Gertz was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 28th, 1965 to Walter and Sharyn Gertz. She was brought up in the Jewish religion. She attended Main East High School in Park Ride, Illinois. She went on to major in drama at New York University. She then moved to Los Angeles to star in the television series Square Pegs. She became best known for her role as Dr. Melissa Reeves in the Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton movie Twister in 1996. In 2000, she started a stint on Ally McBeal as Kimmi Bishop. She appeared on four episodes of the series. When the Emmy's were announced on July 12th, 2001, Jami's name was on the ballot for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series but lost the award to Jean Smart. In 2002, she returned to TV with her own sitcom, Still Standing. She currenty lives in Los Angeles with her husband Tony Ressler and her children Oliver, Nicholas, and Theo.