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Ray Stevenson has Gaelic roots although he was brought up in the North-East of England. He was born in Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. His father was a pilot in the Royal Air Force, his mother is Irish and he has an older brother and a younger brother. Ray got the acting bug in his youth during his visits to the Saturday Morning Picture Show at the Newcastle Odeon. He kept quiet about his aspirations to become an actor for a while and during that time had a career as an interior designer. He was further inspired to become an actor after seeing John Malkovich in the play Burn This at the Lyric Theatre in the West End. When aged 27 Ray Stevenson studied acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Ray is married to actress Ruth Gemmell who he met when they worked together on the Granada TV drama Band of Gold. They later played husband and wife on the series Peak Practice.