R.I.P. Alan Rickman

2016 has gotten off to a brutal start for great British entertainers. As the world gets over the death of David Bowie a few days ago, it has been set in shock again as acting legend Alan Rickman has died in London.

Rickman had been suffering from cancer and his death was confirmed on Thursday by his family. It’s the worst kind of coincidence – Bowie and Rickman were 69 years old and passed after battling cancer, and a week before that British musician Lemmy also passed away from cancer just days after turning 70.

Rickman’s distinct features and immediately identifiable diction were admired by generations of actors and made him synonymous with playing antagonists – something he famously wasn’t a fan of as he preferred to play the dashing leading man role which he did manage to do in some of his work.

Coming to fame with a key role in The BBC’s mini-series “The Barchester Chronicles,” he quickly built up a film career and broke through internationally as the iconic villain Hans Gruber in 1988’s “Die Hard”. He became well known to a whole new generation as the villainous and ultimately tragic Professor Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” film series.

Rickman is a multi-award nominee and won an Emmy, a SAG award and a Golden Globe for playing the titular mad monk himself in the telemovie “Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny” along with the BAFTA award for his evil Sheriff of Nottingham in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”.

Other nominatons included his part as a philandering husband in “Love Actually,” as pioneering heart surgeon Alfred Blalock in “Something the Lord Made,” as the honorable Colonel Brandon in “Sense and Sensibility,” as Irish political figure Eamon de Valera in “Michael Collins,” and in the lead role Jamie in the musical rom-com “Truly, Madly, Deeply.”

Other roles included former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Lee Daniel’s “The Butler,” legenday music promoter Hilly Kristal in “CBGB,” the sardonic angel The Metatron in Kevin Smith’s “Dogma,” the alien medic playing actor Alexander Dane in “Galaxy Quest,” the quirky painter Ed in “The January Man,” the sinister Judge Turpin in Tim Burton’s “Sweeney Todd,” the voice of Marvin the Android in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” a grizzled New Orleans detective in “Judas Kiss,” and King Louis XIV in “A Little Chaos” which he also directed.

Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and many fans. Here’s a lovely excerpt from the British gameshow “Q.I.” in which John Sessions, Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson discuss the great man himself.

Source: The Guardian