Teri Hatcher was born in Palo Alto, California, the daughter of Esther (née Beshur), a computer programmer who worked for Lockheed Martin, and Owen W. Hatcher, a nuclear physicist and electrical engineer. Teri Hatcher's father is of Welsh and Choctaw Native American descent, and her mother is of half Syrian and half French/German descent. Teri Hatcher took ballet lessons at the San Juan School of Dance in Los Altos. Her big debut was as the lead flying monkey in the "Wiz Of Oz." Teri Hatcher grew up in Sunnyvale, California. and attended Mango Junior High (now Sunnyvale Middle School), Fremont High School in Sunnyvale and De Anza College in Cupertino. As an undergraduate she studied mathematics and engineering.
In March 2006 Teri Hatcher revealed to Vanity Fair that she was sexually abused from the age of five by Richard Hayes Stone, an uncle by marriage who was later divorced by Teri Hatcher's aunt. She said her parents were unaware of the abuse at the time. In 2002 she assisted Santa Clara County prosecutors with their indictment of Stone for a more recent molestation that led his female victim to commit suicide at the age of 14. Stone plead guilty to four counts of child molestation and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. In an interview appearing in Vanity Fair, Teri Hatcher said she told the prosecutors about her own abuse because she was haunted by thoughts of the 14-year-old girl who shot herself, and feared Stone might escape conviction. Stone died of colon cancer on August 19, 2008, having served six years of his sentence.