Ben Cross

Actor, Set builder, Window washer
Composed, cerebral actor Ben Cross first came to international attention as the Olympic runner Harold Abrahams in Hugh Hudson's inspiring drama "Chariots of Fire" (1981). The Oscar-winning drama set the tone for much of ... Read more »
Born: 12/15/1947 in London, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (65)

Ice 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Common Man 2013 (Movie)

(Actor)

Viking Quest 2013 (Movie)

King Orn (Actor)

HawthoRNe 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Star Trek 2009 (Movie)

Sarek (Actor)

Hero Wanted 2008 (Movie)

Cosmo Jackson (Actor)

War, Inc. 2008 (Movie)

Medusa Hair (Actor)

Grendel 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Actor

Undisputed 2 2007 (Movie)

Stevie Parker (Actor)

When Nietzsche Wept 2006 (Movie)

Dr. Joseph Breuer (Actor)

Frederick Forsythe's Icon 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Exorcist: The Beginning 2004 (Movie)

Semelier (Actor)

Spartacus 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

She, Me and Her 2002 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Order 2002 (Movie)

(Actor)

Honey Sweet Love 2001 (Movie)

(Actor)

Young Blades 2001 (Movie)

(Actor)

Poltergeist: The Legacy 1995 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The Invader 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The Venice Project 1998 (Movie)

Rudy Mestry/Bishop Orsini (Actor)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The Corporate Ladder 1997 (Movie)

(Actor)

Turbulence 1997 (Movie)

Captain Sam Bowen (Actor)

Robert Rylands' Last Journey 1996 (Movie)

Alfred Cromer-Blake (Actor)

First Knight 1995 (Movie)

Malagant (Actor)

Blood Song 1994 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Criminal Mind 1994 (Movie)

Nick August--Los Angeles District Attorney (Actor)

The Temptress 1994 (Movie)

Dr Samudaya (Actor)

Cold Sweat 1993 (Movie)

Mark Cahill (Actor)

L' Attenzione 1993 (Movie)

Alberto (Actor)

The Ascent 1993 (Movie)

Major Farrell (Actor)

The Ray Bradbury Theater 1987 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Seance 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Dark Shadows 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Dark Shadows 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

L' Oeil de la Veuve 1991 (Movie)

(Actor)

La Boutique de l'orfevre 1989 (Movie)

Stephan (Actor)

Nightlife 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Paperhouse 1989 (Movie)

Father (Actor)

Twist of Fate 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The Unholy 1988 (Movie)

Father Michael (Actor)

Arthur Hailey's "Strong Medicine" 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Assisi Underground 1985 (Movie)

Padre Rufino (Actor)

The Citadel 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Chariots of Fire 1981 (Movie)

Harold Abrahams (Actor)

Great Expectations 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Topper 1953 - 1955 (TV Show)

Actor

Black Forest (TV Show)

Actor

Coming Out of the Ice (TV Show)

Actor

Deep Trouble (TV Show)

Actor

Hellfire (TV Show)

Actor

Hellhounds (TV Show)

Actor

Live Wire (TV Show)

Actor

Lost City Raiders (TV Show)

Actor

SS Doomtrooper (TV Show)

Actor

She Stood Alone (TV Show)

Actor

Solomon (TV Show)

Actor

Species: The Awakening (TV Show)

Actor

Steal the Sky (TV Show)

Actor

The Diamond Fleece (TV Show)

Actor

The Far Pavilions (TV Show)

Actor

The Flame Trees of Thika (TV Show)

Actor

Tower Of The Firstborn (TV Show)

Actor

Twist of Fate (Movie)

Ben Grossman (Actor)

William and Kate (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Composed, cerebral actor Ben Cross first came to international attention as the Olympic runner Harold Abrahams in Hugh Hudson's inspiring drama "Chariots of Fire" (1981). The Oscar-winning drama set the tone for much of Cross' subsequent film and television career, which found him playing upstanding young men whose passions - either romantic or professional - clashed with the established order in projects like "The Citadel" (BBC, 1983) and "The Far Pavilions" (HBO, 1984). Cross' popularity cooled in subsequent years, but he remained remarkably active in a wide-ranging selection of projects around the globe, which cast him as everything from vampires in "Dark Shadows" (NBC, 1991) to Biblical kings in "Solomon" (1997). In 2009, he enjoyed a return to Hollywood with a small role in J.J. Abrams' big-screen revamp of "Star Trek" (NBC, 1966-68) before continuing his career as one of international film's most dependable and talented performers.

Born Harry Bernard Cross on Dec. 16, 1947 in London, England, Cross developed a taste for acting while very young, appearing in numerous grammar school productions - most notably as Jesus in a school pageant at the age of 12. He left home just three years later and worked in various jobs before settling into one that combined his passion for acting with his knack for handiwork - as the master carpenter at the Welsh National Opera. Cross' passion for acting led him to pursue the craft as a profession, so in 1970, the 22-year-old was accepted into the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. After graduation, he immersed himself in classic theater at the Duke's Playhouse before joining the Prospect Theatre Company, where he tackled both Shakespeare and modern productions like "The Royal Hunt of the Sun." Later, he would flex his musical talents in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Irma La Douce" at the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester. During this period, Cross was also enjoying modest success as a songwriter, penning several singles, including the Polydor release "Mickey Moonshine."

Cross broke into screen acting in the early 1970s with supporting roles in television productions like "Great Expectations" (ITC, 1974) before making his movie debut in the World War II drama "A Bridge Too Far" in 1976. More television followed, as did Cross' acceptance into the Royal Shakespeare Company and considerable theater work, including an acclaimed turn as crooked lawyer Billy Flynn in a 1978 production of "Chicago." In 1981, Cross found himself at the center of international attention as one of the leads in Hugh Hudson's "Chariots of Fire," the inspirational story of two British athletes who overcome personal and spiritual conflicts to compete in the 100 meter race in the 1924 Olympics. Cross played Harold Abrahams, a Jewish athlete who faces anti-Semitism and elitism from his alma mater of Cambridge University before winning the 100 meter competition. The film - with its iconic theme song by Vangelis - went on to win four Academy Awards, and thrust Cross into the cinematic spotlight.

However, Cross never quite made the transition from success in European features to American movies. He seemed most at home in English television dramas like "The Flame Trees of Thika" (ITV, 1981) or "The Citadel," which cast him as a Scottish doctor caught up in the bureaucracy of the English medical system in the Twenties. Indeed, historical dramas on television were his forte for years; he was a colonial British soldier in love with a princess in "The Far Pavilions," and an Italian priest aiding Jews in World War II-era Rome in "The Assisi Underground" (1985), which first aired on American television. His forays into features were largely relegated to low-budget efforts like the grisly horror film "The Unholy" (1988) or independent-minded films like the underrated "Paperhouse" (1989), which cast him as the absent father of a highly impressionable young girl who escapes into a dangerous fantasy world. Cross was also a regular face on American advertising, most notably as the spokesperson for the Polaroid Spectra camera in 1986, and in a 1984 spot for American Express which featured him alongside the real Jackson Scholz, who competed against Harold Abrahams in the 1924 Olympics.

He was ideally cast as Barnabas Collins, the undead and lovestruck vampire in a 1991 revival of the Gothic soap "Dark Shadows," but the series failed to connect with viewers in the same manner as its predecessor. Undaunted, Cross continued to travel the globe for co-starring roles in international productions like "Live Wire" (1992), which cast him against type as a cold-blooded Russian terrorist hunted by demolition expert Pierce Brosnan, or "Solomon" (1997), which cast him as the famously wise king of Biblical history.

Cross remained exceptionally busy in virtually every corner of the globe at the dawn of the new millennium, and in nearly every type of film - from Hollywood product like the ill-fated "Exorcist: The Beginning" (2004) and the USA Network remake of "Spartacus" (2004), to the Australian minseries "The Potato Factory" (7 Network, 2000) and the epic fantasy "Grendel" (2007) in Bulgaria. Along the way, he tackled Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, in the BBC miniseries "Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial" (2006) and logged more than a few hours in low-budget horror and action films ranging from "Wicked Little Things" (2006) to "Species: The Awakening" (2007). Cross also added composer and director to his busy resume, including two original musicals, "The Best We've Ever Had" and "Nearly Midnight," which played the Edinburgh Fringe Festivals in 2002 and 2003, respectively, and a production of "Square One" in London that starred his son, Theo. In 2009, Cross returned to Hollywood features with a small but significant role as Sarek, the Vulcan father of Spock (Zachary Quinto) in "Star Trek." The film, which attempted to give the celebrated science fiction series an origin story by tracing the early careers of its heroes, was among the most highly anticipated releases of the year.

Relationships

Lauren Cross

Daughter

Theodore Cross

Son

Penelope Butler

Wife
Married in 1977

EDUCATION

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

London , England 1970

Milestones

2009

Had a small role as Sarek, the Vulcan father of Spock (Zachary Quinto), in J. J. Abrams' "Star Trek"

2006

Cast as Rudolf Hess in the BBC production, "Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial"

2004

Appeared in the USA Network remake of "Spartacus"

2004

Had a supporting role in "Exorcist: The Beginning"

2002

Composed and directed "The Best We’ve Ever Had" and "Nearly Midnight" at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

1997

Played the title character in the TV production of "Solomon"

1994

Appeared in the Italian production of "Caro Dolce Amore (Honey Sweet Love)"

1992

Co-starred as a cold-blooded Russian terrorist hunted by Pierce Brosnan in "Live Wire"

1991

Played Barnabas Collins in the short-lived primetime remake of "Dark Shadows" (NBC)

1985

Cast as an Italian priest aiding Jews in World War II-era Rome in "The Assisi Underground"

1984

Played a British cavalry officer in the ITV miniseries, "The Far Pavilions" (aired on HBO in the US)

1983

Played a 1920s Scottish physician in the BBC series, "The Citadel"

1981

Portrayed Jewish Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams in Hugh Hudson's multiple Oscar-winning, "Chariots of Fire"

1978

Played Billy Flynn, the slick lawyer of murderess Roxie Hart, in "Chicago

1977

Joined the Royal Shakespeare Company

1976

Screen acting debut in "A Bridge Too Far"

1973

After graduating from RADA, performed at the Duke’s Playhouse and the Prospect Theatre Company

1962

Left home and school at age 15

Made West End debut in "I Love My Wife"

Worked as a master carpenter for the Welsh National Opera and property master at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham

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