Writer and director Sam Grosman was born in New York City in 1945. After graduating from New York's High School of Art and Design, he studied film at New York University before relocating to California, where he was a fellow at the American Film Institute from 1971 through 1976. After directing several shorts, in 1976 he made his best-known film, the teen-oriented comedy The Van (which featured an early acting credit for Danny De Vito). Grossman also wrote the screenplay for the film The Visitor, and worked extensively in television. Grossman died of cancer in 1999.