Procter was adopted as an infant by William Procter, a general practitioner, and Barbara Jones, a volunteer worker, and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. She was 3-years-old when her parents divorced. She has an older brother, Whit, who is also adopted.
Procter is a graduate of Ravenscroft School in Raleigh. While at East Carolina University she became a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. After she received her degrees in journalism and dance at East Carolina, she was employed as a television weather anchor at WNCT-TV in Greenville, North Carolina.
After Procter moved to Los Angeles, her father provided the funds for acting school for two years. Before even graduating, she had already landed a number of small roles in films such as Cameron Crowe's sports romantic comedy-drama Jerry Maguire (1996) and the TV movie Breast Men (1997), where she appeared opposite David Schwimmer and Chris Cooper. In 1996, Procter guest-starred in ABC's Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, where she played Lana Lang. She briefly appeared in the TV movie The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! (1997) as Mavis. She also appeared in the drama Body Shots (1999) as Whitney Bryant.
From 2000 to 2002 and again in 2006, Procter had a recurring guest role as Associate White House Counsel Ainsley Hayes on the NBC political drama The West Wing and she also played a brief love interest of Matt LeBlanc's character Joey on the NBC sitcom Friends.
Procter is friends with actress Jorja Fox, one of the stars of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, who persuaded her to audition to star as Calleigh Duquesne in the spin-off show CSI: Miami, which ran on CBS for 10 seasons from September 23, 2002 to April 8, 2012.
Procter participated in 2007's Live Earth by reading (along with several other actresses) an essay written by Michelle Gardner-Quinn while Gardner-Quinn was a student at the University of Vermont.
In February 2013, Procter had a recurring role in the USA Network crime drama White Collar for the final two episodes of the fourth season as Amanda Callaway from Atlanta, who is promoted to head of the FBI's white collar crimes division in New York City.
Procter prefers to keep her personal life private. She often enjoys taking holidays with her sister, who is a professional chef. She jogs for two hours a day, five days a week, and has taken part in various triathlons and marathons. Procter is an avid poker player and she learned to play the game as a child when her father would play a game called 'penny poker' with her, and has participated in at least one celebrity poker tournament. Procter also sings in a 1980s cover band formerly called White Lightning, which is now renamed Motion. Procter has volunteered with the Young Storytellers Program, and helps out at homeless shelters.
Procter's interests include interior decoration and antiques, putting this to practical use in the 1921 Spanish-style home that she owns in Los Angeles. During the 2007-2008 WGA strike, she designed a home for a friend in Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands. In Peoplemagazine's Country Special of March 2009, it was revealed she decorated Kenny Chesney's home in Malibu. She was also a guest judge on the Home & Garden Television show Summer Showdown.
Procter has been in a relationship with musician Paul Bryan since 2008. On December 8, 2010, she gave birth to their daughter Philippa Frances (called "Pippa"). Her pregnancy was not written into the ninth season of CSI: Miami and her appearances on the show were limited for the entire season.
- Emily who portrays as Tiffany Dawl in the 1999 movie Forever Fabulous with another CSI who plays Sara Sidle by Jorja Fox.