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Category: Movies

Who is Paul Gross?

He is a Canadian actor, writer and director.

Where have I seen him before?

On TV, on the stage, in movies and campaigning on behalf of the Canadian film and television industry.

Before due South, which brought him worldwide acclaim, Paul's appearances on the big and small screens included: Chasing Rainbows, Aspen Extreme, Cold Comfort, Getting Married in Buffalo Jump, Whale Music, XXXs and 000s and Buried on Sunday. He played Brian Hawkins in the critically acclaimed miniseries "Armistead Maupin's Tales Of The City".

Since due South ended in 1998, Paul has set up a production company, Whizbang Films Inc, with Frank Siracusa. Along with guest appearances in The Red Green Show and The Eleventh Hour he has starred in Murder Most Likely, Men With Brooms (which saw his directorial debut and achieved the highest English Canadian box office in 20 years), mini-series Slings & Arrows and political drama H2O. He is a tireless supporter and promoter of Canadian culture.

Go here for more on Paul's career highlights.

Family background

  • Paul as Constable Benton FraserBorn: 30 April 1959, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Mother: Renie Gross, art historian and author of "Dinosaur Country"
  • Father: Bob Gross, retired tank commander in the Canadian Army
  • Brother: Tony (younger)

Paul's parents now divide their time between Edmonton and the family ranch on the edge of southern Alberta's Dinosaur Provincial Park. Bob, described by Paul as being one of the few pacifist officers in the Canadian military, now runs a small publishing company, Badlands Books.


As an army brat, Paul and his family rarely spending more than two years in one place. They lived in England, Germany and the USA before settling back in Canada in the 1970s. Besides Calgary, Alberta, Paul has lived in the province of New Brunswick and in Toronto, Ontario.


As Geoffrey Tennant in Slings & ArrowsWhile living in Camberley, England, Paul attended Cheswyks School in nearby Frimley Green. He left after two years, speaking with a proper British accent and able to use a butter knife. "I always say I was civilised by England," he has jokingly said.

Around 1969 or 1970 he lived in New Brunswick while his father was stationed at Gagetown with the Dragoons. He moved to Washington during his early teens and his drama teacher gave him the inspiration to work as an actor. Paul also began a study of the world's major religions during this time.

He finished high school at the Earl Haig Secondary School in Toronto, Ontario. He spent the summer working as a gofer at the Stratford Festival box office when he was 16. It was there that he heard of the reputation of the University of Alberta's acting program. Neal Watson of the Edmonton Sun wrote:

"He was already leaning toward a career as an actor - any profession that required math was already out."
Paul adds:
"Somewhere after long division, I stopped doing math. That cut off the sciences. I decided I probably should try acting."

He studied acting at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and left in 1980 during his third year, choosing instead to pursue his career as an actor and playwright. He went back later to complete the half-credit needed to receive his fine arts degree.

Whizbang FilmsCan I write to him or email him?

You can write to Paul by snail mail only - so please don't write in asking for his email address! (We don't do autographed photos of Paul either.)

Paul Gross
Whizbang Films Inc.
24 Ryerson Avenue, 4th Floor
Toronto, ON M5T 2P3

To contact Whizbang Films Inc visit their website or click here to email. Tel 416 516-5899; Fax 416 516-9550.

What awards has he won?

  • Receiving his 2004 Gemini1981 Alberta Culture competition (The Deer and the Antelope Play)
  • 1982 Clifford E. Lee award (The Deer and the Antelope Play)
  • 1982 Alberta Culture competition (The Dead of Winter)
  • 1985 Dora nomination for Best Performance (Romeo and Juliet)
  • 1986 Gemini nomination for Best Writing in a TV Drama (In This Corner)
  • 1988 Dora for Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Featured Role (Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Toward the Somme)
  • 1995 and 1996 Gemini for Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role (due South)
  • 1998 Gemini for Best Writing in a Dramatic Series (with John Krizanc) (due South)
  • 2003 Canadian Comedy Award for Pretty Funny Direction (Men With Brooms)
  • 2004 Gemini for Best Performance By An Actor In A Continuing Leading Dramatic Role (Slings & Arrows)
  • 2005 ACTRA Award Of Excellence (pictures here, here and here)
  • 2005 Canadian Screenwriting Award "MOW & Miniseries" (with John Krizanc) (H2O)
  • 2005 Monte Carlo Television Festival Nymphe d'Or for Best Performance By An Actor In A Mini Series (H2O)
  • 2005 Directors Guild of Canada Award for Outstanding Team Achievement in a Television Movie or Mini-Series (H2O)
  • 2007 Gemini for Best Actor in a Drama Series (Sling & Arrows)

due South won Geminis for Best TV Movie in 1995 and Best Dramatic Series in 1995, 1996 and 1997. It also won the Chrysler's Canada's Choice Award in 1996, 1997 and 1999 and a host of other writing/directing and other awards in each year.

Martha Burns and Paul Gross in Slings & ArrowsIs he married?

Paul married award-winning actress Martha Burns in September 1988, having met her while they were both performing in Walsh at the The National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Burns was an Indian Princess and Gross was a mountie. At the time of their wedding Paul was finishing work on Getting Married In Buffalo Jump and Martha was appearing in a production of Blood Wedding. Martha is a founder of the Toronto Arts For Youth Association and the Soulpepper theatre company. They now have two children, Hannah and Jack, born in 1990 and 1994. The family shares a home with Chester, their golden retriever, in Toronto.

What kind of music does he listen to?

Find out here!

What do other people think of him?

  • "Paul is a kid who refuses to grow up, and everything and everybody is a new experience. Wonder is what he always has in his eyes and in his work, and he never shuts down that wonder for life and how life works and how it goes around." (David Keeley, actor/musician)
  • "Paul's very poised. He's not pushy. And he's very respectful of other actors." (Gordon Pinsent, actor)
  • Paul GrossHe was given the nickname "tank commander" by Callum Keith Rennie, referring to his role as Executive Producer on due South.
  • "He's on all the time. He's constantly kibitzing and doing stand-up routines and pratfalls. He's like a kid - he has to be the centre of attention. But he's very well liked; it's a giant love-in." (A crew member on the set of due South)
  • "He's just really, really smart. Plus, he's very honest. He's one of those guys who will say things that people are thinking but wouldn't have the gumption to say out loud. He's a bit of a cowboy, but an intellectual cowboy. It's not that he misbehaves in any standard way. He doesn't go out womanizing or doing heroin or anything." (Paul Quarrington, writer)
  • "Mr Gross played [Fraser] impeccably; his spirit of cooperation and collaboration were top notch, and I truly enjoyed every moment we spent together." (Paul Haggis, creator of due South; writer of the Million Dollar Baby screenplay; Oscar-winning writer/director of Crash)
  • "He's a very fast typist." (Martha Burns)

What makes him laugh?

As Chris Cutter in Men With BroomsPaul grew up liking British comedy shows such as The Goons, Monty Python and The Young Ones. This clever and sometimes broad humour - as well as the influence of Leslie Nielsen - may have rubbed off on him. Nielsen and his whoopee cushion made several appearances on due South.

What has Paul written?

His first play was The Deer and the Antelope Play, which took shape on the napkins he would scribble on during the slow periods when he worked as a waiter at a restaurant in 1980. This play eventually garnered him his first awards as a playwright. His second play, The Dead of Winter, was the first of his plays to be mounted by a professional company, The Toronto Free Theatre, receiving critical acclaim when it opened in October 1982.

Thunder, Perfect Mind, was Paul's fourth play to be produced, in November 1985, and was an experiment in theatre described as a sci-fi musical and a multi-media extravaganza. It was a very ambitious attempt at something new in the theatre that left too much to the use of gizmos and powerful images and fell flat when it came to the dialogue. "It was a mess," admitted Paul. Paul's mother has shared her recollections of Thunder, Perfect Mind and and some tracks from the original production at badlandsbooks.com.

Paul in 1986In 1986 Paul was invited to be playwright-in-residence at the Stratford Festival by artistic director John Neville, a position he also held at The Grand Theatre Company, under artistic director Robin Phillips. At Stratford he worked on a script called Sprung Rhythm, also called Inner Sea, which he had begun at The National Arts Centre in Ottawa in 1984. The story of a megalomaniacal heart surgeon, it was later reworked and retitled and finally produced as Buchanan at Toronto Free Theatre in October-November of 1986. It didn't fare well in the eyes of the critics, unfortunately, and Paul left playwriting to pursue the more lucrative area of writing for television.

Paul was nominated for a Gemini award for his screenplay for the 1986 drama In This Corner, a film about an Irish boxer mixed up in terrorism. The film was directed by Atom Egoyan and produced for the On The Record series for CBC. Paul also wrote the screen adaptation for the 1993 Egoyan film Gross Misconduct, based on the book of the same name about the life and death of hockey player Brian "Spinner" Spencer. It won top awards at the 1993 San Francisco and Geneva film festivals.

Paul was writer/co-writer on several episodes of due South, including Mountie On The Bounty (Part 2), which won the 1998 Gemini for Best Writing in a Series. He and John Krizanc went on to write the 2003 movie Men With Brooms and the TV political dramas H2O (2004) and its sequel The Trojan Horse (2008).

  1. Gunless (2010) (pre-production)
  2. Passchendaele (2008) .... Michael Dunne
  3. "The Trojan Horse" .... Thomas David McLaughlin / ... (2 episodes, 2008)
        - Part Two (2008) TV episode .... Tom McLaughli
        - Part One (2008) TV episode .... Thomas David McLaughlin
  4. Hooked on Speedman (2008) .... Paul
  5. "Hockey: A People's History" .... Narrator (10 episodes, 2006)
        - Reclaiming the Game (2006) TV episode .... Narrator
        - Winter of Discontent (2006) TV episode .... Narrator
        - Hope and Betrayal (2006) TV episode .... Narrator
        - Soul of a Nation (2006) TV episode .... Narrator
        - A National Obsession (2006) TV episode .... Narrator
          (5 more)
  6. "Slings and Arrows" .... Geoffrey Tennant (18 episodes, 2003-2006)
        - The Promised End (2006) TV episode .... Geoffrey Tennant
        - All Blessed Secrets (2006) TV episode .... Geoffrey Tennant
        - Every Inch a King (2006) TV episode .... Geoffrey Tennant
        - That Way Madness Lies (2006) TV episode .... Geoffrey Tennant
        - Vex Not His Ghost (2006) TV episode .... Geoffrey Tennant
          (13 more)
  7. "Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story" (2006) TV mini-series .... John Diefenbaker
  8. Burnt Toast (2005) (TV) .... Scott
  9. "The Eleventh Hour" .... Tony Joel (2 episodes, 2003-2005)
        - A Virgin Walks Into a Bar (2005) TV episode .... Tony Joel
        - A Modern Mata Hari (2003) TV episode .... Tony Joel
  10. "Monday Report" .... Prime Minister Thomas David McLaughlin (1 episode, 2004)
    ... aka "Rick Mercer's Monday Report" (Canada: English title: complete title)
    ... aka "The Rick Mercer Report" (Canada: English title: new title)
        - Episode #2.3 (2004) TV episode .... Prime Minister Thomas David McLaughlin
  11. H2O (2004) (TV) .... Thomas David McLaughlin
    ... aka H2O: The Last Prime Minister (Canada: English title: long title)
  12. Wilby Wonderful (2004) .... Buddy French
  13. Men with Brooms (2002) .... Chris Cutter
    ... aka Quatre gars et un balai (Canada: French title)
  14. Murder Most Likely (1999) (TV) .... Patrick Kelly
  15. "Due South" .... Constable Benton Fraser / ... (26 episodes, 1997-1999)
    ... aka "Un tandem de choc" (Canada: French title)
        - Call of the Wild: Part 1 (1999) TV episode .... Constable Benton Fraser
        - Call of the Wild: Part 2 (1999) TV episode .... Constable Benton Fraser
        - Hunting Season (1999) TV episode .... Constable Benton Fraser
        - Say Amen (1999) TV episode .... Constable Benton Fraser
        - A Likely Story (1999) TV episode .... Constable Benton Fraser
          (21 more)
  16. "The Red Green Show" .... Kevin Black (5 episodes, 1996-1998)
    ... aka "The New Red Green Show"
        - Bingo Was His Name (1998) TV episode .... Kevin Black
        - The New Monument (1998) TV episode .... Kevin Black
        - No Church (1996) TV episode .... Kevin Black
        - Bernice's Birthday (????) TV episode .... Kevin Black
        - Good Government (????) TV episode .... Kevin Black
  17. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1997/I) (TV) .... Ned
  18. The Battle of Vimy Ridge - Part 4: The Battle Joined and Won (1997) (TV) .... Narrator
  19. "Due South" .... Constable Benton Fraser (41 episodes, 1994-1996)
    ... aka "Direction: Sud" (Canada: French title)
        - Flashback (1996) TV episode .... Constable Benton Fraser
        - Red, White, or Blue (1996) TV episode .... Constable Benton Fraser
        - The Duel (1996) TV episode .... Constable Benton Fraser
        - Body Language (1996) TV episode .... Constable Benton Fraser
        - All the Queen's Horses (1996) TV episode .... Constable Benton Fraser
          (36 more)
  20. Whale Music (1994) .... Daniel Howl
  21. XXX's & OOO's (1994) (TV) .... Bucky Dean
  22. Paint Cans (1994) .... Morton Ridgewell
  23. "Tales of the City" (1993) TV mini-series .... Brian Hawkins
    ... aka "Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City"
  24. Aspen Extreme (1993) .... T.J. Burke
  25. Buried on Sunday (1992) .... Augustus Knickel
    ... aka Northern Extremes
  26. Married to It (1991) .... Jeremy Brimfield
  27. "The Ray Bradbury Theater" .... Skip (1 episode, 1990)
    ... aka "Le monde fantastique de Ray Bradbury" (Canada: French title)
    ... aka "Mystery Theatre" (UK: rerun title)
    ... aka "Ray Bradbury présente" (France)
    ... aka "The Bradbury Trilogy" (UK: rerun title)
    ... aka "The Ray Bradbury Theatre" (UK)
        - Mars Is Heaven (1990) TV episode .... Skip
  28. Getting Married in Buffalo Jump (1990) (TV) .... Alex Bresnyachuk
    ... aka Buffalo Jump (USA: video title)
  29. "Street Legal" .... Steven Hines (2 episodes, 1989)
        - Film Noir (1989) TV episode .... Steven Hines
        - Soul Custody (1989) TV episode .... Steven Hines
  30. Divided Loyalties (1989) .... Walter Butler
  31. Cold Comfort (1989) .... Stephen Miller
  32. "Chasing Rainbows" (1988) TV mini-series .... Jake Kincaid
  33. Turning to Stone (1985) (TV) .... Billy
    ... aka Concrete Hell (UK: video title)
  34. "Hangin' In" .... Bob / ... (2 episodes, 1982-1984)
        - Bridesmaid Revisited (1984) TV episode .... Bob
        - Christmas Wrapping (1982) TV episode .... Holden
  1. "ZOS: Zone of Separation" (2008) TV mini-series (completed) (executive producer) (unknown episodes)
  2. The Road to Passchendaele (2008) (TV) (executive producer)
  3. Passchendaele (2008) (co-producer)
  4. "The Trojan Horse" (executive producer) (2 episodes, 2008)
        - Part Two (2008) TV episode (executive producer)
        - Part One (2008) TV episode (executive producer)
  5. H2O (2004) (TV) (executive producer)
    ... aka H2O: The Last Prime Minister (Canada: English title: long title)
  6. Murder Most Likely (1999) (TV) (executive producer)
  7. "Due South" (executive producer) (12 episodes, 1997-1998)
    ... aka "Un tandem de choc" (Canada: French title)
        - Mountie on the Bounty: Part 2 (1998) TV episode (executive producer)
        - Mountie on the Bounty: Part 1 (1998) TV episode (executive producer)
        - Dead Guy Running (1998) TV episode (executive producer)
        - Asylum (1997) TV episode (executive producer)
        - Spy vs. Spy (1997) TV episode (executive producer)
          (7 more)
  8. "Due South" (1994) TV series (executive producer) (unknown episodes)
    ... aka "Direction: Sud" (Canada: French title)
  1. Passchendaele (2008) (written by)
  2. H2O (2004) (TV) (co-writer)
    ... aka H2O: The Last Prime Minister (Canada: English title: long title)
  3. Men with Brooms (2002) (story)
    ... aka Quatre gars et un balai (Canada: French title)
  4. "Due South" (3 episodes, 1997-1998)
    ... aka "Un tandem de choc" (Canada: French title)
        - Mountie on the Bounty: Part 2 (1998) TV episode (teleplay)
        - Mountie on the Bounty: Part 1 (1998) TV episode (teleplay)
        - Burning Down the House (1997) TV episode (writer)
  5. "Due South" (2 episodes, 1996)
    ... aka "Direction: Sud" (Canada: French title)
        - Red, White, or Blue (1996) TV episode (story) (teleplay)
        - All the Queen's Horses (1996) TV episode (story) (teleplay)
  6. Gross Misconduct (1993) (TV) (writer)
  7. In This Corner (1985) (TV) (writer)
  1. Passchendaele (2008) (writer: "After The War")
  2. Men with Brooms (2002) (writer: "Kiss You 'Til You Weep", "Men With Brooms Theme") (performer: "Kiss You 'Til You Weep")
    ... aka Quatre gars et un balai (Canada: French title)
  3. "Due South" (1 episode, 1998)
    ... aka "Un tandem de choc" (Canada: French title)
        - Mountie on the Bounty: Part 1 (1998) TV episode (writer: "Robert Mackenzie") (performer: "Robert Mackenzie")
  4. "Due South" (2 episodes, 1995-1996)
    ... aka "Direction: Sud" (Canada: French title)
        - All the Queen's Horses (1996) TV episode (writer: "Ride Forever") (performer: "Ride Forever")
        - North (1995) TV episode (performer: "California Dreamin'", "I can't get off my Horse") (arranger: "I can't get off my Horse")
  1. Passchendaele (2008)
  2. Men with Brooms (2002)
    ... aka Quatre gars et un balai (Canada: French title)
  1. Men with Brooms (2002)
    ... aka Quatre gars et un balai (Canada: French title)
  1. The Road to Passchendaele (2008) (TV) .... Himself
  2. ETalk Festival Party (2008) (TV) .... Himself
  3. "The Hour" .... Himself (1 episode, 2008)
    ... aka "CBC News: The Hour" (Canada: English title: long title)
        - Episode dated 20 March 2008 (2008) TV episode .... Himself
  4. Hamlet (Solo) (2007) .... Himself - Interviewee
  5. Ride Forever (2006) (V) .... Himself
  6. "The Greatest Canadian" (2004) TV mini-series .... Host
  7. "Mary Walsh: Open Book" .... Himself (1 episode, 2003)
        - Tooth and Nail (2003) TV episode .... Himself
  8. Mandela and the Children (1998) .... Himself
    ... aka Mandela at SkyDome (Canada: English title: DVD box title)
  9. "Royal Canadian Air Farce" .... Himself (1 episode, 1997)
    ... aka "Air Farce"
        - Episode dated 31 December 1997 (1997) TV episode .... Himself
  10. "Noel's House Party" .... Himself (1 episode, 1997)
        - Episode #6.11 (1997) TV episode .... Himself
  11. The Battle of Vimy Ridge - Part 1: Setting the Stage (1997) (TV) .... Narrator
  12. The Battle of Vimy Ridge - Part 3: The Battle Looms (1997) (TV) .... Narrator
  13. The Battle of Vimy Ridge - Part 2: Keys to Victory (1997) (TV) .... Narrator
  14. The 1996 Gemini Awards (1996) (TV) .... Himself
Archive Footage:
  1. "Monday Report"
        - Episode #2.13 (2005) TV episode
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Posted by: med_pat19      Last updated: 14-04-09      Hits: 10625

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