Alan Rickman: 1946-2016

by | January 14, 2016 | Comments


(Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images)


Alan Rickman, whose dramatic breadth and distinctive vocal delivery made him a legend among cinematic villains and a versatile supporting player in a long list of critically acclaimed films, has passed away at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer.

Born in the Acton ward of London’s Ealing borough, Rickman gained his first acting experience as a teenager, although his working-class background prevented him from immediately seeking it out as a profession. Initially pursuing a career in graphic design, he eventually auditioned with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, earning a spot among the student body and winning several awards during his tenure at the school.

Initially focusing his efforts on the stage, Rickman picked up some early TV credits — including an appearance in the 1982 BBC program The Barchester Chronicles — but his first taste of widespread acclaim came courtesy of his Tony-winning portrayal of the Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, a role he held during the play’s 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company run and reprised when the production moved to Broadway in 1987.

Rickman’s first major film appearance arrived in 1988’s Die Hard, in which he played Hans Gruber, the delightfully snide terrorist whose takeover of a Los Angeles high rise is foiled by the indefatigable efforts of New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) — but not before hero and heavy engage in a battle of wits and one-liners that spawned several sequels and a legion of countless action-thriller imitators. It was followed by a number of memorable roles that included eminently loathable bad guys (like the Sheriff of Nottingham in 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), comedic turns in films such as Dogma and Galaxy Quest, and several appearances as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise.

Along the way, Rickman continued to compile a varied list of stage and television credits. He moved into directing, helming The Winter Guest (1995) and A Little Chaos (2015). His voice could be heard in episodes of King of the Hill and Back at the Barnyard. He won a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his work in the 1996 HBO movie Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny — and as a recent testament to his range, in 2013, he portrayed Ronald Reagan (in The Butler) as well as legendary club owner Hilly Kristal (in CBGB).

One of Rickman’s most frequent collaborators, Emma Thompson, was among the first to pay tribute after news of his passing broke, sharing that she’d “just kissed him goodbye” and offering a tender eulogy filled with fond memories of their relationship. “He was the ultimate ally. In life, art and politics,” wrote Thompson. “I trusted him absolutely. He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again.”

Tag Cloud

Box Office true crime Disney Plus king arthur talk show Epix Creative Arts Emmys summer TV preview The Academy rt labs Women's History Month miniseries summer TV TCA 2017 Best Director Spring TV ViacomCBS Sundance Tubi psychological thriller 90s know your critic The Arrangement BBC America ABC Family MTV nfl live event doctor who Masterpiece Food Network Mary Tyler Moore marvel cinematic universe BBC Spike hollywood Mudbound tv talk Emmy Nominations rotten Grammys Tags: Comedy new zealand AMC Plus die hard Netflix Christmas movies Cosplay vampires VICE mockumentary Classic Film USA Network mission: impossible comics Hallmark Christmas movies 79th Golden Globes Awards Musicals Countdown Pop TV mob cartoon Certified Fresh political drama Superheroes rt labs critics edition 73rd Emmy Awards A&E Star Wars Winners GIFs obituary golden globes ITV new york SDCC sequels Disney+ Disney Plus Adult Swim supernatural CMT TBS Nat Geo Fall TV kong Acorn TV women 71st Emmy Awards rotten movies we love Paramount Plus game of thrones 2020 scene in color series prank Lifetime Super Bowl Black Mirror universal monsters Apple TV Plus Video Games HBO Max Marvel Television Cannes cancelled TV series Shudder scary feel good medical drama Mystery 21st Century Fox blockbuster Trivia Kids & Family Legendary leaderboard Amazon art house films australia robots Tomatazos Opinion joker unscripted psycho Horror high school parents boxoffice Mary poppins Rocketman Western IMDb TV BET Universal Pictures Dark Horse Comics Showtime Binge Guide sopranos TV One Neflix Infographic composers christmas movies CBS Fantasy Netflix critic resources concert quibi Rocky 2019 green book streaming spanish language FXX Wes Anderson jamie lee curtis dogs hispanic sequel animated new star wars movies Musical Valentine's Day zero dark thirty dc Television Academy Indigenous sports zombie toy story hist TV movies Lifetime Christmas movies Reality Competition Quiz BAFTA Turner Classic Movies Television Critics Association USA Amazon Prime Video black comedy WarnerMedia revenge movie vs. football Chernobyl breaking bad Fox Searchlight mcc best book adaptation 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards festivals japan Film Festival President Summer dceu jurassic park Election Discovery Channel all-time TCA Biopics adenture ghosts scary movies disaster Hollywood Foreign Press Association Turner CW Seed A24 Comic-Con@Home 2021 Shondaland Oscars San Diego Comic-Con international nbcuniversal french First Look remakes reboot Oscar cinemax Tokyo Olympics justice league pirates of the caribbean biopic award winner indiana jones Marvel renewed TV shows based on movie Vudu posters Emmys comic book movies comiccon Year in Review spinoff Instagram Live 99% fast and furious ABC WGN Comedy Central docudrama nature Ovation 93rd Oscars slashers discovery war crime YouTube Premium VH1 TV Land chucky crime drama superhero stand-up comedy name the review 45 video royal family Trophy Talk Focus Features cops Walt Disney Pictures facebook Sundance TV YouTube 2015 richard e. Grant TV renewals Baby Yoda Polls and Games comic books TCA Winter 2020 ID Comic Book adventure Best Actress target DC Universe romance AMC spanish ABC Signature obi wan Toys razzies italian period drama criterion halloween GoT Trailer Geeked Week Paramount Network National Geographic theme song Marathons worst NBC VOD NBA Sci-Fi Writers Guild of America The Walking Dead IFC Films south america comic book movie LGBTQ heist movie halloween tv black biography Character Guide Rom-Com scorecard TIFF action-comedy Heroines Hallmark The Witch Cartoon Network cancelled television sag awards Comedy telelvision Sundance Now dragons politics Brie Larson Bravo legend kaiju Logo twilight Pirates Paramount Pictures Disney streaming service Watching Series Academy Awards a nightmare on elm street TCM MCU 1990s SXSW 2022 Pet Sematary Extras batman Spectrum Originals History cats Action romantic comedy hispanic heritage month Esquire LGBT Photos Amazon Prime Elton John SundanceTV Nominations news rom-coms blaxploitation E3 blockbusters Disney MSNBC Peacock golden globe awards movies Sneak Peek Film series kids comedies wonder woman stop motion scene in color film series CNN streamig CBS All Access Fargo crossover slasher olympics Set visit Sony The CW Universal emmy awards harry potter Apple E! Crackle aapi superman boxing indie historical drama dramedy children's TV Country 2018 godzilla El Rey classics strong female leads marvel comics The Walt Disney Company king kong FX rt archives Music werewolf Christmas Starz science fiction TruTV 2021 BET Awards Tarantino Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt spy thriller summer preview cars OneApp Ellie Kemper adaptation sitcom 2017 TNT Hear Us Out canceled Reality RT21 ratings Pacific Islander festival Pixar dexter transformers Holiday Crunchyroll 24 frames book South by Southwest Film Festival genre interviews lord of the rings Lionsgate GLAAD young adult elevated horror OWN child's play canceled TV shows saw spain streaming movies independent suspense Fox News diversity Calendar broadcast Syfy latino cancelled TV shows Endgame RT History Premiere Dates teaser SXSW Tumblr anime PaleyFest gangster hidden camera Superheroe video on demand screen actors guild PBS Hulu Paramount franchise PlayStation dark worst movies Lucasfilm Arrowverse television Exclusive Video Best and Worst First Reviews Schedule Best Actor Animation APB The Purge Star Trek crime thriller monster movies DC streaming service Family travel Winter TV Drama Alien Podcast 20th Century Fox Mindy Kaling docuseries Apple TV+ 94th Oscars toronto game show Stephen King Native binge cults Funimation Marvel Studios FX on Hulu social media NYCC Sony Pictures japanese TV satire Captain marvel archives YouTube Red technology finale New York Comic Con YA screenings stoner Interview 72 Emmy Awards cancelled Black History Month free movies james bond Teen HFPA Pride Month American Society of Cinematographers zombies mutant Prime Video BBC One HBO Go Warner Bros. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina spider-verse Nickelodeon DGA Holidays MGM scene in color venice DirecTV Avengers space X-Men Star Wars Celebration spider-man Anna Paquin documentary See It Skip It deadpool debate TCA Awards Broadway Rock HBO foreign Amazon Studios versus Freeform thriller 2016 fresh Disney Channel serial killer popular IFC documentaries Mary Poppins Returns Comics on TV Red Carpet comic Best Picture trailers dreamworks trophy FOX critics police drama Columbia Pictures Image Comics Martial Arts 007 Travel Channel aliens DC Comics what to watch witnail Thanksgiving laika Awards Pop casting cooking Awards Tour directors basketball Britbox ESPN target scene in color 4/20 reviews Ghostbusters TLC anthology live action Song of Ice and Fire singing competition asian-american natural history