Gross was born and raised in Oakland, California and graduated from Bonanza High School. He went on to attend Howard University, where he passed up the opportunity of becoming a Pro Track & Field athlete in order to pursue his dream of acting. He received a Bachelor of Arts in theater and then trained at The Ivanna Chubbuck Studio as well as the Tasha Smith Acting Studio.
Gross began his career by modelling for Karl Kani and appearing in music videos for artists such as Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, and Mariah Carey. In 2006, he had minor roles in Eve and The Bernie Mac Show. It was while he was performing in the Tasha Smith Acting Studio that he was discovered by Tyler Perry, who happened to be watching a night class. He was consequently cast as Calvin Payne on Perry's new sitcom House of Payne, a role for which he has been awarded four NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. 2008 saw Gross make his film debut in the romantic comedy Meet The Browns. His next big screen appearance was in Our Family Wedding in 2010 alongside America Ferrera, in which they portrayed a recently engaged young couple who's wedding preparations are disrupted by their families. In 2012 he starred in the independent film The Last Fall, the story of a retired NFL player dealing with financial and family difficulties.