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Alan Rickman

  • Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England
  • Birthday: February 21
Date of passing: 
January 14, 2016

Alan Rickman was a British actor best known for his role as Professor Severus Snape, the villainous master of potions in the Harry Potter series, starting with 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone through 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Rickman first rose to fame with his role in the 1988 action classic Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis, in which Rickman played Hans Gruber, the German mastermind of a band of terrorists who seized control of a Los Angeles skyscraper. He landed the role after being in L.A. for only two days.

Films that followed included The January Man, with Kevin Kline and Susan Sarandon; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner; a starring role in Close My Eyes, with Clive Owen; the title role in Mesmer; Sense and Sensibility, with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant; Michael Collins, with Liam Neeson and Julia Roberts; the title role in The Search for John Gissing; Bottle Shock; Gambit, starring Colin Firth; Lee Daniels’ The Butler, with Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey; Kevin Smith's Dogma; A Little Chaos, with Winslet; Eye in the Sky, with Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul; and the holiday classic Love Actually, with an ensemble cast including Neeson, Grant and Thompson.

Following his casting in the Potter films, Rickman found a younger audience, and began appearing in more science-fiction and fantasy projects, including The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter; and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, and the sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass, both with Depp and Carter.

Alan Rickman was a British actor best known for his role as Professor Severus Snape, the villainous master of potions in the Harry Potter series, starting with 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone through 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Rickman first rose to fame with his role in the 1988 action classic Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis, in which Rickman played Hans Gruber, the German mastermind of a band of terrorists who seized control of a Los Angeles skyscraper. He landed the role after being in L.A. for only two days.

Films that followed included The January Man, with Kevin Kline and Susan Sarandon; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner; a starring role in Close My Eyes, with Clive Owen; the title role in Mesmer; Sense and Sensibility, with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant; Michael Collins, with Liam Neeson and Julia Roberts; the title role in The Search for John Gissing; Bottle Shock; Gambit, starring Colin Firth; Lee Daniels’ The Butler, with Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey; Kevin Smith's Dogma; A Little Chaos, with Winslet; Eye in the Sky, with Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul; and the holiday classic Love Actually, with an ensemble cast including Neeson, Grant and Thompson.

Following his casting in the Potter films, Rickman found a younger audience, and began appearing in more science-fiction and fantasy projects, including The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter; and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, and the sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass, both with Depp and Carter.

His first big break, however, came with a stage role, in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 1985 production of Christopher Hampton’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Rickman, who had attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, played the manipulative Vicomte de Valmont. Rickman earned a Tony Award nomination for the performance after the production transferred to Broadway in 1987.

He also appeared on television, including roles in the miniseries Smiley’s People, starring Alec Guinness; as well as the telefilms Something the Lord Made; The Song of Lunch, with Emma Thompson; and Rasputin, in which he played the title role. He also lent his distinctive voice to the animated series King of the Hill, in the role of King Philip.

Additionally, Rickman served as the writer and director of two films: 1997’s The Winter Guest, with Thompson, and 2014’s A Little Chaos, with Winslet. In 1992, he won a BAFTA for his supporting role as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood. In 1996, he earned an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe for Rasputin. And in 2004, he was nominated for an Emmy Award once more, for his lead role in the HBO movie Something the Lord Made.

Rickman died January 14, 2016, in London, England. He was 69.

 

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AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

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