Born on July 15, 1972, in Kansas City, KS, Foley is the oldest of three sons. Thanks to his father's job as an international banker, Foley grew up all over the world, spending the most time in Sydney, Australia and Tokyo, Japan. He caught the acting bug at age six after his mother took him to see the children's musical Annie. Foley made his theatrical debut only a few years later, singing "I'll Do Anything" in his school's production of Oliver. When he was a teenager, his family settled in St. Louis, MO, where he participated in community and regional theater. Shortly after graduating high school, he bought a one-way plane ticket to Hollywood.
Foley's big break came when he landed a role on the WB's teen drama Dawson's Creek, playing all-American high school quarterback Cliff Elliot, Dawson's (James Van Der Beek) romantic rival. Originally hired to guest star in the series' first three episodes, Foley hung around for five.
With his popularity steadily increasing, WB executives cast Foley in Felicity, a one-hour drama about a college freshman who follows her lifelong crush from their California high school to a university in New York City. Originally hired to portray the object of Felicity's (Keri Russell) affection, Foley stepped in to play her resident advisor and confidante, Noel Crane, when producers could not find an actor for the role. The show, which first aired in the fall of 1998, became a critical favorite and earned a Golden Globe nomination in its first year.
Foley would stick with Felicity for its four year run, cementing his position as a TV star. After the show wrapped, Foley would continue to find starring roles on a series of popular shows, like A.U.S.A., Scrubs, The Unit, Grey's Anatomy, and True Blood. Foley booked another series regular gig on the hit series Scandal, joining the show during the second season, playing Captain Jake Ballard.