Irish actor Ray Stevenson has sadly passed away.
His representative confirmed to publications said he had died on Sunday, four days before his birthday.
Italian newspaper La Repubblica has reported that the Northern Irish actor was hospitalised with a sudden illness on the island of Ischia, which is just north of Naples.
He was apparently in the middle of working on the film Casino in Ischia.
This is so sad. Ray played my Dad in the first thing I ever did on TV. Almost 30 years ago. A proper actor with a fascinating career and I couldn’t have dreamed of a better first experience in this ridiculous industry. RIP Ray x https://t.co/lcdGZgzjY7 pic.twitter.com/nYqNpOmn7Y
— 🇺🇦Matthew Lewis🇺🇦 (@Mattdavelewis) May 22, 2023
Ray Stevenson was born in Lisburn, Co Antrim in Northern Ireland, on a British army base. His father was a British pilot in the Royal Air Force, and his mother is Irish.
In the early seventies, his family moved to the UK where he went on to attend Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
The 58-year-old’s first film role was in 1998 in Paul Greengrass’ The Theory of Flight. In 2004 he appeared in Antoine Fuqua’s King Arthur as a knight of the round table.
However, as his career progressed he went on to appear in the first three Thor films, as the Asgardian warrior Volstagg. He also appeared in the Divergent trilogy, GI Joe: Retaliation and The Transporter: Refueled.
He returned to Ireland to appear in Vikings and he was Blackbeard in the Starz series Black Sails.
He also did voice work in Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars, as Gar Saxon. His legacy will be continuing as he has a role in the upcoming Star Wars live-action series Ahsoka, in which he plays the bad guy Baylan Skoll.
The actor was inundated with tributes to those who had worked with him.
RRR director, who he worked with on the film, SS Rajamouli wrote: “Just can’t believe this news. Ray brought in so much energy and vibrancy with him to the sets. It was infectious. Working with him was pure joy. My prayers are with his family. May his soul rest in peace.”
Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis, who appeared alongside Stevenson as a child in the television film Some Kind of Life, wrote on Twitter: “This is so sad. Ray played my dad in the first thing I ever did on TV. Almost 30 years ago. A proper actor with a fascinating career and I couldn’t have dreamed of a better first experience in this ridiculous industry.”