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Severus Snape Actor Alan Rickman Dies At 69

British actor Alan Rickman, famous for his roles in Harry Potter, Die Hard and Love Actually, has died at the age of 69

A statement by his family, says that he died of cancer:

“The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends.”

He became one of Britain’s best-loved acting stars thanks to roles including Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films and Hans Gruber in Die Hard.

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Alan Rickman as Professor Snape in Harry Potter

Die hard

Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber in Die Hard

Harry Potter author JK Rowling led the tributes, describing him as “a magnificent actor and a wonderful man”.

Jeremy Corbyn praised Rickman as “one of the greatest actors of his generation”. “My thoughts are with his family and friends,” he said.

Rickman

The Independent reports:

Rickman was born in Acton, west London, in 1946. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and began his career on stage after graduating, appearing in productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

Known for his gravelly voice and dominating presence of screen, he also had memorable roles in films such as Love Actually and a Bafta award-winning turn as the Sheriff in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, with his breakout role arriving in the form of the scheming Vicomte de Valmont in an acclaimed 1985 RSC production of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.” But Rickman was not propelled to international fame until he was 41 when he landed the part of Bruce Willis’ arch enemy Hans Gruber in Die Hard. 

Rickman was honoured with a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for his leading role in 1995 film Rasputin. He was unfazed about never winning an Academy Award, telling a US network in 2008: “Parts win prizes, not actors.”

Rickman appeared in all of the Harry Potter films as potions director Severus Snape, a villain who eventually redeems himself. He spoke fondly of his character and the series, reportedly once telling an interviewer: “When I’m 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I’ll be reading Harry Potter. And my family will say to me, ‘After all this time?’ And I will say, ‘Always.”

Rickman’s death comes just days after the passing of iconic singer David Bowie, who also died aged 69 from cancer.