RIP: Ben Cross

Ben Cross, the English actor best known for his portrayal of the British Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams in the 1981 Oscar-winner Chariots Of Fire and as Sarek in the 2009 motion picture reboot Star Trek, has died aged 72 following illness.

The veteran stage and screen star passed away this morning in Vienna, his family confirmed.

Cross was born Harry Bernard Cross in London in 1947 to a working class family. He began acting at a young age, participating in grammar school plays, but left school to work as a window cleaner, waiter, joiner and carpenter before being accepted age 22 into London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. He excelled at RADA and won the acting school’s prestigious Vanbrugh prize for performance of the year. He would go on to claim a string of key stage roles and made his big screen debut on 1976 World War II epic A Bridge Too Far.

Ben will also be familiar to cult TV fans for his role as vampire Barnabas Collins in the 1990s TV series remake of Dark Shadows.