Ray Stevenson, a towering actor known for roles such as Frank Castle in Punisher: War Zone, died at the early age of 58.
Stevenson was supposed to turn 59 in just three days.
The details of the death have not been made public, but according to Variety, his publicist confirmed the unfortunate news to the outlet.
According to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the acclaimed Irish actor was filming a movie titled Cassino on Ischia for filmmaker Frank Ciota.
The reports say the actor was hospitalized after an illness on the Island of Ischia around the time of Stevenson’s death. But again, no details regarding the illness.
Stevenson left behind two children — Sebastiano Derek and Leonardo George Stevenson.
And while he performed in a wide array of supporting roles and dynamic lead performances, Stevenson leaves behind a legacy as tall as his 6’3 persona.
Ray Stevenson’s acting career
Stevenson’s career was versatile, appearing in all forms of media, whether it was a television series like Dexter and Black Sails or a big blockbuster like Thor.
Before the golden days of Jon Bertham as the character, his most notable role was Punisher: War Zone as Frank Castle, a movie that was both a critical and financial bomb. Yet, due to his performance and Lexi Alexander’s directing, the film became somewhat of a cult classic.
Even critics such as Roger Ebert dubbed the film as a well-made bad movie, writing, “You used to be able to depend on a terrible film being poorly made. No longer. The Punisher: War Zone is one of the best-made bad movies I’ve seen.”
Stevenson also gave a rocking lead performance in the underrated crime drama Kill the Irishman, where he costarred with such talents as Vincent D’Onofrio, Val Kilmer, and Christopher Walken.
Most recently, the late actor appeared in the Tollywood epic RRR, where Stevenson gave a villainous performance as Governor Scott Buxton. That film went on to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song this past March.
Does Ray Stevenson have more movies or television shows coming out?
The Punisher: War Zone actor had three projects in various stages of production at the time of his death.
The first we have mentioned is Cassino in Ischia, an action movie about a retired action star who is persuaded to perform in a “Neo-realist” action movie for an Italian filmmaker. How much of the movie was filmed before Stevenson passed is unknown.
The second is a historical action epic called Gateway to the West. Hungarian filmmaker Péter Soós directs the film and will costar Michael Ironside, Eric Roberts, and many more.
Last but not least is the Disney+ Star Wars series Ahsoka, where Stevenson will play a Sith named Baylan Skoll. And quite honestly, a brutal Sith Lord seems like the role Stevenson was born to play.
While no official date is confirmed, Ahsoka is expected to hit Disney+ in August.