Ben Cross, 'Chariots of Fire' and 'Star Trek' Actor, Dead at 72

Ben Cross, known for his roles in the films Chariots of Fire and the 2009 Star Trek reboot, died on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. He was 72 years old. Variety mentioned Cross died in Vienna, Austria and recently wrapped his last role as Cardinal Matthews in Lionsgate's The Devil's Light 10 days ago.

Cross played the lead character in Chariots of Fire, a historical drama film that told the story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics. Cross played Harold Abrahams, who was experiencing anti-Semitism at Cambridge University. The 1981 film earned critical acclaim, winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

"The water was freezing," Cross said in a 2012 interview when talking about the opening scene. "And we had bare feet – completely ridiculous. If you spoke to a sports trainer about running barefoot in ice-cold water they'd ask you if you were mad. But, look, it made for a good opening sequence so that was that."

Cross went on to have a strong career in Hollywood. He has appeared in a number of notable films and TV shows, but he gained recognition when he played the role of Sarek in the Stark Trek reboot. "I had the great privilege to work with the wonderful Ben Cross twice," said Austrian director Robert Dornhelm in a statement. "He was a sensitive humanist and a professional actor. I will miss him very much."

Recently, Cross stared in the CW series Pandora and the 2018 film Hurricane Heist. According to Variety, Cross will star in the upcoming Netflix film, Last Letter from Your Lover, which also features Shailene Woodley and Felicity Jones. He was also cast in the upcoming projects Resilient 3D and Liberty.


Cross was born Harry Benard Coss in London in 1947. He started acting at a young age but then left school to work different jobs. At the age of 22, Cross was accepted into London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. He then made his screen debut in the 1976 film A Bridge Too Far. He was then cast in the play Chicago before landing Chariots of Fire. Cross and his co-star Ian Charleston both won Most Promising artist of 1981 from the Variety Club Awards. He is survived by his wife Deyana Boneva Cross and his two children, Theo and Lauren.