Ray Stevenson, the actor best known for his roles in Thor, Divergent, and the upcoming Star Wars series Ahsoka, died on May 22, 2023, at the age of 58. He was filming his latest movie Cassino in Ischia, an Italian island, when he was rushed to the hospital after experiencing chest pains. What was the cause of his sudden and unexpected death?
A Heart Attack Linked to Anaphylactic Shock
According to Italy24 Press, Stevenson died following a heart attack linked to a serious anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can cause breathing difficulties, low blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. It is not clear what triggered the allergic reaction in Stevenson’s case, but it may have been related to something he ate or was exposed to on the set of his film.
According to Pledge Times, Stevenson had been suffering from chest issues during his shoot before he was finally admitted to the hospital on May 21, 2023. He was pronounced dead there the next day, just four days before his 59th birthday.
A Tribute to His Career and Legacy
Stevenson was born in Northern Ireland and raised in England. He was inspired by John Malkovich to pursue acting and starred in many British TV shows before making his breakthrough with King Arthur in 2004. He went on to play The Punisher in 2008’s The Punisher: War Zone and Volstagg in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thor series. He also appeared in the HBO historical series Rome, the crossover Bollywood hit RRR, and several other films.
Stevenson had several projects that were unreleased or in post-production at the time of his death. He was set to star as Baylan Skroll, a former Jedi turned to the dark side, in Disney+’s Ahsoka, which debuts in August 2023. He also had roles in 1242: Gateway to the West and Cassino in Ischia, the film he was working on when he died.
According to Deadline, Cassino in Ischia was about a once-popular action-movie star who tries to revive his career by going to Italy to make the first ever “Neo-Realist” action film with down-on-their-luck Italian directors. However, he had to face his unresolved family issues and reconcile all he left behind on his road to fame.
Stevenson’s co-stars and fans have expressed their condolences and paid tribute to his talent and personality. Rosario Dawson, who plays Ahsoka Tano in the Star Wars series, remembered him as a “gentle” and “heavy-handed” actor who made the lightsaber noises on set. She wrote on Instagram: “Rest In Peace Ray Stevenson. You were such a joy to work with and I’m so grateful for our time together. You will be missed.”
Stevenson is survived by his wife Elisabetta Caraccia and their two sons Sebastiano and Leonardo.