Alan Rickman, known for his role as Severus Snape in “Harry Potter,” and in such movies as “Die Hard” and “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” died Thursday after a short battle with cancer. He was 69.
Rickman was a highly admired British actor of both the stage and screen, starring in numerous films such as, “Truly, Madly, Deeply,” Love, Actually” and “Sense and Sensibility.” His iconic, unforgettable voice captured audiences everywhere and his role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter series gained him a new batch of loyal fans.
Despite Rickman’s on-screen roles, it was his work on the stage that established him as a compelling talent and a place where he returned throughout his career. He had key performances in plays such as “John Gabriel Borkman” and Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra.”
He was a man of many talents. When he wasn’t acting, he was behind the scenes directing movies and plays, such as the 2005, award-winning play “My Name is Rachel Corrie.” He had his directorial debut in 1995 when he directed Emma Thompson and her mother, Phyllida Law, in the acclaimed Scottish drama “The Winter Guest.”
Cast and crew from previous films and plays flocked to social media to voice their condolences and pay tribute to Rickman. JK Rowling tweeted, saying how shocked and devastated she was to hear of his death. Other “Harry Potter” stars called him talented and funny.
“He was a magnificent actor and a wonderful man,” said Michael Gambon, who played Dumbledore. “Everybody loved Alan. He was always happy and fun and creative and very, very funny.”
Rickman never won an Oscar, something that became a hot topic in interviews, but did win numerous other awards, including a Golden Globe and an Emmy.
“Parts win prizes, not actors,” he said in 2008. “Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theatre, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.”