Helen Mirren‘s stepson, Rio Hackford, died on April 14 at the age of 51. His brother Alex Hackford told Variety that Rio passed away from an illness. Helen, 76, paid tribute to Rio by sharing a photo of him on Instagram and writing, “El Rio.” Screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis also honored Rio and said that his late friend “was more attuned to experience than anyone I’ve ever known.” Find out more about Rio below.
1. Rio was an actor.
Rio’s first acting job was as a street junkie in Julia Roberts‘ 1990 film Pretty Woman. He appeared in movies such as Exit to Eden, Blood In, Blood Out, Treasure Island, Strange Days, Stay Alive, and Jonah Hex. On television, Rio appeared in American Crime Story, True Detective, Treme, and The Mandalorian. His final acting credit was as a manager in Hulu’s Pam & Tommy.
2. He owned several bars.
Rio was the owner of Homestead in San Francisco and Monty in Los Angeles. He also owned the clubs Pal’s Lounge and One-Eyed Jacks in New Orleans.
3. His father is famous.
Film director and producer Taylor Hackford, 77, is Rio’s father. Taylor welcomed Rio in 1970 with his first wife, Georgie Lowres. His second marriage was to director Lynne Litman from 1979 to 1987, and the pair had a son Alexander, 43, who is the head of creative music affairs at PlayStation. Taylor got married to Helen in 1997.
Taylor’s best known movie is the 2004 Ray Charles biopic Ray, which starred Jamie Foxx as the iconic musician. Ray earned Taylor Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Picture. His most recent directorial effort came in 2016, when he was the auteur behind the Jeff Ross-written, Robert De Niro–starring movie The Comedian.
4. Helen became his stepmother in 1997.
Helen got married to Rio’s father in 1997, after a decade of dating. The couple met when Helen was cast in Taylor’s 1985 flick White Nights. Helen and Taylor have a strong marriage but spend a lot of time apart due to their busy work schedules, although that changed during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“My husband and I have been married for 30-something years, you know, a very long time. But in all that time because of the nature of both of our work we’ve always been looking at suitcases, at packing,” she told The Telegraph in a March 2021 interview. “The suitcases are always on the floor ready to be packed or unpacked. We have literally never spent this amount of time together. It’s been really great to just sort of have what most people have. You know, normal, regular, repetitive lives, but comfortable lives. So it’s been a wonderful way for the two of us to bond, in a weird way. I think it’s been a very bonding experience.”
5. Rio is survived by his wife & two children.
Rio’s wife, musician Libby Grace, and their two children are mourning his death. Libby has yet to publicly address her husband’s tragic passing.