Born in Brooklyn, New York, Lake began her career as a dancer. She made her screen debut in 1912, and she appeared in a number of comedy shorts by Mack Sennett. Lake was often the leading lady of Roscoe Arbuckle in comedies like Oh Doctor! (1917) and The Cook (1918). Arbuckle directed both films and was joined by Buster Keaton who had a leading role in Oh Doctor.
Lake also played dramatic roles with Bert Lytell in Blackie's Redemption and The Lion's Den, both from 1919. During the 1920s she appeared in a number of Metro silent film features as the lead actress. At the height of her career she earned $1,200 per week as a motion picture actress. Lake had only limited success in dramatic roles. Following the introduction of talkies, her parts in films began to wane and she only performed in supporting roles. Her last appearance in film was in 1935 with a bit part in Frisco Kid. In all her screen credits numbered ninety-six.
In March 1924, Lake married fellow actor Robert Williams, but they were divorced in 1925. The couple separated and reunited three times before they made a permanent break. Williams was a vaudeville performer who had appeared in a number of stage plays. He was previously married to singer Marion Harris.