It is with good reason that the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire will always be the first film that springs to mind when noted British actor Ben Cross is mentioned—until now, having played Sarek in the new J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek movie.

The multi-talented London native, born in 1947 as Harry Bernard Cross, moved into the realm of acting at an early age is is today a writer, musician and director as well. After attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London, Cross gained crucial experience in the theatre. An early film appearance in the World War II epic A Bridge Too Far was his first high-profile role, but it was a knockout performance in the play Chicago (as Billy Flynn, played by Richard Gere in the movie) that led to his casting in "Chariots."

Aside from the film First Knight, Cross has rarely been one to openly embrace more commercial roles. He has kept his more than 30-year acting career going by playing more eclectic and challenging roles in movies such as Paperhouse, Live Wire, Cold Sweat, The Invader, Exorcist: The Beginning, War, Inc., and TV movies/series such as Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial, Spartacus, SolomonDark Shadows and The Far Pavillions. In 2006 he performed in the BBC historical drama about ancient Rome, Hannibal starring Alexander Siddig.