On a sadder note: Spock’s dad and “Chariots of Fire” actor Ben Cross passes away along with actors Wilford Brimley, Chadwick Boseman, Skylab astronaut Jerry Carr, and Alfie the Space Shuttle cat

by | Aug 20, 2020 | On a Sadder Note, Seradata News

It has been reported that British actor Ben Cross has died from a short illness at the age of 72. While Ben Cross never made it to major star status, nevertheless he made his international mark playing the 1924 Olympics athlete Harold Abrahams in the very well regarded and multi-Oscar winning film Chariots of Fire (1981). Luckily Cross looked young for his age and managed to play the 25-year-old runner despite being nearly ten years older.

Ben Cross playing Harold Abrahams in Chariots of Fire (1981). Courtesy: Warner Bros/20th Century Fox via Sky News

Cross appeared in several other films and TV series beginning with the World War II epic about the failed Arnhem landings, A Bridge to Far (1977), the British-Raj-set TV film series made in 1984 The Far Pavilions, and in the Arthurian adventure, First Knight (1995). He also played Rudolf Hess in the 2006 TV mini-series Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial.

Younger film goers will be more aware of his work late in his career as he played the Vulcan father of the Science Officer Spock in the reboot of the Star Trek science fiction film series, Star Trek (2009). Cross also also had a long stage career both in the Royal Shakespeare Company productions, and in the musical Chicago.

For all his work we give Ben Cross our tribute, and give our condolences to his family and friends.

We also briefly note the passing of actor Wilford Brimley, 85, a real life cowboy who late in life starred in many “older” roles despite being about twenty years younger than he played. Brimley memorably starred in the alien film Cocoon (1985) – playing a much older man – and as a villain in the conspiracy film The Firm (1993). We salute him and give our condolences to his family and friends.

In late news, it was also announced that actor Chadwick Boseman had died after a four year flight with bowel cancer.  Boseman, 43, was lauded for his performance as a Marvel superhero in the title role of Black Panther (2018). Before that he played various important black characters in sport and entertainment including the baseball player Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013) and singer James Brown in Get On Up (2014). We give our condolences to Chadwick Boseman family and friends.

NASA astronaut Gerald “Jerry” Carr next to a model of Skylab. Courtesy: NASA

Chadwick Boseman at the head of the poster for Black Panther (2018) Courtesy: Marvel

Wilford Brimley. Courtesy: Diabetes Foundation via Twitter

NASA’s Administrator Jim Bridenstine also paid tribute to former NASA astronaut Gerald “Jerry” Carr who has died at the age of 88. A former US Marine Corps aviator, Carr broke spaceflight duration records on the final Skylab 4 manned mission to the Skylab space station in 1973. We give our condolences to his family and friends.


And finally, this writer (and his wife) say a sad goodbye to Alfie – the Space Shuttle cat – who has passed away at the age of 14. Alfie’s space shuttle underside marking meant that it was almost as if it was ordained that he would be chosen by your space aficionado correspondent from a rescue centre five years ago. Well that, and Alfie’s infectious charm. God speed Alfie. We hope you enjoyed living with us.

With his “Space Shuttle underside” marking on his face, your correspondent’s cat Alfie. Courtesy: Battersea Dog and Cat Home


The Space Shuttle underside. Courtesy: NASA

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

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