James Gunn pays tribute as Thor's Ray Stevenson dies

ray stevenson
James Gunn pays tribute to late Ray StevensonJeff Spicer - Getty Images

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has shared a tribute to the late Ray Stevenson, known for his film roles in Thor, Punisher: War Zone and RRR.

Stevenson died on Sunday (May 21) at the age of 58, four days before his birthday. According to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the actor was working on the set of new film Cassino, on the island of Ischia, when he was hospitalised for a sudden illness.

Stevenson is known for playing the evil British governor in RRR, the character of Othere in Vikings and Volstagg in the Thor film franchise. He also had a leading role in the upcoming Star Wars series Ahsoka.

ray stevenson
Jeff Spicer - Getty Images

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MCU director James Gunn was one of many stars to pay tribute to Stevenson online. In a tweet, Gunn recollected his experience of working with the actor during the post-credits scene of Thor: The Dark World.

"Damn. So sorry to hear about the passing, far too young, of Ray Stevenson," he wrote.

"I only knew him a little from shooting post-credits of Thor 2 & a couple interactions at events, but we had some good laughs & he was a joy to work with. His friends & family are in my heart today."

james gunn, guardians of the galaxy vol 3 premiere
Rich Polk - Getty Images

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Stevenson was previously married to Bridgerton and Queen Charlotte star Ruth Gemmell between 1997 and 2005.

He leaves behind three sons, who he shares with Italian anthropologist Elisabetta Caraccia. The two met on the set of HBO television series Rome in 2005, where Stevenson received praise for his portrayal of Titus Pullo.

His Rome co-star, James Purefoy, also paid his respects to the late Stevenson in wake of his death. "So sad to hear the news that Ray Stevenson, our Pullo in Rome, has passed away," read his tweet. "A brilliant, gutsy, larger-than-life actor who filled every part he played right up to the brim.

"My thoughts are with his family, his lovely wife Betta and their beautiful kids. What a loss."

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