(written from a Production point of view)
Harry Bernard Cross (born 16 December 1947; age 72), better known as Ben Cross, is the English actor who portrayed Sarek in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek.  A picture of him is used for card #86 "Ambassador Sarek" of the virtual collectible card battle game Star Trek: Rivals.
Hailing from London and a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in Bloomsbury, Cross made his feature film debut the 1977 war drama A Bridge Too Far. While performing in a stage production of Chicago, Cross was discovered and cast in Chariots of Fire, co-starring Star Trek: First Contact actress Alice Krige and Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise guest star Dennis Christopher. The film became an international hit and launched Cross to stardom.
Afterward, Cross starred in the 1981 PBS mini-series The Flame Trees of Thika (with W. Morgan Sheppard), the 1983 BBC mini-series The Citadel, and the 1984 HBO mini-series The Far Pavilions. For his work in the latter project, Cross was nominated for a CableACE Award. He also continued starring in films, including 1985's The Assisi Underground and 1988's Paperhouse. He received a second CableACE nomination for the 1988 telefilm Steal the Sky, co-starring Mark Rolston. In 1989, he appeared with John Glover and Bruce Greenwood in the TV movie Pursuit (also known as Twist of Fate). In the film, Cross and Greenwood actually portray the same character – that of an SS officer both before and after plastic surgery. In the second half of the film, Greenwood then portrays the SS officer's son.
In 1990, Cross starred as the vampire Barnabas Collins in the short-lived revival of the cult horror series Dark Shadows collaborating with Stefan Gierasch and Jean Simmons. He was nominated for a Soap Opera Digest Award for his performance on this series. Throughout the rest of the 1990s, he starred in such films as Live Wire (1992, with Tony Plana), The Criminal Mind (1993, co-starring Joseph Ruskin), Temptress (1994, with Corbin Bernsen and Chris Sarandon), First Knight (1995, opposite Sean Connery), Turbulance (1997, with Catherine Hicks and James MacDonald), and The Venice Project (1999, co-starring Dean Stockwell).
Cross also starred as Captain Nemo in the 1997 TV version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and played the title role in the 1997 biblical TV movie Solomon. He was honored with a third CableACE nomination for a guest appearance on Poltergeist: The Legacy, one of his rare forays into episodic television. He drew acclaim for his complex performance in the BBC mini-series Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial (2006) in which he played Rudolf Hess, Hitler's former deputy.
More recently, Cross has co-starred with Deep Space Nine's Alexander Siddig in the 2006 TV movie Hannibal, with Siddig playing the title role and Cross playing his enemy, Fabius Maximus. He also played King Hrothgar to TNG star Marina Sirtis' Queen Wealhtheow in the 2007 Sci-Fi Channel movie Grendel. Most recently, he starred with Enterprise's Dominic Keating in the direct-to-DVD sequel Species: The Awakening. In addition, he has starred in such films as the 2001 Jean-Claude Van Damme action/adventure The Order (with Brian Thompson), the 2004 prequel Exorcist: The Beginning, and the 2006 sequels Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil (with Bruce McGill and Glenn Morshower) and Undisputed II: Last Man Standing.