Actor Ray Stevenson dies aged 58

Actor Ray Stevenson dies aged 58

Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) in Lucasfilm’s “Ahsoka,” exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All rights reserved.

Ray Stevenson, a versatile actor known for genres such as “Punisher: War Zone,” the first three “Thor” films, HBO’s “Rome” and more, has died. He was 58 years old.

Born George Raymond Stevenson on May 25, 1964 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, he had acting ambitions from an early age and enrolled at Bristol Old Vic Theater School, from where he eventually earned his Graduate Diploma.

Television appearances

From there he began a career in British and European television, starting with “A Woman’s Guide to Adultery” in 1993, in which he had a supporting role as a journalist. He has racked up credits in a number of TV series well known to British audiences, including ‘Peak Practice’, ‘Holby City’ and ‘The Bill’ (the UK equivalent of ‘Law & Order’ where many actors have done their debut or have appeared in guest roles).

Luke Bracey as Rexford G.

(Left to right) Luke Bracey as Rexford G. ‘Rex’ Lewis/Cobra Commander and Ray Stevenson as Firefly in 2013’s ‘GI Joe: Retaliation.’ Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

But on the small screen, his real big breakthrough was HBO’s “Rome,” in which he played the cheerful and violent Titus Pollo. This raised his profile and he began to score bigger roles on TV and the big screen.

His TV work in the US also includes ‘Black Sails’, ‘Dexter’ ‘Medici’ and voice character Gar Saxon in ‘Star Wars Rebels’ and ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’. He’ll be back on our screens in that galaxy far, far away for “Star Wars: Ahsoka,” in which he plays a different character, the villainous Baylan Skoll.

Ray Stevenson as Big Ray in the action/thriller movie

Ray Stevenson as Big Ray in the action/thriller film ‘Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday’, a Samuel Goldwyn Films release. Photo courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films.

Film work

In film, he made his film debut in ‘The Theory of Flight’ in 1998 alongside Helena Bonham Carter and went on to make stunning supporting appearances in a number of films including ‘King Arthur’, ‘Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant’, ‘The Book of Eli’, ‘The Other Guys’, ‘Kill the Irishman’, ‘The Transporter Refueled’, ‘GI Joe: Retaliation’, ‘Accident Man’ series, ‘Divergent’ movies ‘ and, most recently, as the cruel and sullen Governor Scott Buxton in ‘RRR’.

Two roles, however, may stand out on his film resume: he played the jubilant Volstagg, one of the Three Warriors who stands alongside Chris Hemsworth’s Thor in the first two films featuring the Marvel hero (his character is unceremoniously eliminated in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.

And in a rare breakout performance, he was cast by director Lexi Alexander as Frank Castle in “Punisher: War Zone,” an underrated adaptation of the Marvel comic book character.

Alexander was among those who quickly paid tribute to the actor.

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