Michael Gross (actor)

Michael Gross

Gross in 2015.
Born Michael Edward Gross
(1947-06-21) June 21, 1947
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Education Kelvyn Park High School
University of Illinois at Chicago
Yale University
Years active 1975–present
Spouse(s) Elza Bergeron (m. 1984)
Children 2 stepdaughters

Michael Edward Gross (born June 21, 1947) is an American television, movie and stage actor. He played both comedic and dramatic roles, such as Steven Keaton from the sitcom Family Ties (1982–1989) and the graboid hunter Burt Gummer from the Tremors film franchise.

Early life

Gross was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Virginia Ruth (née Cahill), a telephone operator, and William Oscar Gross, a tool designer.[1] Gross was raised Catholic and attended St. Francis Xavier school in Chicago in his early years.[2] He attended high school at Kelvyn Park High School on the north side of Chicago. He received his drama degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago before attending Yale University for his Master of Fine Arts degree. His younger sister, Mary Gross, is a former Saturday Night Live cast member.[3]


Gross is known for his roles as Steven Keaton in the 1980s sitcom Family Ties and as Burt Gummer in the Tremors movies and subsequent TV series.[4] He guest starred in an episode of the sitcom Night Court, in which he played a sexual predator of Markie Post's character, Christine Sullivan. In 1988, he portrayed a murderous bank robber in the true life movie In the Line of Duty: The F.B.I. Murders. His other television credits include Boston Legal, How I Met Your Mother, Batman Beyond, ER, Parks and Recreation (Episode: "Summer Catalog"), Law & Order, and two of its spin-offs: SVU and Criminal Intent. From August 2008 to January 2009, Gross appeared on the CBS soap The Young and the Restless as River Baldwin. Gross had a special cameo in 2000 on Spin City as a therapist to Michael J. Fox's character on Fox's final show as a regular on that program. In November 1979, Gross originated the role of Greta in the Broadway production of Martin Sherman's Bent.[5]

Personal life

Gross has been married to casting director Elza Bergeron since June 2, 1984, and he is a stepfather to her two daughters.[6] Gross is a passionate railfan with an extensive collection of railroad antiques. He is an amateur railroad historian, photographer, modeler, and part-owner in a working railroad, the Santa Fe Southern Railway, a former branch line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway which operates between Lamy and Santa Fe, New Mexico.[7]

He is also the spokesman for the World's Greatest Hobby campaign sponsored by the Model Railroad Industry Association that promotes the hobby of model railroading. He has also been a spokesperson for Operation Lifesaver, a campaign promoting safety at railroad grade crossings.[8] Beginning in 2009, Gross is the "celebrity spokesman" for the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.[9] He is also a member of the Santa Fe Railway Historical Society.

Gross and his Family Ties co-star Meredith Baxter (who played his wife Elyse Keaton), were born on the same day, June 21, 1947.[10]


Acting in film and television
Year Title Role Notes
1975 A Girl Named Sooner Jim Seevey TV movie
1980 Just Tell Me What You Want Lothar
1980 F.D.R.: The Last Year Dr. Howard Bruenn TV movie
1981 Dream House Julius "J.J." Jacobson TV movie
1982–89 Family Ties Steven Keaton TV series
1987 Dorothy Meets Ozma of Oz Voice
1988 In the Line of Duty: The F.B.I. Murders William Matix
1988 Big Business Dr. Jay Marshall
1990 Tremors Burt Gummer
1991 Cool as Ice Gordon Winslow/James Anthony Hackett
1992 Alan & Naomi
1992 With a Vengeance Frank Tanner TV movie
1993 Batman: The Animated Series Lloyd Ventrix Voice
1993 The Story of Peanut Butter
1994 Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story Television film
1994 Never Ask the Devil to Pack a Lunch
1995 Deceived by Trust Dr. Gordon Powell TV movie
1996 Hijacked: Flight 285 Ben Horn TV movie
1996 Tremors 2: Aftershocks Burt Gummer Direct-to-video
1996 The Outer Limits Professor Stan Hurst Episode: "Inconstant Moon"
1996 Sometimes They Come Back... Again
1998 Ground Control
1999 Batman Beyond Warren McGinnis Voice
2001 The Undesirable Television film
2001 Tremors 3: Back to Perfection Burt Gummer Direct-to-video
2002 ER John Carter Snr. TV series
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Arthur Esterman/Vartan Dadian 1 episode (season 4.4)
2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Dr. Charles Webb 1 episode (season 1.12)
2003 The Power of Aluminum Foil TV series
2003 Super Chief: Speed-Style-Service Narrator
2004 Tremors 4: The Legend Begins Hiram Gummer / Burt Gummer Direct-to-video
2004 Combustion
2006 Dome Car Magic: A History of Railroad Dome Cars Narrator
2006–11 How I Met Your Mother Alfred Mosby 3 episodes
2008 100 Million BC Dr. Frank Reno
2008–09 The Young and the Restless River Baldwin TV series
2010 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
2010 Psych Cody Blair Episode: "Dead Bear Walking"
2010 Parks and Recreation Michael Tansley Episode: "Summer Catalog"
2011 Dan Vs. Don Voice
2011 Curb Your Enthusiasm Dermatologist Dr. Rivkin 1 episode (season 8.4)
2012 Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie Narrator
2012 The Dog Who Saved the Holidays Ned Direct-to-video
2012 NTSF:SD:SUV:: Huck Jingles Episode: "Family Dies"
2012 Meant to Be Mr. Trantham
2012 Naughty or Nice Walter Kringle
2012 Atlas Shrugged: Part II Ted 'Buzz' Killman
2013 Guest House Lou Wesley
2014 Last Man Standing Mr. Hardin Episode: "Hard-Ass Teacher"
2014 Suits Walter Gillis 4 episodes (season 4)
2014 Anger Management Dr. Randy Warren 4 episodes (season 2)
2015 Grace & Frankie Jeff 2 episodes (season 1)
2015 Tremors 5: Bloodlines Burt Gummer Direct-to-video
2016 Bilal Okba Voice
2016 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jeffrey Prince 1 episode (season 17.21)
2016 Togetherness Mr. Pierson Episode: "Advanced Pretend"


  1. "Gross, Virginia Ruth". Chicago Tribune. March 22, 2005.
  2. David Niles. "Worcester Telegram & Gazette Archives". Nl.newsbank.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  3. "Mary Gross". IMDb. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  4. "Exclusive: Michael Gross Talks Tremors 5". Dread Central. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  5. The Broadway League. "Bent - IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  6. Hall, Ken; Southeastern Antiquing and Collecting Magazine (2003), The Celebrity Collector - Michael Gross, his family tree and his collections are rooted in the railroad. Retrieved October 7, 2005.
  7. Model Railroad Industry Association (2005), World's Greatest Hobby campaign keeps model railroading on the right track for the future. Retrieved October 7, 2005.
  8. "What's Here– A message from Michael Gross". B&O Railroad Museum. 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
  9. "Michael Gross Biography (1947-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
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