The British actor Ray Stevenson died suddenly at age 58. No word on cause of death — he was hospitalized after a sudden illness while shooting a movie in Italy.
Stevenson delivered two iconic Frontier Partisan roles — as Roman Legionary Titus Pullo in HBO’s Rome and as Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, in STARZ Black Sails. He had a knack for humanizing homicidal swashbucklers. His Teach was not only a fearsome pirate — he was a man who poignantly wished for a son. While he was not a main character, he was a massive presence.
The Season 3 cold open introduced Teach as a mighty menace…
Clan Cornelius first encountered Stevenson as Titus Pullo, hunting for a stolen Roman Eagle on the frontiers of Gaul. Pullo was a simple man, content to fight, gamble and fornicate — redeemed by his loyalty to his dour comrade Lucius Vorenus.
Somehow, Stevenson rendered these rough rogues lovable — perhaps because he carried more than a little of the lovable rogue in him.
I’d like to think there’s a rowdy party going down in Davy Jones’ Locker, with tumbling dice and willing women, all to welcome a swashbuckler whose voyage is done.