Born and raised in Michigan, Perkins fell in love with theater while attending Western Michigan University. Relocating to Hollywood, she worked various jobs while auditioning for roles. Eventually she began winning small one-off roles on procedural dramas and sitcoms, but her career gained little traction for years. Things seemed to be picking up when she snagged a stint on the Ted Danson comedy "Help Me Help You" (ABC, 2006), but the series was quickly cancelled. In 2009, Perkins finally had a breakthrough year, guesting on a number of shows, including the sitcoms "Gary Unmarried" and "'Til Death," and beginning an occasional role as a coroner on the investigative drama "NCIS: Los Angeles" (CBS, 2009-). Perkins, sporting her distinctive reddish-blonde bob, then found coveted "series regular" status when she signed on to "Episodes" as network exec Carol Rance, a calculating corporate player who catches the other characters off guard with her occasional bouts of empathy. Although the show's third season was delayed in late 2012, Perkins once again suited up as Carol, thanks to a small but devoted following.