'Chariots of Fire,' 'Star Trek' actor Ben Cross dies at 72 after short illness

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Actor Ben Cross attends the OK! Magazine and BritWeek Oscars party at The London West Hollywood on February 25, 2011 in West Hollywood, California.
Actor Ben Cross attends the OK! Magazine and BritWeek Oscars party at The London West Hollywood on February 25, 2011 in West Hollywood, California.

English actor Ben Cross has died at the age of 72.

His representative Ed Smith told USA TODAY the actor died suddenly Tuesday after a short illness. Representative Tracy Mapes said told the Associated Press Cross had just finished filming the horror movie “The Devil’s Light” with Virginia Madsen for Lionsgate.

Cross is likely most well known for his breakthrough role as Harold Abrahams in the 1981 film "Chariots of Fire." Abrahams, a competitor in the 1924 Olympics, faced prejudice as a Jewish man. The movie was awarded the Oscar for best picture.

Cross starred alongside Sean Connery and Richard Gere in the 1995 film “First Knight.” More recently, he took on the role of Spock's father, Sarek, in the 2009 release "Star Trek," in which Chris Pine played Kirk and Zachary Quinto played Spock. Cross also portrayed Prince Charles in the television film “William & Kate: The Movie” in 2011.

In other roles, Cross was the lead in the TV miniseries “Solomon” in 1997. That same year, he also appeared as Capt. Nemo in the CBS remake of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

According to Cross' IMDb, the actor plays Cardinal Matthews in the "The Devil's Light." Variety said he finished filming 10 days ago.

Mapes added that Cross also stars in the upcoming “Last Letter From Your Lover.”

Contributing: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ben Cross, 'Chariots of Fire' star, dies at age 72 after short illness