Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Des
Ray Stephenson, an Irish actor who starred in films like “Punisher: War Zone,” “King Arthur,” “Thor” movies and shows like “Rome” on HBO and the upcoming series “Ahsoka,” died Sunday in Italy, diverse Confirmed with his publicity. He was 58 years old.
No cause of death was available.
Born in Northern Ireland on May 25, 1964, Stephenson began his career appearing in TV shows in the 1990s and then began getting action roles in Hollywood films starting in the 2000s. His first major film role came in Antoine Fuqua’s 2004 adventure film ‘King Arthur’, playing Dagonet, one of the Knights of the Round Table. In the movie, his character sacrifices himself in battle to help Arthur (Clive Owen) and his fellow warriors.
In 2008, Stevenson starred in the Marvel movie, “Punisher: War Zone,” playing the titular mercenary, also known as Frank Castle. The film was distributed by Lionsgate in North America, before Disney acquired the rights to the Marvel universe and later reintroduced the character in the Netflix series “Daredevil”. Stevenson was the third actor to portray the Punisher on screen. Dolph Lundgren first played a vigilante in a direct-to-video version in 1989, followed by Thomas Jane in 2004’s R-rated Punisher. “War Zone” was a PG-13 reboot of the series, but it flopped at the box office after earning $10.1 million. From a budget of $35 million. Jon Bernthal later starred in the Netflix shows Daredevil and The Punisher.
In the 2010s, Stevenson appeared in action films like “The Book of Eli” and “GI Joe: Retaliation” and franchises like Marvel’s “Thor” and Lionsgate’s “Divergent.” In Marvel’s second outing, Stevenson played the Asgardian hero Volstagg, one of three warriors who were allies of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. He appeared in the first three “Thor” movies before being bumped into by the evil Cate Blanchett in “Thor: Ragnarok”. In the series “Divergent,” Stevenson played Marcus Eaton, city council leader of the Abnegation faction and father of four (Theo James).
Stevenson recently appeared in the Oscar-nominated Tollywood blockbuster “RRR” as the evil ruler Scott Buxton. He will also appear in this summer’s Disney+ Star Wars series “Ahsoka” as a Jedi named Baylan Skoll, who turns to the dark side and is an ally of the demonic Grand Admiral Thrawn.
On the television side, Stevenson starred in the HBO historical drama “Rome” as Titus Polo from 2005-07. He played a Roman soldier, opposite Kevin McKidd as Lucius Vorenus, who witnesses several key historical events with the beginning of the Roman Empire. The show won seven Emmy Awards during its two seasons.
Stevenson also played Ukrainian gangster Isaac Sirko in Season 7 of Showtime’s “Dexter”, pirate series Blackbeard on STARZ’s “Black Sails”, and safari Uther in Season 6 of “Vikings”.
In addition to “Ahsoka,” Stevenson’s post-humous credits will include the films “1242: Gateway to the West” and “Cassino in Ischia.”
“Communicator. Music aficionado. Certified bacon trailblazer. Travel advocate. Subtly charming social media fanatic.”
Hollywood execs strike a deal with studios as writers’ strike continues
Rep. Maxwell Frost yells “F – k DeSantis” at Paramore’s party
Why this full moon is called a strawberry moon: NPR