[pt id=’87249′ size=’large’ link=’post’ class=’aligncenter’]Alan Rickman has died at age 69, and it’s shocking news after the death of David Bowie just three days ago. Both great British stars died of cancer.
[pt id=’87269′ size=’large’ link=’post’ class=’aligncenter’]It’s hard to remember now that Alan Rickman got his Hollywood start as a pure baddie, playing the German criminal mastermind Hans Gruber (foiled by plucky loner Bruce Willis) in Die Hard. The film made movie stars of both Willis and Rickman.
[pt id=’87270′ size=’large’ link=’post’ class=’aligncenter’] [pt id=’87271′ size=’large’ link=’post’ class=’aligncenter’]While Willis went on to play hero after hero, Alan Rickman at first was given villain after villain — most notably as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991, with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Maid Marian).
[pt id=’87272′ size=’large’ link=’post’ class=’aligncenter’]He also played a memorable Rasputin in 1996, seen here menacingly romancing Greta Scacchi. [pt id=’87256′ size=’large’ link=’post’ class=’aligncenter’]But Alan Rickman was never a one-trick pony, and in later years he played very few pure villains at all. In Love Actually (2002) he was a decent husband both befuddled and tempted by his cat-ear wearing assistant, dealing a crushing blow to his wife Emma Thompson. That film has become a holiday classic in recent years, and while it’s not Rickman’s most famous film it may be the most beloved.
[pt id=’87254′ size=’large’ link=’post’ class=’aligncenter’]His turn as dissipated actor Alexander Dane, typecast as alien Dr. Lazarus in the sci-fi spoof Galaxy Quest, was truly hilarious.
Leave it to an old Shakespearian actor to eat up scenes like that. Alan Rickman was classically trained: he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts from 1974-76, and originated the role of the romantically horrible Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1985.
[pt id=’87255′ size=’large’ link=’post’ class=’aligncenter’]And of course he is remembered as the creepy wizard Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies.
By Grabthar’s hammer, what a career! Good luck to you, Mr. Rickman, wherever you may be.
See our Alan Rickman biography and more Alan Rickman photos.