Michael Gross (actor)

Michael Edward Gross (born June 21, 1947) is an American television, movie and stage actor. He is notable for playing Steven Keaton on the sitcom Family Ties (1982–89) and the survivalist Burt Gummer in the Tremors film franchise.

Michael Gross
Michael Gross 2015.jpg
Gross in 2015
Michael Edward Gross

(1947-06-21) June 21, 1947 (age 73)
EducationUniversity of Illinois, Chicago (BA)
Yale University (MFA)
Years active1975–present
Elza Bergeron
(m. 1984)
Children2 stepdaughters
RelativesMary Gross (sister)
Ron Masak (cousin)

Early lifeEdit

Gross was born in Chicago, the son of Virginia Ruth (née Cahill), a telephone operator, and William Oscar Gross, a tool designer.[1] Gross and his younger sister, Mary, were raised Catholic. He attended St. Francis Xavier [2] and St. Genevieve[3] schools in Chicago in his early years, graduating from the latter in 1961.

He attended Kelvyn Park High School on the north side of Chicago, graduating in 1965. He received his drama degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago before attending Yale University for his Master of Fine Arts degree. His sister, Mary, a former Saturday Night Live cast member, is an actress. The siblings are first cousins to actor Ron Masak.


Gross was first seen by a broad audience in his role as Steven Keaton in the 1980s sitcom Family Ties; he and his co-star Meredith Baxter, who played his wife Elyse Keaton, were born on the same day, June 21, 1947.[4] However, his longest-running and highest-profile role has been that of Burt Gummer in the Tremors movies and subsequent TV series,[5] having played the role for thirty years from the release of the original Tremors in 1990 to Tremors: Shrieker Island in 2020. His performance in Tremors 3: Back to Perfection earned him a Best Actor award from the DVD Exclusive Awards, formerly known as the Video Premiere Awards.[6][7]

Gross 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 appeared 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.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Gross has been married to casting director Elza Bergeron since June 2, 1984, and he is the stepfather to her two children.[9]

Gross remains close friends with his Family Ties co-star Meredith Baxter.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12]

Since 2009, Gross has been the "celebrity spokesman" for the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.[13] He is the host of the B&O Railroad Museum Television Network on YouTube. He is also a member of the Santa Fe Railway Historical Society.

Gross is a fan of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. After the Cubs won the 2016 World Series, Gross suggested his character Burt Gummer switch to a Cubs cap for Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell, replacing the Atlanta Hawks cap he had worn in the first five films of the series.



Year Title Role Notes
1980 Just Tell Me What You Want Lothar
1987 Dorothy Meets Ozma of Oz Himself / Host Voice
Animated short film
1988 Big Business Dr. Jay Marshall
1989 Tremors Burt Gummer
1991 Cool as Ice Gordon Winslow / James Anthony Hackett
1992 Alan & Naomi Sol Silverman
1994 In the Heat of Passion II: Unfaithful Howard
1996 Tremors 2: Aftershocks Burt Gummer Direct-to-video
Sometimes They Come Back... Again Jon Porter Direct-to-video
Kounterfeit Captain Evans Direct-to-video
1997 True Heart Dick
1998 Ground Control Murray
2001 Tremors 3: Back to Perfection Burt Gummer Direct-to-video
2003 Super Chief: Speed-Style-Service Narrator Documentary
2004 Tremors 4: The Legend Begins Hiram Gummer Tremors 4 or Tremors: The Legend Begins
You're on the Set of "Tremors 4: The Legend Begins" Himself Documentary short
Daylight: The Most Beautiful Train In The World Host / Narrator Documentary
2006 Frühlingsgefühle Short film
2007 The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández Himself Documentary
2008 El Sonoma Mr. Goreman
An American in China Manny Braddock
100 Million BC Dr. Frank Reno Direct-to-video
Broken Windows Teddy
2009 Stay Cool Mr. McCarthy
2011 You're a Wolf Dad Short film
Pizza Man Professor Tucker
Just Like Her Paul Marston Short film
2012 Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie Narrator
Atlas Shrugged: Part II Ted "Buzz" Killman
Meant to Be Mr. Trantham
2013 Guest House Lou Wesley Short film
2014 Our Father John Short film
2015 Tremors 5: Bloodlines Burt Gummer Direct-to-video
Christmas at Rosemont Dr. Molina
Bilal: A New Breed of Hero Okba Voice
He Said Walter Elling
2016 Quackerz Duckmus Voice
Last Call at Murray's Murray
C Street Governor Appalachia
20th Century Limited: America's Most Famous Passenger Train Narrator Documentary
Model Citizens Himself Documentary
2017 Camp Cool Kids Grandpa Norman
2018 Tremors Franchise Recap Burt Gummer Short film
Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell Burt Gummer Also known as Tremors 6: A Cold Day in Hell
Power of the Air[14] Chairman
2019 Noelle Elder Elf Abe
2020 Tremors: Making Perfection Himself Documentary short
A Ring for Christmas Graham Moore
Tremors: Shrieker Island Burt Gummer Also known as Tremors 7 and Tremors: Island Fury


Year Title Role Notes
1975 A Girl Named Sooner Jim Seevey TV movie
1980 F.D.R.: The Last Year Dr. Howard Bruenn TV movie
1981 Dream House Julius "J.J." Jacobson TV movie
1982 The Neighborhood Jack Wolfe TV movie
Little Gloria... Happy at Last Gilchrist Miniseries
1982–89 Family Ties Steven Keaton Main role, 171 episodes
1983 Cook & Peary: The Race to the Pole James Troth TV movie
1984 Summer Fantasy Ben Brannigan TV movie
1985 Finder of Lost Loves Tom Lindsay Episode 12: "Last Wish"
Family Ties Vacation Steven Keaton TV movie
A Letter to Three Wives George Phipps TV movie
1987 Night Court Arthur Thursby Season 4 episode 18: "Caught Red Handed"
Right to Die Bob Bauer TV movie
1988 In the Line of Duty: The F.B.I. Murders William Russell Matix TV movie
Day by Day Steven Keaton Season 2 episode 3: "Trading Places"
1989 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court King Arthur TV movie
1990 Vestige of Honor Don Scott TV movie
1991 In the Line of Duty: Manhunt in the Dakotas Agent Richard Mayberly TV movie
1992 With a Vengeance Frank Tanner TV movie
1993 With a Vengeance Frank Tanner TV movie
Batman: The Animated Series Lloyd Ventrix / Mojo Voice
1994 Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story Kevin Mulligan TV movie
In the Line of Duty: The Price of Vengeance Tom Williams TV movie
Dream On Father Sherman McKigney Season 4 episode 18: "The Second Coming"
Avalanche Brian Kemp TV movie
1995 Awake to Danger Ben McAdams TV movie
Deceived by Trust Dr. Gordon Powell TV movie
1996 Hijacked: Flight 285 Ben Horn TV movie
Ed McBain's 87th Precinct: Ice Lt. Peter Byrnes TV movie
The Making of a Hollywood Madam Paul Fleiss TV movie
The Outer Limits Professor Stanley Hurst Season 2 episode 12: "Inconstant Moon"
The Outer Limits Phenomenon Himself TV documentary
Promised Land Greg Smith Season 1 episode 1: "The Expatriate"
1997 Ed McBain's 87th Precinct: Heatwave Lt. Peter Byrnes TV movie
The Hunger Professor Frank Ingram Season 1 episode 9: "But at My Back I Always Hear"
1999 Batman Beyond: The Movie Warren McGinnis Voice
TV movie
Batman Beyond Warren McGinnis Voice
Season 1 episode 1: "Rebirth: Part 1"
Ally McBeal Mr. Volpe Season 2 episode 20: "Only the Lonely"
Norm Councilman Krantz 2 episodes
2000 Law & Order Carl Braddock Season 10 episode 16: "Trade This"
Spin City Dr. Peterson Season 4 episode 25: "Goodbye: Part 1"
Family Law Anthony Jacobs Season 2 episode 3: "Affairs of the State"
2001 The Undesirable TV movie
2001-04 ER John Carter Sr. 6 episodes
2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Dr. Charles Webb Season 1 episode 12: "Crazy"
2002-2016 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jeffrey Prince / Arthur Esterman 2 episodes
2003 Tremors Burt Gummer Main role; 13 episodes
2004 Combustion Talbot TV movie
Drew Carey Show Don Newmark 4 episodes
2004-2005 Nature Narrator 2 episodes
2005 Mrs. Harris Leslie Jacobson TV movie
CSI: NY Tom Endecott Season 2 episode 7: "Manhattan Manhunt"
2006 Dome Car Magic: A History of Railroad Dome Cars Narrator
2006–2011 How I Met Your Mother Alfred Mosby 3 episodes
2007 Boston Legal Father Nicholas McClinton Season 3 episode 23: "Duck and Cover"
2008–2009 The Young and the Restless River Baldwin 36 episodes
Credit - 4 episodes
Uncredited - 1 episode
2010 Parks and Recreation Michael Tansley Season 2 episode 20: "Summer Catalog"
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Robin Season 5 episode 5: "Crows"
Psych Cody Blair Season 5 episode 5: "Dead Bear Walking"
2011 Brothers & Sisters Edward LeMonde Season 5 episode 14: "The One That Got Away"
Family Guy Steven Keaton Season 9 episode 15: "Brothers & Sisters"
Drop Dead Diva Principal Blake Season 3 episode 5: "Prom"
Curb Your Enthusiasm Dermatologist Dr. Rivkin Season 8 episode 4: "The Smiley Face"
12 Wishes of Christmas Harry TV movie
On Set: The Making of "12 Wishes of Christmas" Himself Short documentary
2011-2013 Dan Vs. Don Voice
5 episodes
2012 Blue-Eyed Butcher Ron Wright TV movie
Adopting Terror Dr. Ziegler TV movie
NTSF:SD:SUV:: Huck Jingles Season 2 episode 10: "Family Dies"
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation President Rob Austin Season 13 episode 6: "Pick and Roll"
Naughty or Nice Walter Kringle Hallmark movie
The Dog Who Saved the Holidays Ned TV movie
2013 Call Me Fitz Pat Childs 5 episodes
2014 Last Man Standing Mr. Hardin Episode: "Hard-Ass Teacher"
Suits Walter Gillis 4 episodes
Partners J.P. Buchanan Episode 8: "The Law School Reunion"
Anger Management Dr. Randy Warren 4 episodes
2015 Carbon Dating Chris Main role; 6 episodes
Becoming Santa Nick Claus TV movie
2015-2016 Grace & Frankie Jeff 4 episodes
2015-2017 The Stanley Dynamic Grandpa / Lawrence Sr. 5 episodes
2016 Togetherness Mr. Pierson Season 2 episode 3: "Advanced Pretend"
2018 A.P. Bio Brandon Season 1 Episode 9: "Rosemary's Boyfriend"
The Affair Dr. Ezra Kaplan 2 episodes
Christmas Pen Pals Ted TV movie
2019 Sister of the Bride Robert Hallmark movie
Christmas Reservations Tom Anderson TV movie


  1. ^ "Gross, Virginia Ruth". Chicago Tribune. March 22, 2005.
  2. ^ David Niles. "Worcester Telegram & Gazette Archives". Nl.newsbank.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  3. ^ Schwartz, Karen (January 20, 1991). "Memories reinforce family ties to the hometown". Chicago Tribune. Chicago. p. 4.
  4. ^ "Michael Gross Biography". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  5. ^ "Exclusive: Michael Gross Talks Tremors 5". Dread Central. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  6. ^ https://stampede-entertainment.com/site/michael-gross-receiving-best-act-award
  7. ^ https://news.amomama.com/188592-meet-family-ties-star-michael-gross-beau.html
  8. ^ "'Bent' profile". IBDB. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  9. ^ "Michael Gross Has A 'Recurring Nightmare' About Doing A 'Family Ties' Reboot (EXCLUSIVE)". Closer Weekly. 2018-09-23. Retrieved 2019-08-04.
  10. ^ Hill, Erin (20 May 2011). "Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross Maintain 'Ties'". Parade.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Model Railroad Industry Association (2005), World's Greatest Hobby campaign keeps model railroading on the right track for the future; retrieved October 7, 2005.
  13. ^ "What's Here– A message from Michael Gross". B&O Railroad Museum. 2009. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  14. ^ Christiano, Dave (October 2, 2018), Power of the Air (Drama), Nicholas X. Parsons, Patty Duke, Michael Gross, Karyn Williams, Tracy Goode, Veryl E. Jones, Five and Two pictures, retrieved February 26, 2021

External linksEdit