We were crushed this morning by the unexpected news that the great Alan Rickman has died at age 69 after a battle with cancer.
A statement from his family sent to BBC reads: “The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends.”
The actor was perhaps best known for his role as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise, which helped define a generation, but dazzled audiences for decades with roles in Die Hard, Sense and Sensibility, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Love Actually, Truly Madly Deeply, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, among others.
Alan Rickman begun his career in theatre, including the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Company, before finding roles in a series of British television shows and made-for-television movies. His feature film breakout role was Hans Gruber in 1988’s Die Hard, which kicked off his illustrious movie career.
The actor won BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Emmy awards for his various roles, along with multiple film festival accolades. Though he never won an Academy Award, Rickman was famously unconcerned with receiving prizes for his work.
Rickman’s final live action role was in last year’s Eye In The Sky alongside Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul, though his voice will resonate as the Blue Caterpillar once again for Alice Through The Looking Glass, which is due out May 27, 2016.
While the fans around the world mourn, Alan Rickman’s collaborators and friends are also paying tribute to the actor.
There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman's death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 14, 2016
My thoughts are with Rima and the rest of Alan's family. We have all lost a great talent. They have lost part of their hearts.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 14, 2016
Emma Thompson via New York Times Culture Reporter David Itzkoff:
Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye. What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humor, intelligence, wisdom and kindness. His capacity to fell you with a look or lift you with a word. The intransigence which made him the great artist he was—his ineffable and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things, including me, and the fact that he never spared me the view. I learned a lot from him. He was the finest of actors and directors. I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to do with his face next. I consider myself hugely privileged to have worked with him so many times and to have been directed by him. He was the ultimate ally. In life, art and politics. I trusted him absolutely. He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again.
Daniel Radcliffe via Google Plus:
Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with. He is also, one of the loyalest and most supportive people I’ve ever met in the film industry. He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I’m pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn’t have to do that. I know other people who’ve been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say “if you call Alan, it doesn’t matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he’s doing, he’ll get back to you within a day”.
People create perceptions of actors based on the parts they played so it might surprise some people to learn that contrary to some of the sterner(or downright scary) characters he played, Alan was extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny. And certain things obviously became even funnier when delivered in his unmistakable double-bass.
As an actor he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child. Working with him at such a formative age was incredibly important and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career. Film sets and theatre stages are all far poorer for the loss of this great actor and man.
Emma Watson via Facebook:
I’m very sad to hear about Alan today. I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor. I’ll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you
Rupert Grint via Just Jared:
“I am devastated to hear about the passing of Alan Rickman, I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to work with him on numerous occasions – Even though he has gone – I will always hear his voice. My thoughts are with his friends and family at this time.”
So terribly sad to hear of the passing of Alan Rickman. Honoured to have shared the screen with him. #Marvin #Snape He'll be sorely missed.
— Warwick Davis (@WarwickADavis) January 14, 2016
Heartbreaking news about lovely Alan. Nobody else could be as hilarious, tragic, terrifying & truthful all at the same time#RIPAlanRickman
— Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) January 14, 2016
Terribly sad news about the passing of Alan Rickman. A funny and engaging person who put a shy young actor at ease when I was on HP.
— Oliver Phelps (@OliverPhelps) January 14, 2016
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
Today a friend, a role model and a truly amazing person lost his battle. I have so many good memories. #Always #RipAlanRickman
— Devon Murray (@DevonMMurray) January 14, 2016
I don't know what I did to deserve a friend like Alan. He looked out for me for twenty years and I loved him. I don't know what to do now.
— Sean Biggerstaff (@Seanchuckle) January 14, 2016