Jodie Turner-Smith was born in Peterborough, England, to Jamaican immigrant parents on September 7, 1986. Her family eventually moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland, where Turner-Smith attended Gaithersburg High School. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008.
Turner-Smith briefly worked as a banker in Pennsylvania before she was introduced to Pharrell Williams through a mutual friend at a N.E.R.D concert. Williams convinced her to move to Los Angeles and become a model.
Her first role was as a siren on the HBO series True Blood in 2013. Turner-Smith later landed a leading role as Sergeant Azima Kandie on the TNT series The Last Ship in 2017. She followed up with TV roles as Melantha Jhirl on the Netflix series Nightflyers in 2018 and Josie on the Cinemax show Jett in 2019.
Turner-Smith was first linked to Joshua Jackson in November 2018 after the pair were spotted holding hands. Us Weekly confirmed in December 2019 that the couple had secretly married and are expecting their first child together.