It is with an awfully heavy heart, that I report the heartbreaking news that Alan Rickman, one of the most loved and admired British actors has sadly passed away aged 69. Confirmed by his family on Thursday, the actor was battling cancer, and today passed away in London.
His agent confirmed the news to the BBC, with a family statement reading:
A family statement said: "The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends."
An actor who was revered for his iconic vocals, Rickman found fame across multiple generations for both his film and stage performances.
Alan Rickman was a late bloomer in the world of film, shooting to fame and global acclaim in 1988 after being cast in the Bruce Willis led action thriller Die Hard. After arriving in Los Angeles for a mere two days, Rickman was cast as the iconic evil Hans Gruber aged 41. The role was to become a staple in his filmography, and garnered Rickman international attention.
Hans Gruber wasn't the only baddie that Rickman would portray on screen. He was well adept at playing the antagonist, playing the outrageous sheriff in the 1991 Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, as well as taking on the iconic Rasputin role, in an acclaimed 1995 HBO film.
1995 would also be the year that Alan Rickman showed his romantic side, playing Colonel Brandon in the Ang Lee directed take on Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility. Although a small, his role was memorable for his poetry reading and wooing of Kate Winslet’s Marianne.
However, it was his depiction of the potions master Professor Snape, in the film adaptations of J.K. Rowling's best selling Harry Potter novels that opened him up to a new generation, and gave him millions upon millions of adoring fans.
The ultimate hero/bully of Rowlings series, the caped professor caused millions of fans to laugh, scream, shout and weep at his on screen portrayal.
His story arc was to be a defining plot of the Harry Potter franchise, ultimately portraying Snap as the true hero of the story. A character who epitomizes what it means to be in the "grey" area, not even author J.K. Rowling could decide whether he was inherently the hero, or the bully.
Thankfully this is not the last we will see of Alan Rickman. The actor has two films set to come out this year, In The Sky alongside Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul and the sequel to Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”, Alice Through The Looking Glass.
Although Rickman was never recognized by the Oscars for any of his roles, the talented actor did receive a Golden Globe, an Emmy, a Bafta and a Tony nomination among many others.
In 2008 he famously said "Parts win prizes, not actors", which is fitting of his filmography and theater productions. “Actors are agents of change,” he said. “A film, a piece of theatre, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.” Thanks to his many roles, he changed the world for a lot of people.
He is survived by his wife Rima Horton, whom he married in secret last year, after meeting 50 years ago.