Irish Actor Ray Stevenson, who appeared in multiple major movies and TV shows such as RRR, Thor, and Dexter has passed away aged 58
His death was confirmed by his US-based publicity firm Viewpoint. At the time of his death, he was working on an action movie called Cassino in Ischia.
The cause of his death is still not confirmed, however, according to various sources, he had been hospitalised at Rizzoli Hospital due to a sudden illness during the filming of his latest movie on the island of Ischia. He passed away on May 21, four days before his birthday.
His passing occurs just a few months ahead of the release of the Star Wars series Ahsoka, which is scheduled to be streamed on Disney+ starting from August 2023. Stevenson was set to play one of the antagonists in the show and will be sharing the screen with notable actors such as Rosario Dawson, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, and Hayden Christense.
Stevenson had expressed his delight at becoming a part of the Star Wars project while speaking at the 2023 Star Wars Celebration event last month, describing wielding the lightsaber as the “best feeling in the world.”
Journey into Acting
Born in 1964 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, Stevenson was the second of three sons. His family moved to England when he was eight. He made his debut as a movie actor in the 1988 Greengrass movie, The Theory of Light after graduating from Bristol Old Vic theatre school and multiple years of working in British television.
The actor has over 60 acting credits dating back to the 1990s. However, Stevenson is best known for his role in the HBO series Rome and in the movie King Arthur as a knight of the round table. Several years later, he played the lead role in the Marvel adaptation of Punisher: War Zone. His next work with Marvel had been for the Thor series, in which he played the role of the Asgardian warrior Volstagg.
The 6-foot-3 actor, who has portrayed a number of soldiers from both the past and the present, looked formidable on film and once quipped in an interview, “I guess I’m an old warrior at heart.”
A “Larger-than-life Actor”
Following the news of his death, multiple co-stars and friends took to Twitter and other social media platforms to express their grief.
James Purefoy, who had starred along with Steveson in Rome posted that he was extremely sad about the untimely demise of “our Pullo in Rome” and that his thoughts are with his wife and kids. He described Stevenson as a “larger-than-life actor” who is brilliant and gutsy.
His role as Pullo had won him a SAG card at the age of 44 and had boosted his career in the US.
In a touching message, RRR director SS Rajamouli expressed his condolences for the loss of the renowned actor. Sharing an image from the movie’s set, he tweeted that the message of his death had been shocking. The director also added that Stevenson’s energy was “infectious” and that working with him had been pure joy.
James Gunn also took to Twitter to offer his condolences. They knew each other from working together on the post-credits scenes of Thor 2.
With the Italian anthropologist Elisabetta Caraccia, whom Stevenson met while working on Rome, he has three boys.