Ray Stevenson, the British actor known for his roles in Thor, Punisher: War Zone, and the upcoming Star Wars series Ahsoka, died on May 21, 2023, at the age of 58. He was in Italy, working on a film called Cassino in Ischia, when he was reportedly hospitalized and passed away. His death shocked and saddened his fans, colleagues, and family, who remembered him as a talented, versatile, and gentle actor. But what was Ray Stevenson’s cause of death? How did he die so suddenly and unexpectedly? Here is what we know so far.
A Heart Attack Linked to an Allergic Reaction?
According to Corriere della Sera and Il Mattino, Ray Stevenson died following a heart attack linked to a serious anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can cause symptoms such as swelling, breathing difficulties, low blood pressure, and cardiac arrest. It can be triggered by various substances, such as food, medication, insect stings, or latex. It is not clear what caused Stevenson’s anaphylaxis, but some sources suggest that he may have eaten something that he was allergic to.
However, this explanation has not been officially confirmed by Stevenson’s publicist, who only announced his death but did not disclose the cause. Some other sources, such as Variety and Distractify, state that the cause of death is still unknown and that it may have been a heart attack, but they do not mention the allergic reaction. Therefore, the exact circumstances of Stevenson’s death remain a mystery.
A Prolific and Diverse Career Cut Short
Ray Stevenson was born in Northern Ireland and raised in England. He was inspired by John Malkovich to pursue acting and graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School at the age of 29. He made his film debut in The Theory of Flight (1998) and gained recognition for his roles in King Arthur (2004) and the HBO series Rome (2005-2007). He also played two Marvel Comics characters: Frank Castle / The Punisher in Punisher: War Zone (2008) and Volstagg in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2011-2017).
Stevenson had many other films and TV shows to his credit, such as Kill the Irishman (2011), The Three Musketeers (2011), Dexter (2012), Black Sails (2016-2017), and RRR (2022). He also voiced Gar Saxon in Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and was set to star as Baylan Skoll, a former Jedi turned to the dark side, in the Disney+ Star Wars series Ahsoka. He had several other projects in the works, such as 1242: Gateway to the West and Cassino in Ischia, which were unfinished at the time of his death.
Stevenson was known for his versatility and ability to play different genres and characters, from action heroes to villains to historical figures. He was also praised for his charisma, professionalism, and kindness by his co-stars and directors. He was married to actress Ruth Gemmell from 1997 to 2005 and had three sons with his partner Elisabetta Caraccia, an Italian anthropologist. He was a devoted father and a passionate actor who loved his craft.
A Legacy of Love and Respect
Ray Stevenson’s death was mourned by many people in the film industry and beyond, who expressed their condolences and tributes on social media and in interviews. Rosario Dawson, who plays Ahsoka Tano in the Star Wars series, called him a “gentle giant” and a “beautiful soul” who was “heavy-handed” in his role as Baylan Skoll. She also shared a photo of them together on Instagram, saying that she was “heartbroken” by his loss. Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, said that Stevenson was a “wonderful actor and a great person” who brought “humor and humanity” to his role as Volstagg. He also said that Stevenson was “part of the Marvel family” and that he would be “missed by all”. Other celebrities who paid tribute to Stevenson include Tom Hiddleston, Jon Bernthal, Ray Liotta, and Val Kilmer.
Ray Stevenson’s fans also expressed their sadness and admiration for the actor, who touched their lives with his performances and personality. They remembered his iconic roles and scenes, his warm smile and voice, and his generosity and humility. They also thanked him for his work and wished him peace and happiness in the afterlife. Stevenson’s legacy will live on through his films, TV shows, and voice work, as well as through the love and respect of his family, friends, and fans. He was a star who shone bright and left too soon.