Rio Hackford, the son of director Taylor Hackford and stepson of Helen Mirren, has died at the age of 51 after battling an unspecified illness.
The late star’s brother, Alex Hackford, confirmed the news on Friday, April 15. Rio died a day earlier in Huntington Beach, California. He is survived by his wife Libby Grace and two children.
The Los Angeles native was an actor who starred in films such as “Trumbo” and “Jonah Hex,” as well as in TV series including “American Crime Story.” In 2010, Rio had a small role in the movie “Love Ranch”, which was directed by his 77-year-old father, and the main role was played by his 76-year-old stepmother.
Earlier this year, Rio appeared alongside Sebastian Stan and Lily James on Hulu’s “Pam and Tommy.” One of his greatest achievements was capturing the movement of the droid IG-11, voiced by Taika Waititi in “Mandalorian”.
Rio is Taylor’s only child by Georgie Loures, whom he divorced in 1972. The Oscar nominee shares Alex with his ex-wife Lynn Littman, to whom he was married from 1977 to 1987. Director Ray has been married to Mirren since 1997.
In addition to acting in various films and on television, Rio was also the owner of several successful bars in New Orleans: One Eyed Jacks, El Matador and Pal’s Lounge. He also owned the Homestead Bar in San Francisco and renovated The Monty in Los Angeles.
Rio’s friend D.V. DeVicentis paid tribute to the late actor in a heartfelt post posted on Instagram. “Rio was more attuned to the experience than anyone I’ve ever known,” the producer wrote on Thursday, April 14. “He stopped what was happening to point it out, to make you pay attention.”
The screenwriter also emphasized Rio’s love of cinema and music. “He would put the experience on the stereo for you, then start it over and play it back for you because we were discussing it for the first time and ‘Buddy, you really should listen to it,'” DeVicentis wrote. “Not just obsessed with films and how they reflected and forced, he was something more: a fan of countless scenes, special gestures of unsung actors, strange career turns, stormy comebacks, swan songs in the cinema – all these are real experiences for you when you contemplate consciously.”
Devicentis’ post elicited a lot of stunned and touching reactions from friends and colleagues who also knew him. “I was so sad to hear about Rio’s passing,” Robin Tunney wrote in the comments section. “He was too good to be so handsome. It’s too cool to be so native. My [God], this man was special. RIP Rio”.
Lake Bell, who directed two episodes of Pam and Tommy, added, “It’s a huge loss.”