72 (passed away Aug. 18th, 2020)
Dec. 16th, 1947
London, England, UK
Ben Cross' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Harry Bernard Cross is an English actor best known for his portrayal of the British Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams in the 1981 Chariots of Fire and as Sarek in the 2009 reboot Star Trek.
Ben left home and school at age 15 and worked various jobs, including window washer, waiter and carpenter. He was master carpenter for the Welsh National Opera and property master at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham, England.
In 1970, at the age of 22, he was accepted into London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). Upon graduation from RADA, Ben performed in several stage plays at Duke's Playhouse where he was seen in "Macbeth," "The Importance of Being Earnest," and "Death of a Salesman." He then joined the Prospect Theatre Company and played roles in "Pericles," "Twelfth Night," and "Royal Hunt of the Sun." Ben also joined the cast in the immensely popular musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and played leading roles in 'Peter Shaffer' "Equurs," "Mind Your Head" and the musical "Irma La Douce" -- all at Leicester's Haymarket Theatre.
Ben's first big screen film appearance came in 1976 when he went on location to Deventer, Holland, to play Trooper Binns in "A Bridge Too Far." In 1977, Ben became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and performed in the premier of "Privates on Parade" as Kevin Cartwright and played Rover in a revival of a Restoration play titled "Wild Oats."
Ben's path to international stardom began in 1978 with his extraordinary performance in the play "Chicago" in which he played Billy Flynn, the slick lawyer of murderess Roxie Hart. During his performance in this play, he was recognized and recommended for a leading role "Chariots of Fire" (1981). Ben followed up with the Masterpiece Theatre miniseries "The Citadel" (1983) in which he played a Scottish physician struggling with the politics of the British medical system during the 1920s, and then as Ash Pelham-Martyn, a British cavalry officer torn between two cultures in the "The Far Pavilions" (1984).
During the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, Ben appeared in a commercial for American Express, and also as the featured actor endorsing the Polaroid Spectra camera in 1986. Ben was featured in "GQ Magazine" as one of the annual "Manstyle" winners in January, 1985, followed by a featured photo shoot in March, 1985.
Ben enjoyed long-term success in the film industry, currently over 30 years. Over the years, he has played several outstanding roles including his portrayal of Solomon, in the 1997 Trimark Pictures production Solomon, Barnabus in the 1991 MGM remake of the miniseries "Dark Shadows", Sir Harold Pearson in the 1994 Italian production Caro dolce amore. Ikey Solomon in the 2000 Australian production "The Potato Factory" as 'Rudolf Hess' in the 2006 BBC production "Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial".
Ben is a director, writer and musician as well. Among many of his original works is the musical "Rage". Ben's first single as a lyricist was released by Polydor Records in the late 1970s and was titled "Mickey Moonshine." Other works include "The Best We've Ever Had" and "Nearly Midnight," both written by Ben and directed by his son Theo. In addition, the original soundtrack for "Nearly Midnight" was written, produced and performed by his daughter Lauren. These works were performed in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2002 and 2003 respectively. "Square One," directed by Ben, was performed at the Etcetera Theatre in London in 2004.
Ben has lived all over the world, including London, Los Angeles, New York, Southern Spain, Vienna, and, most recently, Sofia. He is familiar with the Spanish, Italian and German languages and has enrolled in a course studying Bulgarian.
When he's not filming, he can be found writing music, screenplays and articles for English language publications.
Ben Cross died from cancer in on 18 August, 2020, in Vienna, Austria.
- Often plays very sinister or "bad guy" roles
- A Graduate and an Associate Member of London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA).
- Directed his son, Theo Cross, in a play, August 2004.
- He lived for two years in Spain.
- (1978) Daughter, Lauren, born
- (1980) Son, Theodore, born