Michael Gross Biography

Television Actor, Actor (1947–)
Michael Gross is an American actor who is best known for his role as liberal husband and father Steven Keaton on the hit television series Family Ties.


Actor Michael Gross was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 21, 1947. Though involved in a gang early in high school, he later became senior class president. After graduating from the Yale School of Drama, he acted onstage. While living in New York City, he got an audition for what would be a career-defining role: that of liberal husband and father Steven Keaton on the hit television series Family Ties.

Early Life

Born on June 21, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois, Michael Gross grew up the son of a telephone operator and a tool designer. He was involved in gang activity early in high school, but eventually chose to focus on his studies. He became a National Honor Society member and was president of his senior class.

A natural performer, Gross discovered he had a passion for acting. After graduating from the University of Illinois, he attended the prestigious Yale University School of Drama, where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree.


In his first years as an actor, Gross worked steadily onstage. In 1979, he made his Broadway debut in the play Bent, co-starring with Richard Gere. While living in New York City, Gross auditioned for a new television show that would change his life and career: Family Ties.

Gross was cast as liberal husband and dad Steven Keaton, and his popularity soared as Family Ties became a hit. Working alongside co-stars Michael J. Fox and Meredith Baxter (with whom Gross shares a birthday), he appeared on the series from 1982 to 1989.

Gross's other television credits include many guest roles in different shows, including ER, Law & Order and Ally McBeal. Gross also reunited with his Family Ties co-star Fox to appear in Fox's last episode of Spin City. In addition to TV series, Gross has appeared in multiple made-for-TV movies and starred in the Tremors series of films.

Personal Life

Gross has been married to Elza Bergeron—a casting director who helped him land his Family Ties role—since June 1984. He is the brother of Mary Gross, an actress who was a performer on Saturday Night Live.

Gross is also a passionate fan of railroads and their history, with an interest in model railroads and a collection of railway memorabilia. He and his wife are part owners of the Santa Fe Southern Railway.

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