House of Payne
American actor Lance Gross is perhaps best known to television audiences as college-age son Calvin on the TBS comedy series “House of Payne” (2007-present). The role has brought him two Image Awards. Gross also has acted in the TV series “The Bernie Mac Show” and “Eve” and in the comedy film “Meet the Browns” (2008).
Gross proposed his fiance, ANTM winner Eva Marcille (aka. Eva Pigford), on December 25, 2008.
Childhood and Family:
Lance Gross was born on July 8, 1981, in Oakland, California. He graduated from the Howard University in Washington, D.C. with a Bachelor of Arts in theater. He went on to train at the Tasha Smith Acting Studio and The Ivanna Chubbuck Studio.
Meet the Browns
A stellar sportman, Lance Gross rejected the opportunity of becoming a professional track and field athlete and chose a career in acting instead. Discovered by fashion designer Karl Kani while in elevator at BET's 20th anniversary after party, he soon appeared in a national commercial. His real acting job, however, arrived with a small role as choir member in the UPN comedy series “Eve” episode “Oh, Brother,” airing on February 16, 2006.
Gross next appeared in an episode of “The Bernie Mac Show” called “What Would Jason Do?” (also 2006). He quickly graduated from television to film with a supporting role as Tony Gene in “Changing Blossoms” (2006), a 17-minute short directed and penned by Terra Cristelle.
The following year, Gross hit the big time when he won the supporting role of Calvin Payne on the sitcom “House of Payne,” which goes around a multi-generational family living under one roof in Atlanta, Georgia. For his bright acting job, Gross was handed two consecutive Image awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2008-2009). Among his costars in the show include LaVan Davis, Allen Payne, Cassi Davis, Larramie Doc Shaw, China Anne McClain.
In 2008, Gross was cast as Michael Brown in “Meet the Browns,” a very disappointing comedy film directed and written by and starring “House of Payne” creator Tyler Perry. David Mann and Angela Bassett also acted in the film as Leroy Brown and Brenda Brown, respectively.
Image: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, “House of Payne,” 2009
Image: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, “House of Payne,” 2008