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 Actually, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, Dogma, Alice In Wonderland, The 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.
Rest In Peace Alan Rickman. Such sad news. A huge loss.— Will Poulter (@PoulterWill) January 14, 2016
Oh no. Alan Rickman was not only an amazing, forensically good actor, but a lovely, genuine man to know. A week where Giants leave us.— Gary Kemp (@garyjkemp) January 14, 2016
Another legend gone, another magical man taken away to entertain the heavens, It's gonna be mighty fun up there. Rest well Alan Rickman X— russell tovey (@russelltovey) January 14, 2016
Goodbye Alan Rickman. You were genius in Harry Potter.— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) January 14, 2016
I am going to miss the hell out of Alan Rickman— Max Bemis (@maxbemis) January 14, 2016
Devastated by the news that Alan Rickman has gone. A great talent and a lovely chap.— Kevin McNally (@exkevinmcnally) January 14, 2016
Devastated to hear about the passing of Alan Rickman. I had the pleasure of working with him on my first movie. A true legend and gentleman.— Jamie Campbell Bower (@Jamiebower) January 14, 2016
Really sad to hear about Alan Rickman. Brilliant actor, deeply principled man. My heart goes out to Rima and his family.— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) January 14, 2016
I've watched Alan Rickman play Hans Gruber & Metatron more times than I count. Such a loss.— Hilltop Hoods (@hilltophoods) January 14, 2016
So sad to hear that we’ve lost Alan Rickman. What a brilliantly talented man. Countless amazing performances. What a sad week.— Tom Fletcher (@tommcfly) January 14, 2016
There are few things I enjoyed more than watching Alan Rickman sigh in a movie. RIP— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) January 14, 2016
I wish this came true for Alan Rickman. pic.twitter.com/t2WypggClz— Rachel Zarrell (@rachelzarrell) January 14, 2016