Ben Cross

ben_crossBen Cross (born Harry Bernard Cross; 16 December 1947) is an English actor of the stage and screen, best known for his portrayal of the British Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire. Cross was born in London; his mother was a cleaning woman and his father a doorman and nurse.
Upon graduation from RADA, Cross performed in several stage plays at Duke’s Playhouse where he was seen in Macbeth, The Importance of Being Earnest and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. He then joined the Prospect Theatre Company and played roles in Pericles, Twelfth Night, and Royal Hunt of the Sun. In 1977, Cross 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.
During Cross’s performance in Chicago, he was recognized and recommended for a leading role in the multiple Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire.
Cross’s starring role in Chariots of Fire has been credited with continuing a transatlantic trend in elegant young English actors that had been set by Jeremy Irons in Brideshead Revisited, and was followed by Rupert Everett in Dance With A Stranger, Rupert Graves in A Room With a View, and Hugh Grant in Maurice.
The major success of Chariots of Fire opened the doors to the international film BenCrossmarket. Cross followed up Chariots of Fire with performances as a Scottish physician, Dr Andrew Mason, struggling with the politics of the British medical system during the 1920s, in The Citadel, a 10-part BBC dramatisation of A J Cronin’s novel, and as Ashton (Ash) Pelham-Martyn, a British cavalry officer torn between two cultures in the ITV miniseries The Far Pavilions.
Cross played Ikey Solomon in the Australian production The Potato Factory in 2000. In 2005 Cross, an anti-death penalty campaigner, starred as a death-row prisoner in Bruce Graham’s play, Coyote on a Fence, at the Duchess Theatre. He played Rudolf Hess in the 2006 BBC production Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial.
In November 2007, Cross was cast in the role of Sarek, in the new Star Trek film directed and produced by J. J. Abrams.
Cross 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 enrolled in a course studying Bulgarian.
He has been married twice: first to Penny from 1977 to 1992 with whom he has two children named Lauren and Theodore, and then to Michelle until 2005.