JK Rowling is devastated by Alan Rickman’s death, so is everyone else

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 14, 2016 22:15 IST
Alan Rickman (1946-2016).

Veteran British actor Alan Rickman has died at the age of 69 after losing his battle to cancer. The star was best known for his role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films.

The Guardian has reported that Rickman’s death was confirmed on Thursday by his family. He shot to fame after his villainous role as Hans Gruber in the original Die Hard in 1988. His other iconic roles include Love Actually, Sense and Sensibility and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. In 2014, Rickman directed A Little Chaos starring Kate Winslet and Matthias Schoenaerts.

The writer of Harry Potter books expressed her grief on Twitter by saying that she is shocked and devastated on his death.

Rickman as Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988).

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe also shared his sorrow on the actor’s death:

With his aquiline features and cultured - if often menacing - English accent, he became one of Britain’s best-known actors of stage and screen over the last 30 years with a career stretching from the Royal Shakespeare Company to sci-fi spoof Galaxy Quest.

“The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends,” his family said in a statement on Thursday.

Rickman got his big break appearing the Broadway version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. (AP)

A graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Rickman got his big break appearing the Broadway version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in the mid-1980s before making his first major film appearance as Hans Gruber soon afterwards.

That was to be the first of many performances as a villain, including Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, for which he won a Bafta, the British equivalent of an Oscar.

Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson in a still from Love, Actually. (YouTube)

He also won a Golden Globe and an Emmy during his career and despite his reputation for playing the “baddie”, he was also acclaimed for more sensitive roles in films such as Truly Madly Deeply, and Love, Actually.

“Everybody loved Alan. He was always happy and fun and creative and very, very funny,” veteran British actor Michael Gambon told BBC radio. “He had a great voice, he spoke wonderfully well, he was intelligent, he wrote plays and he directed a play. So he was a real man of the theatre and the stage.”

The Guardian newspaper said Rickman was always politically active with the left-wing Labour Party and his wife, Rima Horton, his partner of more than 50 years whom he married in secret last year, had been a Labour councillor in London.

“Really sad to hear about Alan Rickman. Brilliant actor, deeply principled man. My heart goes out to Rima and his family,” Ed Miliband, Labour’s former leader who led the party to defeat in last year’s election, said on Twitter.

A versatile theatre actor, he was known for his deep voice and classical training. His recent films include the Coen Brothers’ scripted Gambit and Lee Daniels’ The Butler where he played American President Ronald Reagan. His fans claim he was perhaps one of the greatest actors to have never won an Oscar.

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