Formerly of the RADA and Royal Shakespeare Company, British leading man Ben Cross made an impressive film debut as Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams in Chariots of Fire (1981). Cross' participation in this Oscar-winning film immediately opened up new professional doors and increased his asking price. But he was not about to blindly capitalize on his new fame; he turned down 100,000 dollars to play Prince Charles in a made-for-TV movie in favor of appearing for a comparative pittance in a BBC miniseries adaptation of A.J. Cronin's The Citadel. He has continued to select film, stage, and TV roles on the basis of quality rather than monetary potential. One exception may be Cross' acceptance of the role of centuries-old vampire Barnabas Collins in the failed 1991 revival of the cult-favorite TV series Dark Shadows.