After years of fantastic roles, big or small, British actor Alan Rickman has passed away at the age of 69.
A statement from the family reads:
The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends.
Rickman began his acting career in his 40’s, later than most well-known and great actors would. That would not take away from his impact on Hollywood and on stage. Most notably he portrayed the villain Hans Gruber in Die Hard opposite Bruce Willis, the Sheriff of Nottingham in 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (to which he won a BAFTA for his role), and of course Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.
While his on-screen acting began later in this career, his on-stage performances were well-known in the UK and New York as he was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company playing iconic characters in both classic and modern adaptations of the plays.
An overwhelming number of messages online have been coming in from fans and some notable ones from friends and actors who knew Alan Rickman:
Shocked & sad to hear Alan Rickman has passed away. One of the nicest actors I’ve ever met.Thoughts and prayers with his family at this time
— James Phelps (@James_Phelps) January 14, 2016
What desperately sad news about Alan Rickman. A man of such talent, wicked charm & stunning screen & stage presence. He’ll be sorely missed
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) January 14, 2016
Rickman had some words of his own a few years back, letting us know that a character like Severus Snape is more than just a villain, more that just what you see:
“Snape. There was more to him that met the eye. It’s something unnameable. He lives within a very tight confines emotionally, physically. He lives a solitary kind of existence. Mysterious. He’s very focussed. Eventually you get to find out who he is. Innocence. Lost. Resentful. It’s been a complete privilege.”
A fine actor that portrayed villains like Snape and Gruber, but also had lighter roles that almost anyone could enjoy like Harry in Love Actually, and Dane in Galaxy Quest. But we’ll leave you with a note Rickman wrote for Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, thanking her for her books and expressing his gratitude to be able to be a part of the Potter series and play Snape: