Hollywood is grieving the death of Rio Hackford, director Taylor Hackford’s son, and Helen Mirren’s stepson.
The 51-year-old died on April 14 of uveal melanoma, a highly aggressive and uncommon form of cancer, Taylor and Helen said in a statement to E! News. He has worked as a club owner and actor on television shows like The Mandalorian and Treme.
“Helen and I are both inspired and grieved by the life of our son and stepson, Rio Hackford,” the statement said. “His life exemplified how to live generously and communally. He shared his life’s journey with many people who today grieve him while also celebrating their good fortune in knowing him.”
“We would implore everyone reading this to get their eyes examined at least once a year,” the pair, who have been married since 1997, said.
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Helen also respected her late stepson following Rio’s death by uploading a flashback photo of the actor on Instagram. The Oscar winner captioned the photograph, “El Rio.”
Rio began his acting career in the 1990s with modest roles like Pretty Woman and Strange Days. He continued to work in cinema throughout the aughts, starring in films such as Jonah Hex, Raising Helen, and Fred Claus, until landing a role on HBO’s Treme as Toby.
He then turned his attention to television, appearing in True Detective, Togetherness, and The O.J. Simpson Trial: American Crime Story. He appeared in numerous episodes of The Mandalorian as Riot Mar and droid IG-11, who Taiki Waititi voiced. He most recently appeared in Hulu’s Pam & Tommy as a manager.
Apart from acting, Rio owned various clubs around the United States, including New Orleans’ One-Eyed Jack and Pal’s Lounge, San Francisco’s The Homestead, and Los Angeles’ El Dorado.
On Instagram, his buddy, screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis, paid homage to Rio’s kindness and zest for life, writing that he “was more sensitive to experience than anybody I’ve ever met.”
“He would interrupt whatever was going on to call attention to it, to urge you to pay attention. He’d order you a must-have experience from a cherished menu and hold your gaze as you focused on what was occurring in your mouth,” he recounted, adding that Rio was frequently the go-to man for “what wonderful dinner or bar was nearby, a gourmet GPS thrumming at all times for you.”
He went on to say, “Worthwhile experience is not available everywhere. On the other hand, Rio understood who was closest to you at every given moment, and he used his most fluent language of love to keep track of these priceless possibilities for you. Rio was the epitome of experience curatorship; it was his air, his life.”
Vince Vaughn, who worked with Rio in Swingers and Fred Claus, characterized his late buddy as “as loyal and amusing as anyone could be” in a statement sent to E! News.
“Rio was the greatest,” he declared. “Truly unique.”
Meanwhile, Renée Zellweger described Rio de Janeiro as a “Titan of goodness, love, decency, and bravery. Additionally, it’s awesome. An enigma.”
“Rio has innate knowledge. Esoteric matters. Things that are not on the map. Things that are kept secret. “Josh Homme, frontman of Queens of the Stone Age, revealed fantastic stuff. “He was aware of these facts due to his charisma, humor, honesty, integrity, and harsh attitude. He was a genuine gentleman in a sea of Poseurs.”
Rio is survived by many friends and family members, including his wife Libby Hackford, his two sons, Waylon and Buck Hackford, and his brother Alex Hackford.