RIP Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman, a much-loved star of stage, TV and films including Harry Potter and Die Hard – and owner of one of the most singular voices in acting ­– has died in London. He was 69 years old. A stage actor who made his name in the theatre world, Rickman gained wider notice for his film performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series. Rickman’s other film roles included the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply, Colonel Brandon in Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility, Harry in Love Actually, P. L. O’Hara in An Awfully Big Adventure, Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest, and Judge Turpin in the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

The actor had been a big-screen staple since first shooting to global acclaim in 1988, when he starred as Hans Gruber, Bruce Willis’s sardonic, dastardly adversary in Die Hard – a part he was offered two days after arriving in Los Angeles, aged 41. In 1995, he was awarded a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Rasputin in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny. He won a BAFTA Award for his role in Robin Hood. In 2013, he played Hilly Kristal, the founder of the famous East Village punk-rock club CBGB, in the CBGB film with Rupert Grint. In 1965, at the age of 19, Rickman met 18-year-old Rima Horton, who became his first girlfriend and would later be a Labour Party councillor on the Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council (1986–2006) and an economics lecturer at the nearby Kingston University. They lived together from 1977 until his death. In 2015, Rickman confirmed that they had married in a private ceremony in New York City in 2012.

Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman (21 February 1946 – 14 January 2016)

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