Real name: Paul Gross
Birthdate: April 30, 1959
Partner: Martha Burns
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Paul Michael Gross (born April 30, 1959), is a Canadian actor, producer, director, singer and writer born in Calgary, Alberta. He has two children, Jack and Hannah, with fellow actor Martha Burns whom he married in 1987. He also has a Golden Retriever called Chester. He is internationally best known for his lead role as Constable Benton Fraser in the television series Due South.
Paul Gross plays Constable Benton Fraser, a Mountie who goes to Chicago in order to find the killers of his father. He does, but in so doing implicates several members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the killing, and on charges of internal corruption. Because this makes him unsafe in Canada, Fraser remains in Chicago as a liaison between the Chicago Police Department and the Canadian Consulate. The bulk of the show features him solving crimes with his friend Detective Ray Vecchio (David Marciano) and his faithful companion Diefenbaker, a deaf half-wolf; periodically, he's shown standing guard outside the consulate, always with someone messing with him because they know he can't move or speak during this duty, or trying to talk to him because they don't understand that.
Benton Fraser is the archetypal Mountie, dogged, polite, and compulsively truthful; the themes of the series often featured his rigid moral code being tested by the realities of Chicago life. A little more unusual is his encyclopedic knowledge of virtually everything, however obscure (this is attributed to his grandparents having been librarians), a range of uncanny abilities, most notably his ability to sniff and lick refuse from the streets to gain clues about crimes, the way he can fall into a dumpster or other waste heap and emerge looking like he was "hand laundered," and the way every woman he encounters falls madly in love with him, including his boss Meg Thatcher and Ray's sister Francesca; his total obliviousness to this, and the fact that he rarely pursues any of the offers the ladies extend to him, is part of his charm.
After the show was cancelled twice by CBS, third and fourth seasons were commissioned by foreign television companies, with Paul Gross as Executive Producer. Gross himself was the first to say that he did not know what his new post would entail. In addition to this role, he wrote the season three opener "Burning Down the House", the two part season three finale "Mountie on the Bounty" and the two part series finale "Call of the Wild".
Gross also wrote and sang songs in the show (including season three's "32 Down on the Robert Mackenzie"), some of which can be found on the two Due South soundtracks.