Rest in peace. Veteran actor Ray Stevenson died on May 22, 2023. He was 58, and died just four days before his 59th birthday. With many big projects coming out, many people are wondering how Ray Stevenson died.
Born in Northern Ireland, Stevenson was raised in England and was inspired by John Malkovich to pursue acting. He starred in many British TV shows like Waking the Dead, Dalziel and Pascoe and At Home with the Braithwaites.The actor broke through with King Arthur in 2004 which starred Keira Knightley. He’s since starred as The Punisher in 2008’s The Punisher: War Zone and has made appearances in the MCU’s Thor series as Volstagg, the HBO historical series Rome, Tollywood movie RRR, and was set to star in the original Disney+ Star Wars series Ahsoka.
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So how did Ray Stevenson die? Read more to find out.
How did Ray Stevenson die?
How did Ray Stevenson die? His PR company Viewpoint confirmed to several news outlets like BBC and Variety of his death but did not disclose how he died. He was reportedly hospitalized during filming on the Italian island Ischia. He was working on the movie Cassino in Ischia at the time of his death.
He worked on many projects that were unreleased before his death. He is set to star as Baylan Skroll, a former Jedi turned to the dark side who allies with Grand Admiral Thrawn, in Disney+’s Ahsoka. His other posthumous credits will include films 1242: Gateway to the West and Cassino in Ischia.
According to Deadline, the synopsis of Cassino in Ischia is as follows, “In the movie, three-time winner of “Best Yell in Action Film,” box office king and action star Nic Cassino (played by Stevenson) is knocked off his perch by the next generation of action heroes. In an attempt to revive his career, he travels to Italy to make the first ever “Neo-Realist” action film with down on their luck Italian directors. However, unresolved struggles with his family resurface and he is forced to reconcile all he left behind on his road to fame.”
In an interview after Star Wars Celebration, Stevenson praised his roles in the Star Wars universe as he also starred in the animated series Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He also talked about his first time holding a lightsaber. “The first time was a costume camera test,” he recalled. “We’re all very nervous and standing in the costume. Somebody hands me the lightsaber, and then some guy turns it on. And, of course, you make the noise ‘vvvrrrrmm vvvrrrrmm’ because you can’t help it.”
“And then the beauty of it is that when you do the training and you get on the set and your fighting with Ahsoka — and she’s got two and they’re flashing everywhere — and then you pinch yourself. And you go ‘I’m actually doing this. If you’re gonna give me a lightsaber, I’m gonna use it.”
Before the end credits on Episode 1 of Ahsoka, which premiered on August 23, 2023, a screen reads, “For our friend, Ray.”
In an interview with Backstage in 2020, Stevenson said his acting idols were, “The likes of Lee Marvin (and) Gene Hackman. Never a bad performance, and brave and fearless within that caliber,” Stevenson said. “It was never the young, hot leading man; it was men who I could identify with.”
He also recounted how he auditions for roles. “There was an actor I was talking to in L.A., and she said, ‘I’d like to go over this audition piece.” And I start to go over it with her and she goes, “Do I have to learn it?” I looked at her and my heart sank, like, why would you not want to? You’ve got a chance to be an actor for three or four minutes. Why do you not delight in learning it and then letting the director direct you? So, how do I prepare? It just comes in the reading and the playing of the thing. You have no idea who’s going to be reading or acting with you, so you’ve got to leave [yourself] free enough, but you’ve got to learn what the scene is about.”
He is survived by his wife Elisabetta Caraccia, who he met on the set of Rome, and their three sons.
His co-stars mourned his death on social media. Ahsoka star Rosario Dawson posted a carousel of photos with Stevenson on Instagram. “A giant of a man… @officialraystevenson_ , stunned and reeling from this tragic, devastating news,” she captioned. “Gone too soon from this world. At a loss for words… just wanted to mark this moment and share your ever ready and present smile. Love you forever. Holding your family in my heart. #LegendsNeverDie”
In an interview with People, Dawson also talked about Steven’s presence on set on Ahsoka. “He’d have these crystals that had all these different meanings from where, you know, he felt like spiritually, where he came from and what he wanted to be resonating. And we’d sit and have these conversations about the divine feminine.” He remembered him as ”“almost, like, Nordic kind of man, you know, who was very heavy-handed and then just like the most gentle, brilliant, like loving divine feminine spirit.”
“You just had the most extraordinary conversations with him about his family and philosophies,” she says. “I’ve had so many people who I know are friends with him. We were so blessed to have him working with us. He made all of us better.”
She also recalled her fighting scenes with Stevenson, “I was like fighting for my life [while filming fight sequences with Stevenson]. I was talking about that with Dave [Filoni]. I was like, am I gonna be able to talk about how heavy-handed he was?” Dawson explained. “‘Cause he was just like, woo. I was like I’m really having to protect myself here. We’re putting in the work.”
James Gunn, who worked with Stevenson briefly on Thor, wrote on Twitter, “Damn. So sorry to hear about the passing, far too young, of Ray Stevenson. I only knew him a little from shooting post-credits of Thor 2 & a couple interactions at events, but we had some good laughs & he was a joy to work with. His friends & family are in my heart today. ♥️”
Rome co-star James Purefoy also tweeted his condolences. “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.”
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