Actress Emily Procter built a strong career out of her Steel Magnolia-style Southern charm. When the Raleigh, North Carolina, native tried to get into the theater department at East Carolina University, they told the future "CSI: Miami" star that they were full. Procter studied journalism and dance instead and got a job as a weather girl on the Greenville CBS affiliate while working on her degrees. She moved to Los Angeles after graduation and her father paid for her acting classes for two years. Her first Hollywood speaking role was an appearance in Tobey Maguire's extremely short-lived series "Great Scott" (Fox, 1992). The former sorority girl and soup kitchen volunteer ironically got early breaks with a small role in "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995) and an appearance that year on NBC's powerhouse sitcom "Friends." Procter then made a string of TV guest appearances, including "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" and "Early Edition." She also played an anchorwoman on a 1997 episode of the NBC sit-com "Just Shoot Me." Her movie credentials quickly started piling up with a role as one of Tom Cruise's ex-girlfriends in "Jerry Maguire" (1996), followed by a part in the well-reviewed HBO movie "Breast Men" (1997) opposite David Schwimmer. The late '90s brought many movie roles Procter's way, including: "The Girl Gets M " (1997) with Tony Danza, the telepic "The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion" (1997): "Family Plan" (1998) with Leslie Nielsen, Judge Reinhold and Joely Fischer; the indie "Kingdom Come" (1999) and the well-reviewed "Guinevere" (1999) as one of Stephen Rea's many former students/paramours. She then appeared in the hair industry mockumentary "The Big Tease" (1999) and "Forever Fabulous" (2000) with Jean Smart. Her star rose to new heights in 2000, when she joined "The West Wing," cast in a breakout role as the endearingly ultra-verbal, tough-minded aide Ainsley Hayes, the lone Republican on Jeb Bartlett's White House staff, as well as the only potential love interest to ignite real sparks with Rob Lowe's character, Sam Seaborn. As Ainsley provided a conservative political counterpoint to the left-leaning main characters, many "West Wing" fans mourned her quick and unexplained departure following the 2002 season. Off-screen, Procter's star was on the rise: she soon reappeared as the gorgeous, tough, gun-toting Detective Calleigh Duquesne on the forensic franchise spin-off "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 2002 -11), a role that made her a household name, particularly after her character received more screen time following first-season lead Kim Delany's departure. She next co-starred alongside Martin Lawrence in "Big Momma's House 2" (2006), playing a clueless Southern belle who hires the FBI agent disguised as Big Momma to be a nanny to her children.