RIP Alan Rickman 1946-2016

Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen(PCM) 2016 is off to a rough start. First, the world loses visionary and musician David Bowie, and now, just four days later, we’re dealing with the loss of actor-director Alan Rickman.

Rickman’s family announced the actor’s passing this morning, January 14th, saying the 69-year-old had lost his battle with cancer.

Though he is best known for his role as the dark and brooding Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series, Rickman had a long and accomplished career in film, tv, and on stage in Britain and in the U.S.

Starting his classical training in acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1972, Alan Rickman began his acting career on stage with British repertory and experimental theatre groups before working with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Rickman soon entered the world of TV, starring as Tybalt in a 1978 TV movie adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, before starring in the BBC’s TV mini-series, The Barchester Chronicles, as Obadiah Sope.

After starring in another TV movie and appearing on a few TV series, Alan Rickman got his first big break starring as the villainous Hans Gruber alongside Bruce Willis in 1988’s Die Hard, earning him the 46th spot on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes & Villains before gaining more recognition in the U.S. for his role as the evil Sheriff George of Nottingham in 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Not one to be typecast as the villain in every film, Rickman branched out and played a wide variety of roles throughout his career, starring as the sensitive and lovelorn Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, the voice of God and angel Metatron in Kevin Smith’s Dogma, the pedantic Alexander Dane in the hilarious Galaxy Quest, the unfaithful character of Harry in Love Actually, the miserable robot Marvin in The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and the irresponsible innovator behind one of New York’s most iconic clubs, Hilly Crystal in CBGB.

Rickman earned over 15 awards and 29 nominations throughout his 38 years in the business, including a Golden Globe, Primetime Emmy, and Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Rasputin in the 1996 TV movie. The accomplished actor also has two directing credits to his name: 1997’s The Winter Guest and 2014’s A Little Chaos.

Rickman’s last film appearance will be in Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass as the voice of the Blue Caterpillar, opening May 27, 2016.

Fellow actors and celebrities have been mourning the loss of Alan Rickman on social media, sharing in the collective sadness touching so many right now.

Our condolences go out to the Rickman family. RIP Alan Rickman, 1946-2016.

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