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Michael Gross

Michael Gross

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: June 21, 1947 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Forever etched in TV history as Steven Keaton, the public TV station manager and father to Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) on the long-running NBC sitcom "Family Ties" (1982-89), Michael Gross is a classically-trained actor whose tall, lanky frame and salt and pepper hair have lent themselves to numerous supporting and leading roles in TV-movies and feature films. A graduate of the prestigious Yale School of Drama, Gross began his career as a member of the repertory company of the Actors Theatre of Louisville (KY). In the late 1970s, he moved to New York where he found work with Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Theatre Festival before making his Broadway debut as a drag queen in the American premiere of "Bent" (1979) opposite Richard Gere. Although he had played small roles in several TV-movies and made his feature film debut in Sidney Lumet's "Just Tell Me What You Want" (1980), Gross was barely known in Hollywood circles, let alone to audiences, when he was cast as Steven Keaton, the liberal husband and father on "Family Ties." Eight seasons as Keaton followed, a period in which Gross was able to spend his hiatus in other roles, such as Gloria Vanderbilt's legal guardian in the NBC miniseries...

Forever etched in TV history as Steven Keaton, the public TV station manager and father to Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) on the long-running NBC sitcom "Family Ties" (1982-89), Michael Gross is a classically-trained actor whose tall, lanky frame and salt and pepper hair have lent themselves to numerous supporting and leading roles in TV-movies and feature films. A graduate of the prestigious Yale School of Drama, Gross began his career as a member of the repertory company of the Actors Theatre of Louisville (KY). In the late 1970s, he moved to New York where he found work with Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Theatre Festival before making his Broadway debut as a drag queen in the American premiere of "Bent" (1979) opposite Richard Gere.

Although he had played small roles in several TV-movies and made his feature film debut in Sidney Lumet's "Just Tell Me What You Want" (1980), Gross was barely known in Hollywood circles, let alone to audiences, when he was cast as Steven Keaton, the liberal husband and father on "Family Ties." Eight seasons as Keaton followed, a period in which Gross was able to spend his hiatus in other roles, such as Gloria Vanderbilt's legal guardian in the NBC miniseries "Little Gloria: Happy at Last" (1982) and King Arthur in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (NBC, 1989). Gross also appeared in number of "In the Line of Duty" TV-movies, including a heralded turn as a murderer in "In the Line of Duty: The F.B.I. Murders" (NBC, 1988). Subsequent appearances found him playing FBI agents. Additionally, the actor continued to appear onstage in productions in Los Angeles.

Gross played love interest to Lily Tomlin in the 1988 feature "Big Business" and went on to co-star with Reba McEntire as a survivalist couple battling giant maggots in "Tremors" (1990). He then took time off to indulge in his love for model trains and railroad memorabilia. After a two year absence, Gross was back in front of the camera with "Alan and Naomi" as well as a host of TV-movies.

He is the brother of Mary Gross, a comic actress who spent several seasons on NBC's "Saturday Night Live."

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Quackerz (2016)
2.
 Holidays (2016)
3.
4.
 Becoming Santa (2015)
6.
 Adopting Terror (2012)
8.
9.
 Stay Cool (2009)
10.
 Broken Windows (2009)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1979:
Broadway debut, "Bent"
1980:
Film debut, "Just Tell Me What You Want"
2001:
Played the father of Noah Wyle's Dr. John Carter in an episode of "ER" (NBC)
1973:
Member of company, Actors Theatre of Louisville (Kentucky)
:
Moved to New Mexico, painted and became part owner in a railroad after "Family Ties" went off the air
1978:
Off-Broadway debut, "Sgnarelle, An Evening of Moliere Farces" at the New York Shakespeare Festival
1975:
TV-movie debut, "A Girl Named Sooner"
1982:
Miniseries debut, "Little Gloria: Happy at Last"
:
Played father on long-running NBC sitcom, "Family Ties"
1986:
Starred in "The Real Thing", Mark Taper Forum, L.A.
1994:
Appeared in TV-movies, "In the Line of Duty: The Price of Vengeance", "Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story", and "Avalanche"; also appeared in the feature, "In the Heat of Passion II"
:
Born and raised in the Chicago, Illinois, area
2000:
Co-starred with Kelsey Grammer on Broadway in "Macbeth"
1988:
Played opposite Lily Tomlin in the feature "Big Business"
1992:
Returned to film in "Alan & Naomi"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Kelvyn Park High School: Chicago, Illinois - 1965
University of Illinois: Carbondale, Illinois - 1970
School of Drama, Yale University: New Haven, Connecticut - 1973

Notes

After appearing in the 1987 TV-movie "Right to Die", which concerned a woman suffering from Lou Gehrig's Disease, Gross became a spokesperson for the ALS Association.

"I always thought of acting as a chance to be as different from yourself as possible. In theatre, the greatest compliment you can pay an actor is not to recognize him. That's exciting to me." --Michael Gross quoted in the press kit for "Tremors"

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Elza Bergeron. Singer. Director of the Kedroff Quartet.
wife:
Elza Bergeron. Casting director, executive. Married on June 2, 1984.

Family close complete family listing

father:
William Oscar Gross. Tool designer.
father:
William Oscar Gross. Had four; survived him.
mother:
Virginia Ruth Gross. Telephone operator.
mother:
Virginia Ruth Gross. Had one other; survived her.
sister:
Mary Gross. Actor, comedian. Appeared as regular on "Saturday Night Live"; born March 25, 1953.
sister:
Mary Gross. Model, cover girl.
step-daughter:
Katharine Lucille Burkhardt. Opera singer. Director of Petrograd Opera.
step-son:
Theodore Alex Burkhardt. Had three; survived her.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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