London: Alan Rickman, one of Britain’s most loved actors, who played the role of Professor Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” series, has died aged 69. He was suffering from cancer. “The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer
at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends,” a family statement said today.
Besides his most famous role as Professor Snape in JK Rowling’s screen adaptation of the Harry Potter books, Rickman played key roles such as Hans Gruber in “Die Hard” and won a Bafta Award for playing the Sheriff of Nottingham in 1991’s “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”.
He was best known for playing screen villains, including the role of Judge Turpin opposite Johnny Depp in 2007’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”.
But he showed his gentler side in films like 1990’s “Truly Madly Deeply”, 1995’s “Sense and Sensibility” and “Love Actually” in 2003. His recent film roles included an art-loving lord in the Coen brothers’ scripted farce “Gambit”, as Ronald Reagan in
“Lee Daniels” “The Butler” and a humorous King Louis XIV in “A Little Chaos”.
He was also a celebrated stage thespian and after graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), the actor found work with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Rickman remained politically active throughout his life and was known to say he was born “a card-carrying member of the Labour party”. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was one of the first pay tribute on Twitter: “Very sad to hear that Alan Rickman has passed away. One of the greatest actors of his generation. My thoughts are with
his family & friends.”
In April last year, the much-loved actor had revealed he had married his partner of 50 years, Rima Horton, in secret. The pair had been in a relationship since they met at the
Chelsea College of Art and Design, when he was 19 and she was 18. His death comes ahead of the release of a new film called ‘Eye In The Sky’ in April, in which he stars alongside Dame Helen Mirren.