of Brenda Sue (née Smith), a dance instructor, and James Liston Pressly, a car salesman. She has two siblings: sister Jessica and brother James Liston Pressly, Jr. She spent 11 years studying gymnastics and dancing.
Pressly attended Costa Mesa High School in California, where her mother had moved while her parents were going through a divorce. By age 14, she had appeared on her first cover ('Teen Magazine) and had become the official spokesmodel for the International Cover Model Search and soon after began to get recognition for modeling in the USA, as well as in Italy and Japan. Pressly subsequently sought and succeeded in having herself legally emancipated from her parents at the age of 15 so she could travel to Japan as neither of her parents could make the trip.
A family legend from Pressly's grandmother claims they are distant relatives of singer Elvis Presley, though the story has not been proven.
Pressly starred as "Violet" in the 1997 film Poison Ivy: The New Seduction. In 1998 she starred as "Nikki" on the short-lived TV series "Push", and also played a recurring role as the undead assassin Mika in the TV action series Mortal Kombat: Conquest. From 1999 to 2001, Pressly starred as "Audrey" on the drama series Jack and Jill.
Pressly starred in the independent film Poor White Trash, playing scheming gold-digger Sandy Lake. She subsequently appeared in a number of films, including Not Another Teen Movie (playing Priscilla, a high school cheerleader) and Torque, as a crazed, motorcycle-riding criminal.
In 2001, she was made the new spokesmodel for Liz Claiborne Cosmetics and its fragrance Lucky You. In 2002, she was ranked #8 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World". In 2003, she launched a lingerie line, J'Aime, which later became a full sleepwear and ready-to-wear line. In 2006, Maxim magazine named her #34 on its annual list; she is also featured in its gallery. Pressly posed nude for the March 1998 and February 2004 issues of Playboy. She also appeared nude in the May 2006 issue of Allure.
Pressly guest starred in episodes of several TV shows. In an episode of the WB series Charmed, she played Mylie, a mermaid trying to find love; (Alyssa Milano, who played Phoebe, later guest starred on My Name is Earl.) Other series in which Pressly guest starred were The Twilight Zone, Fastlane, Las Vegas, Becker, Night Man and Silk Stalkings. She also appeared in an episode of the prank series Punk'd.
In 2005, Pressly was cast in the NBC sitcom My Name Is Earl, as Joy Turner. In 2007 she won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on the show. She has also been nominated for several other awards.
Friends since 1996, she started dating DJ Eric Calvo (a.k.a. DJ Eric Cubeechee) in 2004. After Pressly became pregnant, the two were engaged in October 2006. Pressly gave birth on May 11, 2007 at 7:31 a.m. in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to their first child Dezi James Calvo. In a February 2007 interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Pressly said she wants the child to be bilingual (English/Spanish) to reflect Calvo's Cuban heritage. Pressly told People magazine the name is part of a running joke, as Cuban-American Calvo does a Desi Arnaz impersonation, calling Pressly "Luuucy" when he comes home at night. In November 2008 the couple announced their separation.
In July 2009, Pressly became engaged to entertainment lawyer Simran Singh. They married on September 26, 2009 at the Dick Clark Estate. Guests, including Pressly's two-year-old son Dezi James, attended the ceremony on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. On January 21, 2011, Pressly filed for divorce from Singh, citing irreconcilable differences.