I was so saddened to hear of the passing of beloved actor Alan Rickman, dead at the age of only 69 from cancer. This is the second death in a week after David Bowie (also 69), another icon gone too soon. As a die-hard fan of the Harry Potter series, this is especially hard to believe that the treacherous, yet kind-hearted Professor Severus Snape will be no more.
Rickman was born in West London and came to the attention of American audiences as Viscomte de Valmont in "Les Liasons Dangereuses" on Broadway in 1987. He was nominated for a Tony for his performance but denied the role in the film version of the show.
Rickman made his first movie appearance opposite Bruce Willis as the villain Hans Gruber in "Die Hard" (1988). He also appeared in "Truly Madly Deeply", "Love Actually," "Sense and Sensibility", "Dogma", "Galaxy Quest", "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", "Snow Cake" and "Something the Lord Made." He even took a musical turn singing a part in Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street."
But nothing endeared him to so many as well as introduced him to a whole new, younger generation of fans than his role as Severus Snape in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter films. He played the role throughout all eight films, the last being "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2."
He was my favorite character after Harry and I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to purchase scripts
signed by the cast from two of the films, with his signature included.
Author J.K. Rowling commented on Twitter: "There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman's death." She added: "My thought are with (Rickman's wife) Rima and the rest of Alan's family. We have all lost a great talent. They have lost a part of their hearts."
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