Gil Grant was born in Tucson, Arizona. After graduating from Rincon High School, he attended the University of Arizona while working full time at KVOA-TV as a camera operator, eventually directing the evening news. He graduated from the U of A with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Landing a job at KPNX-TV in Phoenix (then KTAR), he wrote and directed commercials during the day, while writing screenplays at night. His break came when he sold a script to a new NBC sitcom, OPERATION PETTICOAT. Based on a Cary Grant, Tony Curtis film about a pink submarine in World War II, the series starred John Astin, as well an 18 year old Jamie Lee Curtis, in one of her first roles.