Ray Stevenson life and biography

Ray Stevenson picture, image, poster

Ray Stevenson biography

Date of birth : 1964-05-25
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Nationality : British
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-07-14
Credited as : Film and television actor, Thor, Rome BBC

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George Raymond "Ray" Stevenson is a British film and television actor. He is known for playing Titus Pullo in the BBC/HBO television series Rome (2005-2007), and in film as Dagonet in King Arthur (2004) and as Frank Castle/The Punisher in Punisher: War Zone (2008) and The Super Hero Squad Show. Stevenson most recently appeared as Volstagg in Thor, based on the Marvel Comics character.

Born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, he moved with his family to Lemington, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England in 1972 at the age of eight, and later to Cramlington, Northumberland, where he was raised. The second of three sons of a Royal Air Force pilot father and an Irish mother, Stevenson attended Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, graduating at the age of 29.
Stevenson has starred in several feature films, primarily in supporting roles. He made his debut in The Theory of Flight (1998) with Kenneth Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter, where he played the part of a gigolo hired to help Bonham Carter's character to lose her virginity. In 2002, Stevenson starred in a short film No Man's Land, which was the antipodal picture from actor/director Edward Hicks prior to his graduation from the London Film School. In the 12.5 minute film set during the First World War, Stevenson portrayed an experienced Private who is forced to help a novice Officer (David Birkin), back to safety after they both find themselves trapped and isolated in "No Man's Land" during the battle of Ypres. In 2004, Stevenson starred alongside Clive Owen and Keira Knightley in King Arthur. He portrayed Dagonet, a knight of the round who sacrifices his life for his comrades.

Stevenson's first leading role in a film was in the Scottish horror picture Outpost (2008), portraying a mercenary pitted against Nazi zombies in a bunker somewhere in Eastern Europe. That same year, he also starred in Punisher: War Zone, based on the character by Marvel Comics. He portrayed Frank Castle, "The Punisher," a former Marine turned vigilante after the murder of his family. In 2010, Stevenson played the primary antagonist in the comedy The Other Guys, alongside Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell.

Stevenson recently appeared in the film adaptation of Marvel Comics' Thor, in the role of Volstagg, one of Thor's trusted comrades. He will also be appearing in the role of Porthos in Paul W.S. Anderson's 2011 adaptation of The Three Musketeers. On 17 April, 2011, he announced that he will be starring in the film A Single Shot, an indie thriller directed by David Rosenthal. It is based on the book of the same name written by Mathew F Jones, a story following the accidental death of a teenage girl by backwoods poacher. On July 8, 2011, Stevenson was cast as Firefly for G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes.

He is perhaps best known for playing the character of legionary Titus Pullo in the BBC/HBO television series Rome. He shares the lead starring role in the series with Kevin McKidd. His portrayal of Pullo's fierce and loyal character and the character's development and adaptation to the changing circumstances of life and history has won both critical and public acclaim.
His other TV-work includes guest appearances in popular TV series like Waking the Dead and Murphy's Law as well as lead roles in City Central and At Home with the Braithwaites. He has also appeared in several TV movies such as Some Kind of Life in 1995, in which he co-starred with Jane Horrocks, and The Return of the Native, which also featured Catherine Zeta Jones. Some of his earliest parts were in two Catherine Cookson movies: The Dwelling Place (1994) and The Tide of Life (1996). Ray reprises his role this time as the voice of The Punisher in The Super Hero Squad Show.
His stage work includes playing the part of Christ in the York Mystery Plays in 2000 at York Minster. In 2001 he took the part of Roger in the play Mouth to Mouth by Kevin Elyot, at the Albery Theatre in London with Lindsay Duncan and Michael Maloney. His most well-known part is perhaps that of the Cardinal in The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster with Janet McTeer at the Royal National Theatre in 2003.

Stevenson was married in Westminster, London, in 1997, to actress Ruth Gemmell, whom he met when they worked together on the TV drama Band of Gold (1995). They later played a husband and wife on screen in Peak Practice (1997). The couple divorced after eight years of marriage. His current girlfriend is Italian anthropologist Elisabetta Caraccia, whom he met while filming Rome. The couple have a son, Sebastiano Derek Stevenson, born on 24 December 2007. Their second son, Leonardo George Stevenson, was born on 11 April 2011.

His love of art and his capabilities as an artist were demonstrated when he participated in the television programme Watercolour Challenge in 2001, where he together with actors Cherie Lunghi and Malcolm Tierney painted watercolors of Blenheim Palace.

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