Lenk was born in Camarillo, California, the son of Pam, a teacher, and Fred Lenk, a tuba player, high school music teacher, and school district computer network administrator. He attended Adolfo Camarillo High School. He graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts.
Lenk has appeared in episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, NBC's Joey, House, Six Feet Under, Eli Stone, and How I Met Your Mother. He has also had small parts in the films Date Movie, The Number 23, and Transformers. Lenk appeared in the web series Border Patrol, which premiered in June 2008 on Atom.com. In 2009, Lenk appeared as a guest star on Nip/Tuck.
Lenk is openly gay, which influenced the character Andrew's sexuality. Joss Whedon has described: "When I first looked at his audition tape, I said 'OK, he, uh, he seems kinda gay. Do we want to make that decision [about the character]? There's no reason why he couldn't be, so, great, let's pick the funniest actor.' […] The character became very charming in his complete lack of awareness about, among other things, his own sexuality." Andrew would eventually come out as openly gay as well, in the comic Love Dares You, Part Two.
Besides acting, Lenk is a singer and playwright. He has toured with the European cast of Grease and has written three plays. Lenk took over the role of Franz in the Broadway musical Rock of Ages in 2009, having originated the role in the Las Vegas and Los Angeles productions in 2006. Lenk frequently posts video blogs of himself on YouTube summing up his latest experiences on Broadway. He appeared in commercials for Pepsi Max in 2009.
Lenk also appeared in an episode of Psych that poked fun at Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Lenk performed in the June, 2012 edition of Don't Tell My Mother!, a monthly showcase in which authors, screenwriters, actors and comedians share true stories they would never want their mothers to know. In 2013, Lenk joined the Lifetime series Witches of East End as Hudson Rafferty. In 2016, he appeared in the third season finale of Transparent. In 2018, he starred in the play Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist, touring in Los Angeles, Edinburgh, and London.
Tom Lenk appeared in a total of 27 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the first of them as the vampire Cyrus. Additionally, he appeared in two episodes of Angel, repeating his Buffy role as Andrew Wells.
- "Real Me"
- "Life Serial"
- "Dead Things"
- "Normal Again"
- "Seeing Red"
- "Two to Go"
- "Conversations with Dead People"
- "Never Leave Me"
- "Bring on the Night"
- "The Killer in Me"
- "First Date"
- "Get It Done"
- "Lies My Parents Told Me"
- "Dirty Girls"
- "Empty Places"
- "End of Days"
- "The Girl in Question"
Lenk behind the scenes for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Tom Lenk on Wikipedia
- Adam B. Vary, "Coming Out But Canceled." The Advocate #1019, November 18, 2008.