Lew was born on October 2, 1967 in Kotzebue, Alaska, and raised in Texas. He was the 1982 Baseball MVP at Rollins, and graduated from Rollins College in 1985.
In 2002, Temple was let go from a movie contract, because he dismissed symptoms of a serious illness. A near death experience landed him at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, where he was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and a forty percent chance of survival. He stayed in the hospital for eight months, for chemotherapy treatment.
In 2005, Temple appeared in Rob Zombie's horror film, The Devils Rejects as Adam Banjo, and played Locus Fender in the action film Domino, starring Keira Knightley. In 2006, he portrayed Sheriff Winston in the prequel to the remake of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. That same year, he also played a paramedic in the crime thriller Déjà Vu starring Denzel Washington.
In 2009, Temple was involved in a charity event for breast cancer called Bowling for Boobies.