Ben Cross Dead: ‘Star Trek’ Actor Dies at 72

Ben Cross

Getty Ben Cross

Actor Ben Cross, best known for playing Harold Abrahams in Chariots of Fire in 1981, has died at age 72.

The stage and screen star died on Tuesday morning in Vienna, Cross’s family confirmed to Deadline.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Cross’s family said, “He was a man who taught us to embrace our feelings, whatever they may be. We are grateful for the time we had with him. His spirit lives on in our hearts through his words, his music, and the love that we still feel.”

The actor is survived by his wife, Deyana Boneva Cross, his children Theo and Lauren and three grandchildren, Deadline reported.

Here’s what you need to know:

Cross’ Cause of Death Was an ‘Unspecified Illness’

According to The Guardian, Cross died from an “unspecified illness.” His rep, Tracy Mapes, subsequently told the Associated Press that the actor died after a “short illness.” She added that he had recently finished filming the horror film The Devil’s Light.

On Tuesday morning, August 18, Cross’s daughter took to Facebook to share the news of his death. She wrote:

Dear Fans of Ben Cross. This is his daughter, Lauren. I am utterly heartbroken to share with you that my darling father died a few hours ago. He had been sick for a while but there was a rapid decline over the past week. The press will be announcing his death soon, I just wanted you all—his most loyal and loving fans—to hear it from us first. Thank you for all your support over the years. He really enjoyed interacting with you.

Cross Had an Illustrious Career on Stage & Film

Born in London in 1947, Cross started acting at a young age, appearing in school plays, Deadline reported. When he was 15, he left school and home to work as a window cleaner, waiter and carpenter. Following his passion for acting, at age 22 he was accepted to London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. There, he received the school’s Vanbrugh Prize for the performance of the year. Cross spent a number of years after graduating working as a stage actor.

His first movie appearance was in the 1977 film A Bridge Too Far, a World War II movie featuring Sean Connery and Michael Caine, Deadline reported.

The same year, according to The Guardian, he became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He then nabbed the role of Billy Flynn in the play Chicago before scoring a starring role in the film Chariots of Fire, which went on to win the Oscar for best picture. In the latter, Cross played Harold Abrahams, an English athlete who was one of Scot Eric Liddell’s main competitors.

Cross went on to star in BBC’s The Citadel, ITV’s The Far Pavilions and a stage revival of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, according to CNN.

His IMDb profile includes listings for 104 television and film credits since 1972, including three performances currently in pre-production, one currently filming and one in post-production. He appeared as Sarek in the 2009 Star Trek film. His most recent completed credit is The Rest is Ashes. He appeared in The CW’s Pandora and the 2018 film The Hurricane Heist. 

In addition to his work as an actor, Cross worked as a director, writer and musician.

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