Actor Ben Cross died August 18 in Vienna, Austria after what the family is calling a short illness at the age of 72.

While his role as Olympic runner Harold Abrahams in the 1981 award winning film “Chariots of Fire” is considered Cross’ breakout role,  Cross made his film debut in 1972 in the short film “The Reprieve”.  From there he would go on to appear in over 100 productions where his roles included a Prince, a Vulcan Ambassador, a sea Captain, and an iconic vampire.

After making his film debut in 1972, Cross’ film and televisionroles include “A Bridge too Far”, 10 episodes of the mini series “The Citadel”, “The Twilight Zone”, Barnabas Collins in the 1991 remake of “Dark Shadows”, “First Knight”, the made for TV movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, the mini series “Spartacus”, Spock’s father Sarek in the 2009 JJ Abrams film “Star Trek”, the mini series “Ben Hur”, the TV series “Banshee”, and his final role in 2020 “The Rest is Ashes”.

At the time of his death, Cross had just completed filming “The Devil’s Light” and the film “Last Letter from Your Love” is in post-production.  He was cast for roles in “Liberty” and “Resilient 3D” both of which are currently in pre-production.

He was born Harry Bernard Cross on December 16, 1947 in London, England where he began his acting career as a small child including the role of Jesus at the age of 12 in a school pageant.  Cross was accepted to RADA – the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art – when he was 22 years old.  After graduating from RADA Cross took his career to the stage where his roles included performances in “Macbeth”, “The Importance of Being Earnest”, “Death of a Salesman”, “Twelfth Night”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “Irma La Douce”, and “Chicago”.

Cross is survived by his wife third wife Deyana, two children – Lauren and Theo -, and three grandchildren.

feature photo credit: By paddynapper – ISAAC DE GOIS, CC BY-SA 2.0,