Ray Stevenson, an Irish actor who was known for his roles in movies such as “Punisher: War Zone,” “King Arthur,” and the “Thor” films, as well as television shows such as HBO’s “Rome” and the impending “Ahsoka” series, passed away on Sunday in Italy, according to his publicist, as reported by Variety. He was 58.
There was no indication of what caused the death.
Stevenson began his career in the 1990s by making guest appearances on television series. Beginning in the 2000s, he began to land roles in action films produced in Hollywood. Stevenson was born in Northern Ireland on May 25, 1964. His first significant film role was in Antoine Fuqua’s 2004 action blockbuster “King Arthur,” in which he played Dagonet, one of the Knights of the Round Table. This part was his debut in the film industry. In the movie, his character makes the ultimate sacrifice in the heat of battle in order to aid Arthur (Clive Owen) and his band of comrades in arms.
In the 2008 Marvel picture “Punisher: War Zone,” in which Stevenson starred as the titular mercenary, also known as Frank Castle, he was able to land a prominent role because to his acting abilities. Before Disney bought the rights to the Marvel world, the picture was distributed by Lionsgate in North America. Later, the character would be reintroduced in the series “Daredevil,” which is broadcast on Netflix. On the big screen, Stevenson was the third actor to ever play the role of the Punisher. Dolph Lundgren performed the role of the vigilante for the first time in a 1989 direct-to-video adaptation, and then Thomas Jane took up the role for the R-rated “Punisher” film in 2004. The film “War Zone” was a revival of the series with a PG-13 rating; nonetheless, it was not successful at the box office, making only $10.1 million on a budget of $35 million. In later episodes of “Daredevil” and “The Punisher” on Netflix, Jon Bernthal assumed the role of the character.
In the 2010s, Stevenson was in films such as “The Book of Eli,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” and “The Three Musketeers,” as well as franchises such as Marvel’s “Thor” and Lionsgate’s version of “Divergent.” Stevenson played the Asgardian hero Volstagg in his second appearance in a Marvel film. Volstagg was one of the Warriors Three, who were Thor’s allies and were portrayed by Chris Hemsworth. He made an appearance in the first three “Thor” movies until being killed by the antagonist Hela, played by Cate Blanchett, in “Thor: Ragnarok.” Marcus Eaton, the father of Four (Theo James), was portrayed by Ray Stevenson in the “Divergent” television series. Eaton was the city council leader for the Abnegation group.
Recently, Stevenson played the villainous role of Governor Scott Buxton in the critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated blockbuster film “RRR.” In addition, he will have a role in the upcoming season of “Ahsoka” on Disney+’s “Star Wars” franchise, playing the part of a former Jedi named Baylan Skoll who falls under the influence of the evil Grand Admiral Thrawn. His prior work includes providing the voice of Gar Saxon in both “Star Wars Rebels” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”
On television, Stevenson played the role of Titus Pullo in the HBO historical drama “Rome” from 2005 through 2007. Alongside Kevin McKidd, who portrayed Lucius Vorenus, he performed the role of a Roman soldier who was present for a number of significant historical events during the early years of the Roman Empire. During its two seasons, the show was nominated for and won a total of seven Emmys.
Other roles that Stevenson has performed include Ukrainian criminal Isaak Sirko on the seventh season of Showtime’s “Dexter,” Blackbeard on the pirate series “Black Sails” on Starz, and the sailer Othere on the sixth season of “Vikings.”
In addition to the film “Ahsoka,” Stevenson’s posthumous credits will also include the movies “1242: Gateway to the West” and “Casino in Ischia.”