Ben Cross, the English actor who starred in the 1981 Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire and played Sarek in 2009's Star Trek reboot died on Tuesday morning in Vienna, his family confirmed. He was 72 years old. Born Harry Bernard Cross in London in 1947, Cross began acting in school plays in grammar school. He left school and worked as a window cleaner, waiter, and carpenter before enrolling in London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts when he was 22 years old. He won the school's Vanbrugh prize for the performance of the year. He graduated into a series of strong stage performances, eventually making his film debut in the 1976 World War II movie A Bridge Too Far.
His star continued to rise, capturing international attention with his performance as lawyer Billy Flynn in Chicago. That performance helped land him his part in Chariots of Fire, where he starred opposite Ian Charleson, Ian Holm, and John Gielgud. The film, based on a true story of two competing track athletes, one Jewish and one Christian, at the 1924 Olympics was a huge box office success. Cross garnered critical praise and attention for his performance.
After Chariots of Fire, Cross went on to star in the BBC drama The Citadel, HBO' movie Steal The Sky and the NBC miniseries Twist of Fate. He also maintained a theater presence, with performances in Lydia Breeze and the revival of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.
In 1995, Cross played the villainous Prince Malagant in Columbia Pictures' First Knight. The cast also included Richard Gere, Sean Connery, and Julia Ormond. He played Spock's father, Sarek, in the J.J. Abrams-directed 2009 Star Trek movie, which takes place in an alternate timeline from the original Star Trek series.
More recently, Cross appeared on The CW series Pandora and in the 2018 movie The Hurricane Heist. He wrapped filming on his final performance, playing Cardinal Mathews in the horror movie The Devil's Light, ten days before his death.
Cross also has a role in the Netflix film Last Letter from Your Lover, which is still in post-production. In the movie, he stars opposite Shailene Woodley, Felicity Jones, Joe Alwyn, and Callum Turner. He was also set to appear in the yet-to-film movies Resilient 3D and Liberty.
Cross was married three times, and he is survived by his wife Deyana Boneva Cross, as well as his two children, Theo and Lauren.