Michael Gross (actor)

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Michael Gross
Michael Gross at the 39th Emmy Awards cropped.jpg
Gross at the 39th Emmy Awards, September 1987
Born (1947-06-21) June 21, 1947 (age 67)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Years active 1982–present
Spouse(s) Elza Bergeron

Michael Gross (born June 21, 1947) is an American television, movie, and stage actor who plays both comedic and dramatic roles. His most notable roles are as the father Steven Keaton from Family Ties and the graboid hunter Burt Gummer from the Tremors franchise.

Early life[edit]

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 and his Family Ties co-star Meredith Baxter (who played his wife Elyse Keaton), were born on the same date, June 21, 1947.[2] Gross was raised Catholic and attended St Francis Xavier school in Chicago in his early years.[3] 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.[4]


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. 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 (one episode), Law & Order, and two of its spin-offs: SVU and Criminal Intent. He portrayed also five times Burt Gummer in the Tremors franchise.[5]

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.

For Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001) he received a Video Premiere Award as best actor.

Personal life[edit]

Gross has been married to casting director Elza Bergeron since June 2, 1984, and they have two children.

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.[6] 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.[7] Beginning in 2009, Gross is the "celebrity spokesman" for the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.[8] He is also a member of the Santa Fe Railway Historical Society.


Acting in film and television
Year Title Role Notes
1982 – 1989 Family Ties Steven Keaton TV series
1987 Dorothy Meets Ozma of Oz
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
1993 Batman: The Animated Series Lloyd Ventrix
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
1996 Tremors 2: Aftershocks Burt Gummer Direct-to-video
1996 The Outer Limits: "Inconstant moon" Professor Stan Hurst
1996 Sometimes They Come Back... Again
1998 Ground Control
1999 Batman Beyond Warren McGinnis
2001 The Undesirable Television film
2001 Tremors 3: Back to Perfection Burt Gummer Direct-to-video
2002 ER TV series
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 1 episode (season 4.4)
2003 The Power of Aluminum Foil TV series
2003 Super Chief: Speed-Style-Service narrator
2004 Tremors 4: The Legend Begins Hiram Gummer Direct-to-video
2004 Combustion
2006 Dome Car Magic: A History Of Railroad Dome Cars narrator
2006 - 2011 How I Met Your Mother Alfred Mosby 3 episodes
2008 100 Million BC
2008 - 2009 The Young and the Restless 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 Animated Series
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 3 episodes (season 2)
2016 Tremors 5 Burt Gummer


  1. ^ "Gross, Virginia Ruth". Chicago Tribune. March 22, 2005. 
  2. ^ "Michael Gross Biography (1947-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  3. ^ David Niles. "Worcester Telegram & Gazette Archives". Nl.newsbank.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  4. ^ Mary Gross
  5. ^ ‘Tremors 5′ Unearthed This October!
  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. 


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