Lance was born in New York City to James and Margueritte Henriksen. When Henriksen was two, his parents divorced and he was raised by his mother from then on. He got in trouble with various schools in his youth, at one point even seeing the inside of a Children's Home. At the age of twelve, Lance dropped out of school and did not learn to read until the age of thirty when he taught himself by reading movie scripts.
Lance Henriksen began his acting career in the off-Broadway production of Three Plays of the Sea. Soon after, he landed roles in such films as Unspeakable, Powder, The Quick and the Dead, The Terminator, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the Aliens franchise as Bishop, for which he is best known. Henriksen earned three Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of former FBI agent Frank Black on the television series Millennium. His on-camera television guest appearances include Memphis Beat, Castle, NCIS, The X-Files, Cagney & Lacey, and The A-Team.
Adding to his resume, Henriksen has also voiced characters in many video games including Aliens: Colonial Marines, the Mass Effect series, Alien vs. Predator, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, and Transformers Animated: The Game.