It’s a sad beginning to 2016 as beloved British actor Alan Rickman just passed away at 69 due to cancer (mere days after revered musician David Bowie also passed away due to cancer at 69). Rickman may have been best known for his role as the complex Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series, but he has been a much-loved actor of film and stage for the past 30 years.
Rickman first became a film icon after his role as Hans Gruber in the 1988 Die Hard, which exemplified his exceptional range. He was extraordinary as both the heroic and villainous, from the nefarious Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, to the soft and romantic Colonel Brandon in Ang Lee’s Sense & Sensibility. His breadth of work earned him numerous accolades and nominations, though shockingly never an Academy Award.
For many, Rickman was a stalwart icon of film: with his rich, unmistakable voice and the warm presence he gave to any role, including the villains, he seemed utterly infallible. It’s difficult to imagine we will no longer be able to see him embody new characters.
Love and support poured out from Twitter, as fans reminisced about their favorite Rickman roles:
More than Snape, Alan Rickman could do anything. Play anything. A true actor. An incredible man.— Rosie Day (@rosiedaydream) January 14, 2016
"How do we make this thing better?" "Just put Alan Rickman in it." - Standard Hollywood conversation #RIPAlanRickman— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) January 14, 2016
RIP Alan Rickman. By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged.— Mathematical Bennett (@MattBennett) January 14, 2016
Is there a better villain in modern movies than Hans Gruber? I don't think so. Rest In Peace, Alan Rickman.— Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff) January 14, 2016
So sad about Alan Rickman. He had my heart the moment he threatened to cut Robin Hood's heart out with a spoon. :( #Always— Sabaa Tahir (@sabaatahir) January 14, 2016
"If only life could be a little more tender, and art a little more robust." -Alan Rickman Let's make Alan proud. He will be missed. #RIPAlan— Fullscreen (@Fullscreen) January 14, 2016
Thank you, Alan Rickman, for teaching this awkward, self-conscious stutterer how to worship at the altar of language in his own voice. RIP.— J. Michael Tatum (@JMichaelTatum) January 14, 2016
Today we raise our wands to you, Alan Rickman. A very special person who we will miss, Always pic.twitter.com/pu8rOg9jn1— Tiffany (@TiffEncina) January 14, 2016
When I met Alan Rickman (my secondary school theater opening; he went there) he walked past hamlet and spoke to the stage people first.— BEWARE: Ed Zitron (@edzitron) January 14, 2016
Many of his previous costars (including Potter alumni) and fellow actors similarly expressed their sadness at his passing and extreme fondness for him, both as an actor and a person:
I had the great privilege of working w Alan Rickman in Anthony&Cleopatra. Thank you for your enormous heart&talent. pic.twitter.com/TSWQdPsIlH— Adam Croasdell (@ACroasdell) 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
Am not prepared for a world without Alan Rickman. Such a beautiful soul. He was so kind & generous in the moments he wasn't Snaping about.??— Evanna Lynch (@Evy_Lynch) January 14, 2016
Hans, The Sheriff of Nottingham, Dr. Lazarus, Harry, Snape. Damn. Alan Rickman will leave a hole in my heart. Fuck Cancer.— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) January 14, 2016
Alan Rickman was an actor's actor; courageous, generous, witty & surprising. When he laughed he lit up a room. A prince. You will be missed.— Susan Sarandon (@SusanSarandon) January 14, 2016
Banner Image Credit: Reuters