Tremors Wiki
Tremors Wiki

Michael Gross in Tremors: The Series

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Michael Gross. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tremors Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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 fatherly figure Steven Keaton from Family Ties and graboid hunter Burt Gummer from the Tremors film and television series.


Early life

Gross was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Virginia Ruth, a telephone operator, and William Oscar Gross, a tool designer. 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 sister, Mary Gross, is a former Saturday Night Live cast member.


Gross is known for his role as Steven Keaton in the 1980s sitcom Family Ties, and as "Burt Gummer" in the Tremors movies and subsequent TV series. The sketch of the Keaton Family during the opening sequence of Family Ties was, in fact, drawn by Gross, himself. He also guest starred in an episode of the sitcom Night Court, in which he played a sexual predator to Markie Post's character, Christine Sullivan.

His other television credits include Boston Legal, How I Met Your Mother, Batman Beyond, ER, Law & Order, and two of its spin-offs: SVU and Criminal Intent.

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.

Born in Chicago, Michael Gross (Burt Gummer) received his B.A. from the University of Illinois and his M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama. After graduating in 1973, he went straight to regional theatre and spent tree seasons with the Actors Theatre of Louisville, where he appeared in the title role of the "Oedipus the King" and in "That Championship Season," among others. His off-Broadway credits include "Private Lives," "Endgame," "Geniuses" and "No End of Blame," for which he won an Obie Award in 1982. He made his Broadway debut as Greta, the drag queen, in "Bent" with Richard Gere and David Dukes. He also performed in the Mark Tapor Forum's repertory productions of "The Real Thing" and "Hedda Gabler."

Gross made his film debut in Sidney Lumet's "Just Tell Me What you Want" (1980) with Alan King and Ali McGraw and followed with the part of Dr. Jay Marshall in "Big Business" opposite Bette Midler.

But it was "Family Ties," one of the most successful situation comedy runs in television history, and only the second television show for which he had ever auditioned, that catapulted Gross into the limelight.

Among his other extensive television credits are the television movies "A Letter to Three Wives," "Cook and Perry: The Race to the North Pole," "A Girl Named Sooner," "Summer Fantasies," "Right to Die" and "In the Line of Duty: The F.B.I. Murders."

Personal life

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, modeller, 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. 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. Beginning in 2009, Gross is the "celebrity spokesman" for the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

Coincidentally, Gross and his Family Ties co-star Meredith Baxter (who played his wife Elyse Keaton), were born on the same date, June 21, 1947.


  • 1982–1989: Family Ties (TV series)
  • 1988: The F.B.I. Murders
  • 1988: Big Business
  • 1990: Tremors as Burt Gummer
  • 1991: Cool as Ice
  • 1992: Alan & Naomi
  • 1993: Batman: The Animated Series
  • 1993: Firestorm: 72 Hours in Oakland
  • 1994: Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story (Made for TV movie)
  • 1994: Avalanche
  • 1995: Deceived By Trust
  • 1996: Tremors 2: Aftershocks as Burt Gummer
  • 1996: Tremors: The Lost Episodes as Burt Gummer
  • 1996: Sometimes They Come Back... Again
  • 1998: Ground Control
  • 1999: Batman Beyond
  • 2001: The Undesirable (Made for TV movie)
  • 2001: Tremors 3: Back to Perfection as Burt Gummer
  • 2002: ER (TV Series)
  • 2003: Tremors as Burt Gummer
  • 2003: Super Chief: Speed-Style-Service (narrator)
  • 2004: Tremors 4: The Legend Begins as Hiram Gummer
  • 2004: Combustion
  • 2006: Dome Car Magic: A History Of Railroad Dome Cars (narrator)
  • 2008: 100 Million BC
  • 2008-2009: The Young and the Restless (TV Series)
  • 2010 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

External Links