After getting her start on daytime television, the actress went on to appear in action films like "Universal Soldier" (1992) and had a memorable role in the blockbuster comedy "While You Were Sleeping" (1995) as the suspicious girlfriend of a comatose man (Peter Gallagher). Walker continued to guest star on hit dramas until she finally scored the lead on the series "Profiler" (NBC, 1996-2000), playing a tormented forensic psychologist who used her analytical skills to solve cases while tracking down a serial killer. She tackled yet another tough-as-nails role on the hit show "Sons of Anarchy" (FX Network, 2008- ) as a vengeful federal agent with sociopathic tendencies. After years of portraying intense characters, Walker displayed a breezier side as a woman trying to balance her life as a single mother and a police detective on the Lifetime series "The Protector" (2011- ), a role where she proved her mettle as one of television's most compelling and versatile actresses.
Born on Aug. 25, 1961 in Tullahoma, TN, Walker was raised in Santa Fe, NM, by her scientist father and attorney mother. The future star studied biology and chemistry at the University of California at Santa Cruz before working for a genetic firm in San Francisco. Walker became interested in theater while spending a semester at Richmond College of the Arts in London, but failed to pursue the idea further and went on to graduate with a science degree. Walker stayed in the genetic engineering field until a fortuitous meeting in Los Angeles with a producer who gave her an uncredited part in a small film. While her role in the movie ended up on the cutting room floor, Walker's interest in acting professionally intensified. She became a series regular on the daytime soap opera "Santa Barbara" (NBC, 1984-93) and on the crime drama "True Blue" (NBC, 1989-90) as a police officer. Walker also appeared in films such as the cult hit "Singles" (1992) and had a starring role in the sci-fi action feature "Universal Soldier" (1992), as Jean-Claude Van Damme's love interest. In the early 1990s, Walker had an opportunity to test for the lead roles of "Rachel" and "Monica" for the comedy series "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004), but she turned it down for a featured role in the comedy "Steal Big Steal Little" (1995).
In 1995, Walker appeared in the hit film "While You Were Sleeping," a comedy of mistaken identities starring Sandra Bullock as a train ticket collector who pretends to be engaged to an unconscious man (Peter Gallagher), but is unknowingly attracted to his brother (Bill Pullman). She took top billing on the crime drama series "Profiler" (NBC, 1996-2000) as Dr. Sam Waters, a forensic psychologist that helps solves crimes using her gift of being able to see other people's visions. While she performed her job to help the FBI, Walker's character was also on the hunt to find the man who killed her husband. Her role on "Profiler" led to numerous guest stints on popular drama series such as "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000- ), "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010), and "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-08). Walker also received praise for her work behind-the-scenes, producing the documentary "For Norman Wherever You Are" (2005), about her real-life experiences helping a homeless woman and her one-year-old baby get off the streets of Los Angeles. To showcase her range, Walker starred on "Tell Me You Love Me" (HBO, 2007), a raw and honest character-driven drama about people in relationships. She went back to playing tough-as-nails characters with a recurring role on "Sons of Anarchy," playing a ruthless ATF agent who stops at nothing to bring down the titular outlaw motorcycle club. Walker shifted gears on the Lifetime drama series "The Protector," tackling the warmer and more likeable role of a police detective and single mother trying to raise two sons.