Back in May, treasured character and voice actor Ray Stevenson died while prepping a film in Italy. The Northern Irish-English performer was just four days shy of his 59th birthday.
Although Stevenson began working consistently in 1993, it wasn’t until 2005 when he rose to stardom playing the good-humored solider Titus Pullo in HBO’s acclaimed series Rome. After that, Stevenson landed roles in even bigger projects, including those in the Marvel and Star Wars universes.
On the Marvel front, he portrayed Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, in the pre-MCU film Punisher: War Zone and the animated series The Super Hero Squad Show. He then joined the MCU proper as Volstagg, an Asgardian warrior who appeared in three Thor movies from 2011 to 2018.
Stevenson was called in for live-action work in the currently streaming first season of Ahsoka, where he portrays Baylan Skoll, a former Jedi whose calm demeanor hides a wellspring of anger at the order’s tarnished legacy following Anakin Skywalker’s turn to the Dark Side.
Recently, Stevenson starred in the Oscar-winning Indian action movie RRR as a racist governor, which gave him a chance to finally swing for “unlikeable” — but fans celebrated him in that film as well. His other notable roles include an ongoing part in the now-complete Divergent series, a gleeful performance as Firefly in G.I. Joe – Retaliation, and even an appearance on Dexter.
Do we have any details about his cause of death?
Stevenson was in Italy working on the film Cassino on Ischia when he was hospitalized in May. However, the reason for his hospitalization and the cause of his death have not yet been revealed.
Stevenson is survived by his three children — Sebastiano, Leonardo, and Lodovico — whom he had with Italian anthropologist Elisabetta Caraccia. Stevenson and Caraccia met when he worked on Rome from 2005 to 2007.
Many Hollywood luminaries expressed their sadness at Stevenson’s passing, including Marvel writ large:
We hope that somehow Stevenson is looking on from the World Between Worlds and knows just how much Star Wars fans love his new turn as Skoll, and how celebrated his larger body of work continues to be.