Chariots Of Fire actor Ben Cross dies aged 72 after a short illness

Chariots Of Fire and Star Trek actor Ben Cross dies aged 72 after a short illness

  • The actor was best known for his portrayal of Harold Abrahams in Chariot Of Fire in 1981
  • He also starred as Sarek in 2009 reboot film Star Trek 
  • Ben in survived by his wife Deyana Boneva Cross and his three children

Chariots Of Fire star Ben Cross has died aged 72 after a short illness. 

The actor died early on Tuesday morning in Vienna, his family confirmed to Deadline. 

Ben was an English stage and film actor, best known for his portrayal of the British Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams in the 1981 film Chariots Of Fire and as Sarek in the 2009 reboot film Star Trek.

Always remembered: Chariots Of Fire star Ben Cross has died aged 72 following a short illness (pictured in 2009) 

Ben is survived by his wife Deyana Boneva Cross and his three children. The actor married three times.

In October 2014 he became a grandfather. 

The actor was born Harry Bernard Cross, in London, to a working class family, with Irish ancestry. 

Iconic role: Ben was an English stage and film actor, best known for his portrayal of the British Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams in the 1981 film Chariots Of Fire (pictured left in 1981) 

Science fiction: Ben starred as Sarek in 2009 reboot film Star Trek

Family: Ben is survived by his wife Deyana Boneva Cross and his three children (pictured at the Chariots Of Fire at The Empire Leicester Square on July 10, 2012)

Ben initially worked in various jobs, including work as a joiner and window cleaner. Aged 22, he was accepted into London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.  

In 1977, Cross became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and performed in the premiere of Privates on Parade as Kevin Cartwright.

Ben’s path to Hollywood stardom began a year later with his role as lawyer Billy Flynn in Chicago.

During the actor’s performance, he was recognised and recommended for a leading role in the multiple Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire. 

Talented actor: Ben pictured in the The Flame Trees of Thika in 1981 

For their performances in the film, Cross and his co-star Ian Charleson both won Most Promising Artiste of 1981 awards from the Variety Club Awards in February 1982.

Since his Chariots of Fire success Ben has cultivated a varied career as an actor, director, writer and musician. 

Chariots of Fire told the story- based on true events- of two runners in the 1924 Olympics. 

Eric Liddell, played by Ian Charleson, is a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of God.

Ben played Harold, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice.

Abrahams eventually wins the gold medal in the Olympic 100 metre race, while Liddell is triumphant in the 400 metres, bringing the British team a glorious victory. 

Directed by Hugh Hudson and written by Colin Welland, Chariots of Fire was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four, including Best Picture.

It is ranked 19th in the British Film Institute’s list of Top 100 British films.

Hollywood star: Since his Chariots of Fire success Ben has cultivated a varied career as an actor, director, writer and musician

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