Rio Hackford dead | Helen Mirren pays tribute to step-son and Mandalorian actor

The Mandalorian actor Rio Hackford has died at the age of 51.

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Rio, who also appeared in Pam & Tommy, American Crime Story and Swingers, died from an unspecified illness last Thursday, with his stepmother Dame Helen Mirren paying tribute in an Instagram post.

"El Rio," she wrote alongside a photograph of Rio, whose father Taylor Hackford married Mirren in 1997.

Rio performed the motion capture for the droid IG-11 in The Mandalorian, who was voiced by Taika Waititi and appeared in four episodes of the Disney Plus show's first season.

He is also known for playing Pat McKenna in American Crime Story's The People v OJ Simpson, as well as the recurring role of Toby in the HBO drama Treme between 2010 and 2013.

Rio, who was born in 1970 to Academy Award-winning director Taylor Hackford and his first wife Georgie Lowres, started his acting career by appearing in Pretty Woman as an uncredited street junkie, before taking roles in 1995's Safe, Ralph Fiennes film Strange Days and 1996's Swingers, in which he played Skully.

He went on to appear in 2003 film I Love Your Work, Raising Helen, Fred Claus, Jonah Hex, Parker and The Lookalike.

As for TV, he played small roles in dramas like True Detective, When Nature Calls and Underground, with his last role being that of a manager in Pam & Tommy.

The actor was also known for owning several clubs in the New Orleans area, including One-Eyed Jacks, Pal's Lounge and El Matador.

Paying tribute to the actor, screenwriter DV DeVincentis (American Crime Story) wrote on Instagram: "Rio was more attuned to experience than anyone I’ve ever known. He would stop what was happening to point it out, compel you to pay attention. He would order you a must-have experience from a beloved menu and hold your eye as you paid attention to what was happening in your mouth.

"Not simply obsessed with movies and how they mirrored and compelled, he was something more: a superfan of innumerable scenes, of particular gestures of unsung actors, weird career turns, roaring comebacks, cinema swan songs."

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Rio is survived by his wife, musician Libby Grace, and their two children.