UK stage and screen actor Alan Rickman has passed away after a fight against cancer. He was 69 years old.
Rickman was one of the most admired actors working today, and not just for playing Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies or Hans Gruber in the first Die Hard, which was his on-screen feature film debut. Rickman was an accomplished thespian and member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Had his big screen career not taken off with Die Hard, he would have likely continued to have an august and respected stage career.
I remember seeing Rickman on Broadway in the play Seminar a few years ago. Rickman played a Gordon Lish-style literary editor who ran writing workshops from his apartment. He had such command on the stage, and in character he conveyed a wonderfully sneering, condescending disdain for his handful of students, which was a little uncanny if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of that sort of stuff in a lit class or a writing class.
There was something about Alan Rickman–that distinct voice of his, that face as well, a presence. He was an original, and wonderfully so. Beyond Harry Potter and Die Hard, Rickman had many great comic and dramatic roles in films such as Michael Collins, Dogma, Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually, Truly Madly Deeply, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and, of course, Galaxy Quest.
Somehow Rickman never won an Oscar. To some it may seem a travesty, but it also just goes to show that an Oscar isn’t everything. Alan Rickman was loved so much that an Oscar is irrelevant.
Rickman told The Guardian in 2008, “Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theatre, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.”
Thanks for changing us.
Flixist sends our condolences to Alan Rickman’s family and loved ones.[via The Guardian]