Temple was born 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 2009, Temple was involved in a charity event for breast cancer called Bowling for Boobies.
Though he was too small for the big leagues, he continued with his love for baseball, shagging roles as a minor league bullpen catcher for the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros. In 1986, he was the scout for the New York Mets, and would later go on to serve as Assistant Director of Minor League Operations and Scouting for the Astros until 1993.
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 2007, he played Cal, the diner manager in the comedy-drama Waitress starring Keri Russell. That same year, he also appeared in an episode of CSI: Miami as Billy Chadwick, a local loner in a grizzly bear murder case, and as Noel Kluggs in Rob Zombie's slasher film, Halloween.
In 2008, Temple played Marv in Trailer Park of Terror, and Pete in the thriller/horror film House.
In 2010, he appeared in an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles as Mr. Loobertz. Also that year, he had a supporting role in the thriller Unstoppable.
In 2011, he appeared in an episode of Criminal Minds, in which he played a former fisherman turned part-time deliveryman called Bill Thomas who kidnaps and attacks one of the minor characters Alison Sparks played by Jessica Lundy.
In 2012, he played Montgomery Blair, a member of Abraham Lincoln's Cabinet, in the movie Saving Lincoln, which tells the President's story through the eyes of Ward Hill Lamon, a former law partner, friend, and primary bodyguard.
As of 2012, he has a recurring role in The Walking Dead as Axel, a prisoner survivor of the zombie apocalypse.