Childhood & Early Life
Michael Edward Gross was born on June 21, 1947, in Chicago. His father, William Oscar Gross, was a tool designer. His mother, Virginia Ruth, was a telephone operator. He has a younger sister, Mary, who is also an actor.
Gross attended ‘St. Francis Xavier School’ and later joined the ‘Kelvyn Park High School.’ He procured a bachelor’s degree in drama from the ‘University of Illinois at Chicago’ and an MFA from ‘Yale University.’ Career
In 1973, Michael Gross started his acting career by working in three seasons at the ‘Actors Theatre of Louisville.’ Later, he performed in TV movies such as ‘A Girl Named Sooner’ and ‘Dream House.’
In 1982, Gross bagged the role that helped him get noticed in the entertainment industry. He was chosen to portray ‘Steven Keaton’ in the sitcom ‘Family Ties.’ It was aired on ‘NBC.’ The series focused on the life of the fictional “Keaton family.” ‘Steven’ was the head of the family. The series picturized the cultural divide between generations in a comic way. It had a successful run for seven seasons, till 1989.
In 1988, Gross starred in the TV movie ‘In the Line of Duty: The F.B.I. Murders.’ The movie featured him as ‘William Matix,’ a former soldier-turned-criminal. The same year, he performed as ‘Dr. Jay Marshall’ in the comedy movie ‘Big Business.’ The movie featured Gross with his sister, Mary Gross.
In 1990, Gross bagged one of the most memorable characters of his acting career when he was cast in the movie ‘Tremors.’ The movie concentrated on a fictional desert where worm-like creatures known as “graboids” erupt from the ground, to consume all living creatures on their path. The movie featured Gross as ‘Burt Gummer,’ a firearms enthusiast with a mission to put an end to the menace of “graboids.” His eccentric nature made ‘Burt’ a favorite of ‘Tremors’ fans.
‘Tremors’ was followed by five direct-to-video sequels. They were ‘Tremors 2: Aftershocks,’ ‘Tremors 3: Back to Perfection,’ ‘Tremors 4: The Legend Begins,’ ‘Tremors 5: Bloodlines,’ and ‘Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell.’ The last of the series was released in 2018. In ‘Tremors 4: The Legend Begins,’ Gross preformed as ‘Hiram Gummer,’ the great-grandfather of ‘Burt Gummer.’ In all the other movies, Gross reprised the character of ‘Burt Gummer.’ For his performance in ‘Tremors 3: Back to Perfection,’ Gross won the ‘Video Premiere Award’ for the ‘Best Actor.’
In 1995, Gross performed as ‘Dr. Gordon Powell’ in the TV movie ‘Deceived by Trust.’ His character was that of a high-school principal who sexually harassed his students. In 1996, he played the lead role in the horror movie ‘Sometimes They Come Back…Again.’ In 2000, he appeared in an episode of the TV series ‘Spin City,’ as ‘Dr. Peterson.’
From 2002 to 2004, Gross performed as ‘John Carter Snr’ in the medical drama ‘ER.’ It was aired on ‘NBC.’ In 2002, he appeared in single episodes of the series ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ and ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent.’
From 2008 to 2009, Gross performed as ‘River Baldwin’ in the soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless.’ The series focused on a feud between two families. It was telecast on ‘CBS.’ In 2010, Gross appeared in an episode of the sketch-comedy show ‘Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!’ The same year, Gross appeared in TV series such as ‘Psych’ and ‘Parks and Recreation.’
He has produced a few episodes of the series ‘Carbon Dating’ and ‘Tremors.’
Gross has worked with several theaters, such as ‘Baltimore’s Center Stage,’ the ‘Indiana Repertory Theatre,’ and the ‘Mark Taper Forum Theatre.’ Gross won the ‘Drama Logue Award’ for ‘Outstanding Performance’ for his performance in the play ‘The Real Thing’ at the ‘Mark Taper Forum Theatre.’ He has also received an ‘Obie Award’ for his ‘Off-Broadway’ theater work.
Family & Personal Life
In 1984, Gross married casting director Elza Bergeron. He is a stepfather to her two children, Katherine, and Theodore.
Gross is a rail enthusiast and has an admirable of collection of railroad antiques. He is an amateur railroad historian and a co-owner of ‘Santa Fe Southern Railway.’ Gross is a celebrity spokesperson for the ‘B&O Railroad Museum,’ located in Baltimore. He is the host of their ‘YouTube’ channel, too.
Michael Gross is associated with several charitable activities. He was associated with ‘World Vision’ and also works for animal welfare and anti-drug programs. He has worked as a spokesman for ‘Operation Lifesaver,’ an organization aimed at ensuring safety at railroad crossings.