Lerner was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Blanche and George Lerner, who was a fisherman and antiques dealer. He is a graduate of Brooklyn College and the brother of fellow actor Michael Lerner.
He is well known for playing whiny or unlucky characters, like the agent whom Arnold Schwarzenegger stabs in the back with a pen in The Running Man.
As of 2011, Lerner can be seen in an American nationally televised commercial for Wells Fargo Bank.
The Mentalist - Judge in Scarlet Ribbons (2011) Castle - Police attorney in Flower For Your Grave (2009) Undesputed II - Last man standing - Phil (2006) LA Noire - Walter Mensch Weeds (TV series) - The Moyle Scrubs - Charles James (2004) Friends - Professor Spafford in The One with the Soap Opera Party (2003) The Story of Us- Doctor (1999) Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Principal Flutie (1996) Unlawful Entry - Roger Graham (1992) The Exorcist III - Dr. Freedman (1990) RoboCop 2 - Delaney (1990) Hit List - Gravenstein (1989) Maniac Cop - Mayor Killium (Scenes not present in USA release, added in Japanese version as a subplot) (1988) The Running Man - Agent (1987) Miracles - Stuart (1986) Secret Admirer - Waiter (1985) Irreconcilable Differences - Doctor (1984) Gas Pump Girls - Peewee (a member of The Vultures motorcycle gang) (1979) Grand Theft Auto - Eagle I (1977) Hot Tomorrows - Michael (1977)