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It’s a sad day for the UK, Hollywood and many fans around the globe. Beloved Northern Irish actor Ray Stevenson has died at age 58, and the world is now in mourning. Best known for his iconic portrayals of Volstagg in Thor and Titus Pullo in the series Rome, Stevenson made a huge mark on the film industry.

He is even one of the stars of the upcoming Star Wars series Ahsoka, which will be released later this year. So today, we celebrate Stevenson’s eventful life that ended far too soon and look back on some of the reasons why he captured the whole world’s hearts.

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    The world is mourning the loss of beloved British actor Ray Stevenson

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    With a career spanning about 30 years, Stevenson was an iconic fixture in the film industry

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    This tragic news comes only days before Stevenson’s 59th birthday

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    You may remember him as Volstagg in Thor

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    Or Frank Castle in Punisher: War Zone

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    He is even soon to star in the upcoming Star Wars series Ahsoka

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    Recently, he played an evil British governor in the Oscar-winning film RRR

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    But he wasn’t only a film star, with one of his most iconic roles being Titus Pullo in the TV series Rome

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    Stevenson even gave a wonderful portrayal of Blackbeard on Black Sails

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    Very few details have been publicized about Stevenson’s death at this time. He was reported to have fallen ill suddenly while filming Cassino in Ischia on the island of Ischia in Italy, and then was tragically announced as dead only four days before his 59th birthday. He leaves behind three sons, who he had with Italian anthropologist Elisabetta Caraccia, and a legacy that certainly will not be forgotten any time soon.  

    Stevenson was born in Northern Ireland on May 25th, 1964, to an Irish mother and an English father. He was the middle child of three boys, and his father was a Royal Air Force pilot. When Ray was eight years old, his family moved to England, first living in Lemington, near Newcastle upon Tyne, and later settling in Seaton Delaval. He received his theatre training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and graduated at age 29.

    He was a well-versed actor, mastering the stage and screen, but his professional career began with TV films in the 1990s. He made his film debut in The Theory of Flight (1998), where he played a gigolo hired to help Helena Bonham Carter’s character lose her virginity. Since then, he’s captivated countless audiences with his dedicated performances and clear love for his craft. You likely know him as Voltagg or Titus Pullo, but he also starred in Punisher: War Zone, The Three Musketeers, Kill the Irishman, RRR, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant and even had a recurring role as Othere in Vikings.

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    Colleagues and friends were quick to flood social media with tributes to the iconic actor

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    There’s no question that Ray Stevenson has left a mark on the film industry. Once this tragic news was announced, tributes began pouring out online. RRR director SS Rajamouli tweeted a joyous photo of the two of them captioned with, “Shocking… 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.”

    Actor Matthew Lewis, known for playing Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films, also extended his sympathies 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. RIP Ray.”

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    It was clear during his entire career how passionate Stevenson was about his craft. In a 2013 interview with Collider, he discussed the appeal of the film Divergent, which was different from most of his resume, explaining, “As an actor, I relish and delight in doing things that I’m not necessarily the demographic for. This is a demographic that is touching the psyche of a certain age group, facing the real internal questions of people who are going through rites of passage into adulthood. It’s earth-shaking stuff. So, I like bringing little subtle complexities to a character. It’s all about the subtext. No one can really describe or fully know another human being, even if they get a hook on them. It’s more about instinctively knowing whether you like somebody or not.”

    Ray Stevenson was an amazing actor who will be missed by many who knew him and many more who had the joy of watching his performances. We’d love to hear what your favorite, iconic Stevenson performances were in the comments below, pandas, and we send our condolences to the beloved actor’s sons and loved ones. 

    Fans poured out their condolences upon hearing this heartbreaking news as well

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