Ray Stevenson, the Irish actor known for roles in Thor and the HBO series Rome, has died. He was 58.
The cause of death wasn't immediately shared, but he reportedly died while working on a movie in Italy, Cassino in Ischia.
The actor played in a number of historical dramas, such as King Arthur (2004) and the HBO series Rome (2005-2007), set in the waning days of the Roman Republic, in which he played the centurion Titus Pullo.
James Purefoy, who played Mark Antony in the series, called Stevenson a "brilliant, gusty, larger-than-life actor who filled every part he played right up to the brim."
So sad to hear the news that Ray Stevenson, our Pullo in Rome, has passed away. A brilliant, gutsy, larger-than-life actor who filled every part he played right up to the brim. My thoughts are with his family, his lovely wife Betta and their beautiful kids. What a loss.
— James Purefoy 🇺🇦 (@JamesPurefoy) May 22, 2023
Stevenson was also known to Marvel fans as Frank Castle in Punisher: War Zone (2008) and as Volstagg in Thor (2011) and its sequels.
The prolific actor also played musketeer Porthos in The Three Musketeers (2011), gangster Danny Greene in Kill the Irishman (2011) and Governor Scott Buxton in Oscar-winning Indian blockbuster RRR (2022).
The son of a Royal Air Force pilot, Stevenson was born on a British army base in Northern Ireland. He eventually took up acting, graduating from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School at age 29.
One of his last projects was the upcoming Stars Wars series Ahsoka. He was to replace Kevin Spacey in the movie 1242: Gateway to the West.
Stevenson once said that for him, acting wasn't a choice.
"I had to face up to the realization and it was an epiphany: that what I thought was a decision to be an actor was false. There was no decision to make. It’s a vocation. I had no choice. I had to accept to throw myself into it with no guarantee but to launch and just go,” he said.
The beloved actor was married once to actor Ruth Gemmell, but the couple divorced in 2005. He had three sons with Italian anthropologist Elisabetta Caraccia, whom he met while working on Rome.