Lance Darnell Kwaku Gross
July 8, 1981
Oakland, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Howard University|
Lance Darnell Kwaku Gross (born July 8, 1981) is an American actor, model and photographer. He is best known for his role as Calvin Payne on the TBS sitcom Tyler Perry's House of Payne and OWN sitcom Tyler Perry's The Paynes., as well as appearing in other Tyler Perry productions such as the Meet the Browns (2008) film and Tyler Perry's Temptations: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (2013). He also co-starred in 2010's Our Family Wedding alongside Forest Whitaker, Carlos Mencia, America Ferrera, and Regina King. He also starred as Secret Service Agent Marcus Finley in NBC's political drama Crisis.
Early life and career
Gross was born in Oakland, California, the child of an African American mother and Ghanaian immigrant father, and later moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, to attend and graduate from Bonanza High School. He went on to attend Howard University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in theater. He then trained at The Ivanna Chubbuck Studio as well as the Tasha Smith Acting Studio.
Gross began his career by modeling 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. He was consequently cast as Calvin Payne on Perry's new sitcom House of Payne. In the show Gross plays Calvin, a young professional who has attended college for seven years. He has been awarded four NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for this role.
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 whose 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. Currently Gross plays a major role on the Fox musical drama Star.
In 2018, on OWN's The Paynes, he makes an appearance as a recurring character in the episodes "A Surprise for the Paynes", "Revelations of Payne" and "A Confrontation of Payne", along with Allen Payne, Demetria McKinney, Larramie "Doc" Shaw and China Anne McClain.
Gross married fashion stylist Rebecca Jefferson on May 23, 2015. The couple are parents to two kids, one daughter, Berkeley Brynn Gross (born November 20, 2014), and one son, Lennon Lorin Gross (born July 10, 2018).
In November 2021 Gross became initiated as an official member of Kappa Alpha Psi.
|2008||Meet the Browns||Michael Brown||Lead role|
|2010||Our Family Wedding||Marcus Boyd||Lead role|
|2012||The Last Fall||Kyle Bishop||Lead role|
|2013||Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor||Brice||Lead role|
|2016||The Phenom||Lee Brooks|
|2017||When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story||Dino|
|2021||Dutch||Benard "Dutch" James||Pre-Production|
|2006||Eve||Choir Member||1 episode|
|The Bernie Mac Show||Krumper #1||1 episode|
|2007–2012; 2020–present||Tyler Perry's House of Payne||Calvin Payne||Main role; 188 episodes|
|2012||Steel Magnolias||Sammy Desoto||TV movie|
|The Finder||Frank Haywood||1 episode|
|Royal Pains||Dr. London||1 episode|
|2013||Dice City||Derek||Main role|
|2014||Crisis||U.S. Secret Service Agent Marcus Finley||Main role|
|2015||Grey's Anatomy||Ethan||Supporting role|
|2015–16||Sleepy Hollow||Daniel Reynolds||Main role|
|2017–2019||Tales||Reggie||Episodes: "Trap Queen" and "Ex-Factor" (co-writer)|
|Star||Maurice Jetter, (A&R)||Recurring/Main role|
|MacGyver||Billy Colton||Recurring role|
|2018||The Paynes||Calvin Payne||3 episodes|
|The Bobby Brown Story||Steven Sealy||Main role|
|2020||Hawaii Five-0||Lincoln Cole||2 episodes|
|2021||Our Kind of People||Tyrique Freeman||Main role|
- "Lance Darnell Kwaku Gross was born on July 8, 1981 in Alameda County, California". California Birth Index. California Office of Health Information and Research. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
- "California Birth Index, 1905-1995". Family Tree Legends. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California, USA. Archived from the original on April 21, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- Roberts, Randall (2014-03-16). "Ex-Bonanza High track star Gross stays on the run with role in hostage thriller | Las Vegas Review-Journal". Reviewjournal.com. Retrieved 2022-05-28.
- "Lance Gross: The Last Fall & Tyler Perry". Archived from the original on September 3, 2013. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
- "Tyler Perry's House of Payne - Lance Gross As Calvin Payne". Archived from the original on July 5, 2013. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
- "Biography for Lance Gross". IMDb.
- "Meet The Brown's Man Of The House-Lance Gross". Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
- "Lance Gross Preps For Wedlock In 'Our Family Wedding".
- "Lance Gross Talks 'The Last Fall' and His Most Vulnerable Role". Archived from the original on 2013-11-15.
- Vulpo, Mike; Cooper, Jennifer (May 23, 2015). "Lance Gross Says I Do To Rebecca Jefferson". Eonline.com. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
- Penn, Charlie (January 11, 2015). "Lance Gross Reveals Newborn Daughter". Essence.com. Retrieved December 18, 2015.