Joi Lansing began modeling in her teens and at the age of 14, was signed to an acting contract at MGM Studios, where she completed high school on the studio lot. Lansing was often cast in bombshell roles similar to those played by her 1950's contemporaries, Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren. Joi was frequently clad in skimpy costumes and bikinis that accentuated her attractive figure.
After Lansing's film career began in 1948, she played an uncredited role in MGM's Singin' in the Rain in 1952. She received top billing in Hot Cars (1956) and in the opening sequence of Orson Welles's Touch of Evil (1958), she appeared as Zita, the dancer who dies at the end of the films famous first tracking shot, during which her character exclaims to a border guard, "I keep hearing this ticking noise inside my head!" Lansing had a brief role as an astronaut's girlfriend in the 1958 sci-fi classic Queen of Outer Space. During the 1950s, she starred in short musical films for the Scopitone video-jukebox system. Her recorded songs include "The Web of Love" and "The Silencers".
By 1956, Joi Lansing had appeared in more than 200 television shows, including The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, I Love Lucy, State Trooper, This Man Dawson, Maverick and she had a recurring role in The Beverly Hillbillies. She is perhaps best known as Shirley Swanson in The Bob Cummings Show, plus she appeared as the title character in "Superman's Wife," a 1958 episode of The Adventures of Superman.
As a Mormon, Lansing did not drink or smoke and although she was often photographed in bikinis and swimsuits; she never posed nude. Joi Lansing died from breast cancer at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California in 1972 at the age of 43.