Youngest coroner in the history of L.A.County at age 22. Eight years later, a headhunter recruited him to run the Field Services office in Las Vegas. Grissom has spent the last 15 years helping Las Vegas move from #14 to #2 in the U.S. Crime Lab rankings.
Grissom grew up in Marina Del Rey, California. His mother ran an art gallery in Venice, and his father was in the "import/export" business, dealing primarily with communist China. Grissom's parents divorced when he was five. At eight or nine, Grissom began riding his bike out to the beach every day to collect dead seagulls, opossums, and anything else he could find. He would bring the remains home and conduct autopsies, slowly teaching himself the ins and outs of death. As a teenager, Grissom became known to local authorities, who employed him for quick autopsies on dead animals such as cats and dogs. By age sixteen, Grissom was an "unofficial intern" for the L.A.County morgue. He worked his way through college and then went to work full time as the youngest coroner in the history of L.A.County. His philosophy about his work has always been: "If you want to learn about forensics, master everything else first." While others may have a reason for being a CSI, for Grissom the job is not about choice. Grissom could no more work in another profession than a fish could stop swimming. CSI is not a job for Grissom, it's an expression of who he is as a person, the perfect synthesis of personality and profession.
Grissom is an entomologist. -- Pilot
Grissom eats chocolate-covered grasshoppers. -- Pilot
Grissom once took a labtech called Charlotte on a date to "Dark Side of the Moon" synched to the "Wizard of Oz". Charlotte would rather have Grissom pin her against the wall and 'lay one on her like he meant it'. -- Pilot
Grissom likes the rock group Pink Floyd. -- Pilot
When Grissom solved his first robbery, the owner of the store was so happy that he gave Grissom a dozen farm fresh eggs from out of his cooler. -- Pilot
Grissom has seen the "The Exorcist". He cited the following part of the movie: "The old priest and Father Karras were about to exorcise the demon. Father Karras explains that he's recorded the little girl and had broken down the spirit into three distinct personalities. But the old priest was quickly corrects him, 'There is only one.'" -- Pilot
Grissom first meets Paul Millander. Millander's fingerprint was on the tape recorder that contained Royce Harmon's "suicide note". Millander told Grissom he used his own hand for a rubber arm of which he sold 10.000 units for Halloween, so Grissom believed Millander was innocent. -- Pilot
Grissom shops on ebay and won a pager nest. -- Cool Change
Grissom brings Sara in to investigate Warrick, because he trusts her and doesn't want Internal Affairs involved. -- Cool Change
Grissom knows all hotels use Myer's Roof Dust because it diverts the sun's rays. When Nick asks him why he knows 'crap' like this, Grissom answers it's their job to know things like this. -- Cool Change
Grissom is assigned to the head of the Graveyard Shift. -- Cool Change
Grissom doesn't wear cologne, because it interferes with the job. -- Crate 'n Burial
Grissom once found a skeleton in an abandoned gold mine. When he learned the guy passed out drunk and cyanide leached into his system, Grissom learned that miners drop cyanide powder into the dirt to draw the gold to the surface. -- Crate 'n Burial
Grissom almost blew up the house with 'Chemlab 500' when he was six years old. -- Crate 'n Burial
Grissom keeps an African Red Baboon tarantula. They are the most feared of all arachnids, but are basically harmless. -- Pledging Mr. Johnson
Grissom eats Calamari at a restaurant called The Grille. He sometimes has a beer with it. -- Pledging Mr. Johnson
Grissom lives in a townhouse. -- Pledging Mr. Johnson
Grissom solves advanced level crossword puzzles. -- Pledging Mr. Johnson
Grissom can eat with chopsticks. -- Pledging Mr. Johnson
A couple of summers ago, Grissom went to a seminar in New Hampshire. -- Friends & Lovers
Grissom copes with heavy emotions by riding rollercoasters. -- Friends & Lovers
Grissom's graveyard shift beat the day shift in softball with 14 to 3 last summer. -- Blood Drops
Grissom makes his own fingerprint powder. It's called 'Red Creeper'. -- Anonymous
Grissom knows a jazz producer named 'Disco Placid'. -- Anonymous
Grissom gets very angry when he learns that Paul Milander set him up. -- Anonymous
Grissom would love to be more autonomous - left alone to do his thing. -- Anonymous
Grissom fiddles with a Rubik's Cube when he is stuck on a problem. -- Anonymous
Grissom mentioned the 1999 movie "Run, Lola Run". -- Unfriendly Skies
Grissom claims to read a magazine called Applied Psychodynamics in Forensic Science. -- Unfriendly Skies
Grissom knows all of the Beatles by name. -- Sex, Lies and Larvae
Grissom is one of about fifteen forensic entomologists in the country. -- Sex, Lies and Larvae
Grissom is familiar with the history of forensic science. -- Sex, Lies and Larvae
Grissom referred to the Chinese card/tile game Pai Gao. It is unknown whether he actually plays the game. -- I-15 Murders
Grissom knows Superman. He referred to the victim's hear as the planet Krypton. -- I-15 Murders
Grissom owns a 'Big Mouth Billy Bass'. (A singing fish). -- I-15 Murders
Grissom keeps a two-headed scorpion and an embalmed pig in his office. Nick refers to the pig as "Miss Piggy". -- I-15 Murders
Grissom preaches the Holy Trinity: Victim, suspect and crime scene. -- I-15 Murders
Grissom's address at the crime lab is 2974 Westfall, Las VegasNV89109. -- Fahrenheit 932
Grissom neglected to attend a meeting in which the department heads were voting on an extra vacation day. -- Fahrenheit 932
When angry, Grissom can be pushed to violence. He knocked a coffee pot from Ecklie's hands. -- Fahrenheit 932
Grissom can find the difference between a piece of bone and a piece of rock by tasting it. -- To Halve and to Hold
Grissom isn't pleased when Catherine calls in Teri Miller. When Catherine suggests the two had a relationship, Grissom claims he hardly knows the woman. -- To Halve and to Hold
Grissom called Teri Miller, but she didn't return his phone call. -- To Halve and to Hold
Grissom asks Teri Miller to have dinner with him. When he's called away during dinner, he turns around to see that she has left. -- To Halve and to Hold
Grissom quotes the game show Jeopardy. -- To Halve and to Hold
Grissom quotes Lewis Carroll's "Alice through the Looking Glass". -- To Halve and to Hold
Gil Grissom agrees to the fact he is not good with people. -- Face Lift
Gil Grissom is familiar with 'Spiderman', since he mentions Peter Parker. -- Face Lift
Teri Miller won't have dinner with Gil Grissom again, after he screwed up their last date. -- Face Lift
Grissom hasn't felt the element of surprise for a while, until a dead body lands in his arms at a crime scene. -- $35K O.B.O.
Gil Grissom's mother was deaf. She taught him sign language. Jane Gilbert says he's a little rusty though. -- Sounds of Silence
Gil Grissom is paid to speak at seminars. -- Justice is Served
Gil Grissom can quote Buddha. -- Justice is Served
According to Dr. Susan Hillridge Gil Grissom is deficient in folic acid. -- Justice is Served
Gil Grissom says he feels like sharing every nine years and 34 days. -- Evaluation Day
Gil Grissom takes Warrick Brown for a roller coaster ride. -- Evaluation Day
Gil Grissom refers to the TV series 'The Honeymooners' by saying to Catherine: "You're a riot, Alice." -- Evaluation Day
Gil Grissom quotes 'Sleepy Hollow'. -- Evaluation Day
Gil Grissom owns a pet tarantula, maggot farms and has a komodo dragon on back order. -- Evaluation Day
Gil Grissom doesn't like the fact that Brian Mobley involved the FBI in his case. -- The Strip Strangler
Gil Grissom says he's not used to having people in his house. -- The Strip Strangler
Gil Grissom occasionally suffers from migraines. He takes a prescription medicine for it. -- The Strip Strangler
Brian Mobley removes Gil Grissom from the case. -- The Strip Strangler
The entire teams supports Gil Grissom when he is removed from the case. -- The Strip Strangler
Gil Grissom is attacked by Syd Goggle but Catherine Willows saves his life. -- The Strip Strangler
Gil Grissom had several butterfly collections at home. -- The Strip Strangler
Gil Grissom used electrocution to cook his hotdogs when he was in college. -- Overload
Gil Grissom likes to solve crossword puzzles. -- Overload
Gil Grissom says he was a ghost in high school. -- Bully for You
Gil Grissom advises Sara Sidle to use lemons to get rid of the smell of the decomp. -- Bully for You
Gil Grissom knows enough about James Bond to know Dr. No had dextrocardia. -- Bully for You
Gil Grissom once believed the metric system would catch on. -- Scuba Doobie-Doo
Gil Grissom's pulse is normally seventy. It can get upto 95 when he gets mad. -- Scuba Doobie-Doo
Sara Sidle and Nick Stokes invite Gil Grissom for breakfast, but he refuses. -- Scuba Doobie-Doo
Gil Grissom says his uncle Herbert is a plummer. -- Scuba Doobie-Doo
Gil Grissom used to be a catholic. -- Alter Boys
Gil Grissom believes in God, but he does not believe in religion. -- Alter Boys
Gil Grissom likes Shakespeare. Hamlet is his favorite tragedy. -- Caged
Gil Grissom says hit outlets are studying bugs and riding roller coasters. -- Slaves of Las Vegas
Gil Grissom says his sex life doesn't involve going to the theater. -- Slaves of Las Vegas
Gil Grissom had afternoon tea with Lady Heather. -- Slaves of Las Vegas
Lady Heather thinks Gil Grissom's biggest fear is being known. -- Slaves of Las Vegas
Gil Grissom goes to the fifth annual entomological convention in Duluth. He's giving a tutorial in preserving mass crime scenes. -- Ellie
One of Gil Grissom's hobbies is racing cockroaches. He's in the finals at the entomological convention. -- Ellie
Gil Grissom's cockroaches can run 2,5 miles per hour. -- Ellie
Gil Grissom's cockroaches came in fourth, third, second and dead last. -- Ellie
Gil Grissom feeds his cockroaches dog food. -- Ellie
Grissom once sold a Mercedes to Conrad Ecklie. -- Anatomy of a Lye
Grissom puts red ants on his eggs. Doc Robbins hopes they are dead when Grissom does that. -- Snuff
Chandra Moore is a fan of Gil Grissom. -- Viva Las Vegas
Attended Bishop Kelly High School in Boise, Idaho. He wears his his old football jersey from that school in most of his movies.
Daughter named Mai-Tae, born in 1975.
Testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on increased funding for crime labs.
Attended the renowned Steppenwolf Company.
Engaged to Gina Cirone, a biology teacher. [March 2002]
Started at Idaho State U on a football scholarship. That's where he found acting
Married longtime girl friend, Gina Cirone, in Petrignano, Italy.
Reprised his breakout performance in Manhunter as a keen investigative sleuth in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2000 (voted people's choice for best drama, 2003).
He has a production company called, High Horse (with friend & fellow C.S.I. producer, Cythina Chvatal).
He has one grandchild named Mazrik William (born October 2003).
Not only does he reprise his role as investigator from Manhunter in "CSI Crime Scene Investigation," in one plot line in CSI, Petersen also pursues an insane killer played by Tom Noonan. Noonan also played the titular insane killer in "Manhunter."
Was offered a role in Platoon, but turned it down because it was a low paying job and the prospect of going to the Phillipines for weeks of training before filming didn't appeal to him.
Calls Long Gone the most fun he ever had making a movie. He made it instead of appearing in Platoon.
(On seeing the Marlon Brando movie "Last Tango in Paris") "It was the first time that I understood that acting was an art form. It was not Clint Eastwood on a horse, Bob Hope in a road movie. It was not Don Knotts in The Incredible Mr. Limpet. These are favorite movies of mine, too. But when I sat in Last Tango in Paris, the lightbulb went on. To this day, Brando is the one I want to meet, and the one I'm terrified to meet."