In 1964, Cropp won the coveted world Underwater Photographer of the Year, following in the footsteps of Hans Hass and Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and the same became the first Australian producer to sell to the giant US networks.
After making several specials for the United States’ NBC and ABC, Cropp released into syndication 12 episodes of the series The Coral Jungle, hosted by Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek fame. Another series of 10 specials around Australia, entitled This Rugged Coast, were sold worldwide. Cropp then made 15 one-hour films for The Disney Channel, one of which, The Young Adventurers, was nominated for an Emmy Award.
To date, Cropp has filmed and produced over 100 wildlife adventure documentaries, all sold worldwide. Cropp’s documentaries are a mixture of underwater wildlife and adventure. His most successful was March of the Crabs. Recent productions are on dugong, the deadly box jellyfish and sea snakes. Ben’s two sons feature in most of his films, and have become skillful cameramen.
Cropp lives in Port Douglas, Australia where he operates a Shipwreck Museum. He has discovered more than 100 shipwrecks, including the Pandora, Australia’s most important.
In 1999 Cropp was awarded an Order of Australia AM for his marine and coastal conservation work and promotion and awareness of the Australian marine environment as a documentary filmmaker.