Ray Stevenson, 58, the Northern Irish actor who played the malevolent British governor in RRR, Volstagg in the Thor movie, and a prominent adversary in the future Star Wars series Ahsoka, died.
Stevenson died Sunday, four days before his birthday, according to his representatives. While filming Cassino in Ischia, La Repubblica stated he was hospitalized with an unexpected sickness.
RRR director SS Rajamouli wrote: “Just can’t believe this news. Ray provided vitality and brightness to the sets. It contagious. He made work fun. Prayers for his family. Peace to his soul.”
“This is so sad,” tweeted Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis, who played Stevenson as a toddler in Some Kind of Life. Ray portrayed my dad on my first TV appearance. Nearly 30 years. A real actor with an interesting career—I couldn’t have asked for a better first encounter in this terrible industry.”
Ray Stevenson at the age of 58
1964 birthplace of Stevenson. At eight, his family relocated to England. He debuted in Paul Greengrass’s 1998 film The Theory of Flight after studying at the Bristol Old Vic and working in British television. He portrayed a knight of the round table in Antoine Fuqua’s King Arthur in 2004 and the lead in Punisher: War Zone before Disney bought Marvel.
Though Punisher was poorly received, he played Volstagg in the first three Thor films. Divergent, GI Joe: Retaliation, and The Transporter: Refueled were other notable roles.
“I guess I’m an old warrior at heart,” Stevenson remarked in an interview.
In Rome, he played the shady Titus Pullo, which launched his US career and earned him a SAG card aged 44. 2005–2007 was its run.
“That was one of my major years,” Stevenson recalled in an interview. “It made me sit down in my skin and say, just do the job. Job done.”
“The imposing Stevenson certainly stands out as a brawling, whoring and none-too-bright warrior — a force of nature who, despite his excesses, somehow keeps landing on his feet,” Variety’s Brian Lowery said of Rome.
He played Blackbeard in Starz’s Black Sails, Commander Jack Swinburne in Das Boot, and Othere on Vikings.
Stevenson voiced Gar Saxon in Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars and played Baylan Skoll in Ahsoka. August will bring Disney+’s eight-episode season.
Stevenson told Backstage in 2020 that his acting inspirations were “the likes of Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman”.
“Never a bad performance, and brave and fearless within that calibre,” Stevenson remarked. “I identified with men, not young, hot leading men.”
Stevenson has three boys with Elisabetta Caraccia, an Italian anthropologist he met while researching on Rome.