Ray Stevenson, Punisher: War Zone, Thor, and Ahsoka actor, dies at 58
Ray Stevenson, the Irish actor who starred as Asgardian warrior Volstagg in the Thor movies and antihero Frank Castle in Punisher: War Zone, died Sunday at the age of 58, his publicist confirmed to EW.
No details of his death have been shared, but Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that Stevenson had been hospitalized Saturday for an undisclosed illness while on location on the Italian island of Ischia to film Cassino on Ischia, from director Frank Ciota.
Stevenson began his career in the 1990s, appearing in a string of TV shows before making his big-screen debut in Paul Greengrass' 1998 romance drama The Theory of Flight opposite Helena Bonham Carter and Kenneth Branagh. A role in the HBO drama Rome introduced him to a wider U.S. audience, and he went on to star in King Arthur, Marvel's Punisher: War Zone, Kill the Irishman, Thor, Thor: Ragnarok, and in popular franchise work like the Divergent films and G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
He recently played the antagonistic Governor Scott Buxton in India's acclaimed blockbuster RRR, which won a Best Original Song Oscar at this year's Academy Award for its track "Naatu Naatu." Stevenson also voiced Mandalorian super commando Gar Saxon in the series Star Wars: Rebels and The Clone Wars, and had been cast as antagonist Baylan Skoll in Disney+'s upcoming Star Wars series Ahsoka.
Stevenson appeared at Stars Wars Celebration last month alongside costars Rosario Dawson and Ivanna Sakhno, among others. "Getting to wield the light saber is just the best feeling in the world," Stevenson said at the festivities. "The first time they handed it to me for the camera test, I couldn't help myself, I made the noise."
In addition to Ahsoka and Cassino in Ischia, Stevenson's posthumous credits will include the film Gateway to the West.