Ah, the family sitcom. Was there ever a style of show more ubiquitous to the 1980s than this? Answer: maybe? Probably not, though, assuming “ubiquitous” means what I think it means. At the heads of these families were the dads (it was the 1980s, guys — they just were). Sometimes stern but fair, sometimes kind of dumb, and sometimes just indifferent. Here’s a look at some classic TV dads, the actors who played them, and what those actors are up to today.
Michael Gross as “Steven Keaton” – Family Ties
The station manager of a public TV station in Columbus, Ohio, Steven Keaton is a liberal former hippie raising three children (followed by a fourth) with his equally liberal wife. His two oldest, however, happen to be prime examples of 1980s Reagan-era conservatives.
Since Family Ties ended, Gross has had a pretty consistent career in movies and television. He’s probably best known for his role as gun enthusiast/survival expert/giant worm murderer Burt Gummer in the Tremors films, of which he’s starred in five. In 1991, he once again stepped into the role of a father, this time in the cinematic classic Cool As Ice.