Alan Rickman Passes Away From Cancer Aged 69

15 January 2016 | 12:28 am | Staff Writer

The celebrated British actor's death has been confirmed by his family

Venerated, veteran UK actor Alan Rickman has reportedly passed away in London at the age of 69 following a battle with cancer; his death was confirmed by his family, according to The Guardian.

As the BBC reports, his family released a statement saying: "The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends."

Rickman began his career in theatre in 1978, cutting his teeth with the Court Drama Group before taking up with the Royal Shakespeare Company, for whom he would perform his Tony Award-nominated breakout role as the Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liasisons Dangereuses in 1985. Within six years, he would be delighting moviegoers as the villainous Sheriff Of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves — having already, in 1988, won them over with his brilliant portrayal of slick German criminal Hans Gruber in Die Hard.

Rickman had remained a fixture of the big screen up until his death (his last role was reprising his role as Absolem the Caterpillar for this year's upcoming Alice Through The Looking Glass), a feat not insignificantly aided by his casting as redemptive antagonist Severus Snape in the film adaptations of JK Rowling's popular Harry Potter series, a gig which lasted from 2001 through 2011. Additional notable recent roles included playing in Love ActuallySweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, DogmaAlice In WonderlandThe Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, and, 20 years ago, his title performance in Rasputin: Dark Servant Of Destiny, for which he garnered wins at the Golden Globes, Emmy Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards (not to mention a wonderful turn in Galaxy Quest the following year). He also won a BAFTA during his career, for Michael Collins (1996).

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Contemporaries, fans and notable identities alike — including everyone from Say Anything frontman Max Bemis, the Hilltop Hoods and UK politician Ed Miliband to Star Trek actor/director Jonathan Frakes, comedian Seth Meyers and even Boy George — are beginning to mourn Rickman's death on social media; the loss of another titan of the British creative community comes at an already sorrowful time for pretty much everyone following the recent deaths of David Bowie and Lemmy Kilmister.