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Dame Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford have been left “heartbroken” by the death of the director’s son.
Rio Hackford died last Thursday (14.04.22) aged 51 and the couple have encouraged people to make regular visits to the optician in order to help detect the rare form of cancer that the ‘Mandelorian’ actor died from.
They said in a statement: “Helen and I are both inspired by the life of our son and stepson, Rio Hackford, and heartbroken by his loss. His life showed us how to live in generosity and community.
“He shared his life’s journey with so many who now mourn him, and at the same time, celebrate their fortune in knowing him.
“Rio died of uveal melanoma, a very aggressive and rare form of cancer. We would beg everyone reading this to get their eyes tested at least once a year which might save their loved ones from this cancer.”
Rio’s brother, Alex, revealed on Monday (18.04.22) that his sibling had passed away, and the actor’s family also shared some tributes from fellow star.
Vince Vaughn said: “As loyal and funny as anyone could be. Rio was the best ever. Truly one of a kind.”
Renee Zellweger added: “Rio…a titan of kindness, love, class, courage. And cool. A legend.”
And Queens of the Stone Age rocker Josh Homme said: “Rio just knew things. Esoteric things. Off the map things. Secret things. Wonderful things.
“He knew these things because of his charm, wit, honesty, character tough personality. He was a real man in a sea of Poseurs.”
DVDeVincentis paid a lengthy tribute to the ‘Treme’ star on Instagram.
He said of his friend: “Life is experience. Time and sensation folding together, framing each other. 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. ‘Right, Guy? I mean… right?’ He would put an experience for you on the stereo, then start it over and play it again for you because we were talking over it the first time and ‘Pal, you really have to listen to it.’
“Not simply obsessed with movies and how they mirrored and compelled, he was something more: a superfan of enumerable scenes, of particular gestures of unsung actors, weird career turns, roaring comebacks, cinema swan songs — all real experiences for you, when beheld consciously.
“During phone calls from one traveling cell phone to another, he would keep track of where you were and let you know what incredible meal or bar was in your vicinity, a gourmand GPS thrumming at all times, for you. And those long long calls went by so quickly, his gift of gab so paradoxical as set in his Gary Cooper laconic mien. Worthy experience isn’t everywhere.
“But Rio knew the closest to you at any given moment, and keeping track of these precious possibilities for you was his most fluent language of love. Rio was the apex curator of experience, it was his oxygen, his life.”