Actor Ray Stevenson, who starred in Marvel projects such as Punisher: War Zone and Thor films, unexpectedly passes away at age 58.
Stevenson passed away in Lacco Ameno, Italy while filming Cassino in Ischia, only four days prior to his 59th birthday. No official details were released as to the actor’s cause of death. Stevenson has had a long career on films and television, playing varied roles as both hero and villain. Aside from his roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he has played key characters in the Star Wars and G.I. Joe franchises.
Variety was the first media outlet to report on Ray Stevenson’s passing via the actor’s publicist.
Ray Stevenson, the Irish actor who starred in films like “Punisher: War Zone,” “King Arthur,” the “Thor” films and the upcoming “Ahsoka” series,” died on Sunday, Variety has confirmed with his publicist. He was 58. https://t.co/gSeSLWI99T pic.twitter.com/inCwQnw9D2
— Variety (@Variety) May 22, 2023
Ray Stevenson was born in Lisbern, Northern Ireland on May 25, 1964. After moving to England at the age of 8 with his family, he later attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He would begin appearing in a number of television series and minor roles in films throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. His first big-budget film role was as Dagonet in King Arthur (2004), co-starring with Clive Owen, Keira Knightley, Ioan Gruffudd, and Mads Mikkelsen.
Stevenson would play Titus Pullo in the critically acclaimed BBC and HBO series Rome, while also guest starring in other TV series before starring in Punisher: War Zone (2008) as the titular vigilante. The film itself was considered a box office and critical failure. However, many fans found Stevenson’s portrayal a Frank Castle/The Punisher as the most comic book accurate, even compared to the later depiction by Jon Bernthal in the Netflix series.
The actor would later reprise his Punisher role by voicing the character in the animated The Super Hero Squad Show (2009). Stevenson would play Porthos in 2011’s The Three Musketeers, before returning to the MCU as Volstagg of the Warriors Three in Thor which starred Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman. Stevenson would return to the role in Thor: The Dark World (2013) and Thor: Ragnarok (2017).
Stevenson would be a mainstay in genre films and television roles, often as the antagonist such as G.I. Joe: Retaliation as the demolitions expert Firefly, voicing Gar Saxon in Star Wars: Rebels and The Clone Wars, and as Scott Buxton in the Telugu film RRR.
Before his passing, Ray Stevenson finished filming his scenes as Cesareane for 1242: Gateway to the West and as Baylan Skoll in Star Wars: Ahsoka.
Ahsoka star Rosario Dawson who worked with Stevenson on the upcoming Star Wars series shared her thoughts on the actor’s sudden passing:
Sharing in grief with you all. What a Ray of light. Been calling cast/crew & the rest of my family to say how much I love them. Let this be your reminder to love on your people’s in real time while you can. Ray was so vivacious & unbelievably present & vibrant. He truly lived!!!
Sharing in grief with you all. What a Ray of light. Been calling cast/crew & the rest of my family to say how much I love them. Let this be your reminder to love on your people’s in real time while you can. Ray was so vivacious & unbelievably present & vibrant. He truly lived!!! https://t.co/Y95SrdeWQ8
— Rosario Dawson (@rosariodawson) May 22, 2023
Fans of Ray Stevenson can catch the actor’s gritty portrayal of Frank Castle in Punisher: War Zone on Disney+. His final role in the Star Wars universe will be featured in Ahsoka, targeted for a Disney+ release on August, 2023.