Terlesky was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on May 30, 1961. He started acting in the mid-1980s, starring in a number of films and TV series, with his first notable TV role being in the NBC-produced drama Legmen. His other TV credits include The Facts of Life, V, Our House, Empty Nest, Walker, Texas Ranger, a recurring role on Guns of Paradise, and a costar role in the sitcom The Last Frontier, while some of Terlesky's film acting credits include Chopping Mall, Valet Girls, The Allnighter and Appointment with Death. In 1998, Terlesky also started a directorial career, making his debut with the film The Pandora Project, which was co-directed with Jim Wynorski. Terlesky has also directed a number of other indie, direct-to-video, and made-for-TV films before getting involved in episodic television. Since 2006, he has directed several episodes for Criminal Minds, Boston Legal, Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Drop Dead Diva, Human Target, Army Wives, Body of Proof, Gossip Girl, and Castle. In his personal life, he is married to Jayne Brook, an actress with whom he had two daughters with, named Alexandra and Annaliese.
Terlesky has directed the following episodes for Criminal Minds: