He is perhaps best known for his role as Christian Shephard in the television series Lost and Larry McCoy in the television series Las Vegas. He was also educated at the prestigious Loomis Chaffee prep school in Windsor, Connecticut, and began a career building original custom log homes in North Carolina. He played roles in local theater before moving to Alaska where he founded a river rafting company.
But his interest in acting did not diminish.
At age 30 he moved to New York City and became a full-time actor. Terry"s debut role was as the title character in the 1980 fantasy film Hawk the Slayer, followed by roles in films such as, and the action sequel, as Barbara Carrera"s brother.
His career then took a major upswing as he was assigned the roles of Lieutenant Lockhart in Stanley Kubrick"s and Felix Leiter in the James Bond film. Nothing as prominent followed immediately, though he received good notices for his role as a traumatized Vietnam veteran in Norman Jewison"son
Terry subsequently played the lead in a well-regarded but short-lived television series Against the Grain.
Terry played Slim in the 1992 film adaptation of Of Mice and Men and also appeared in The Resurrected (1992), an adaption of the H. P. Lovecraft novella, Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Recently he has found new success on television He appeared in the first episodes of Emergency playing Doctor Division Cvetic, the love interest of Doctor Lewis, who disappeared after a nervous breakdown.
He later played a recurring role in season two of Fox"s real-time thriller 24, as Bob Warner, the father of both the love interest of hero Jack Bauer and of another daughter whose fiancé is suspected of being a terrorist.
After a brief stint on National Broadcasting Company"s Las Vegas, he was cast as Christian Shephard, the father of Jack Shephard and Claire Littleton on American Broadcasting Company"s Lost. Terry reprised his role as Shephard on several occasions in flashbacks before appearing frequently in real time on the island as an incarnation of "the man in black".
He also appeared in David Fincher"s Zodiac, Matthew McConaughey"s Surfer, Dude, and the horror thriller Nine Dead.