News

Alan Rickman: 1946-2016

by | January 14, 2016 | Comments

Alan-Rickman

(Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images)

 

Alan Rickman, whose dramatic breadth and distinctive vocal delivery made him a legend among cinematic villains and a versatile supporting player in a long list of critically acclaimed films, has passed away at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer.

Born in the Acton ward of London’s Ealing borough, Rickman gained his first acting experience as a teenager, although his working-class background prevented him from immediately seeking it out as a profession. Initially pursuing a career in graphic design, he eventually auditioned with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, earning a spot among the student body and winning several awards during his tenure at the school.

Initially focusing his efforts on the stage, Rickman picked up some early TV credits — including an appearance in the 1982 BBC program The Barchester Chronicles — but his first taste of widespread acclaim came courtesy of his Tony-winning portrayal of the Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, a role he held during the play’s 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company run and reprised when the production moved to Broadway in 1987.

Rickman’s first major film appearance arrived in 1988’s Die Hard, in which he played Hans Gruber, the delightfully snide terrorist whose takeover of a Los Angeles high rise is foiled by the indefatigable efforts of New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) — but not before hero and heavy engage in a battle of wits and one-liners that spawned several sequels and a legion of countless action-thriller imitators. It was followed by a number of memorable roles that included eminently loathable bad guys (like the Sheriff of Nottingham in 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), comedic turns in films such as Dogma and Galaxy Quest, and several appearances as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise.

Along the way, Rickman continued to compile a varied list of stage and television credits. He moved into directing, helming The Winter Guest (1995) and A Little Chaos (2015). His voice could be heard in episodes of King of the Hill and Back at the Barnyard. He won a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his work in the 1996 HBO movie Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny — and as a recent testament to his range, in 2013, he portrayed Ronald Reagan (in The Butler) as well as legendary club owner Hilly Kristal (in CBGB).

One of Rickman’s most frequent collaborators, Emma Thompson, was among the first to pay tribute after news of his passing broke, sharing that she’d “just kissed him goodbye” and offering a tender eulogy filled with fond memories of their relationship. “He was the ultimate ally. In life, art and politics,” wrote Thompson. “I trusted him absolutely. He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again.”


Tag Cloud

Turner french spain Black History Month television The Arrangement Pixar Hallmark Christmas movies Thanksgiving franchise PlayStation USA Network natural history AMC Disney+ Disney Plus 71st Emmy Awards nfl romance basketball child's play golden globes The Walking Dead ABC Family kong Bravo 2019 festival Awards Britbox PBS FX space Binge Guide Sneak Peek WGN Pirates high school wonder woman satire First Look CW Seed dogs all-time free movies docudrama Women's History Month Star Wars joker Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt japan Broadway American Society of Cinematographers Vudu serial killer Dark Horse Comics disaster discovery TV spinoff robots halloween emmy awards indie dramedy Trophy Talk 2021 TV Land Cannes Turner Classic Movies MCU james bond canceled TV shows archives SXSW screen actors guild Tokyo Olympics tv talk strong female leads Spring TV HBO Trivia 2018 Reality Anna Paquin Adult Swim fresh 2017 Ellie Kemper Creative Arts Emmys Hallmark political drama 90s cancelled Cosplay spy thriller Television Academy Summer Brie Larson Valentine's Day Tumblr X-Men video on demand a nightmare on elm street Set visit Baby Yoda cars series HBO Go jamie lee curtis halloween tv Fantasy Polls and Games Funimation italian Character Guide new zealand cults Biopics werewolf Marvel Certified Fresh ITV scary movies YouTube Premium deadpool Ghostbusters Writers Guild of America aapi children's TV A&E National Geographic Amazon 99% sports Infographic blockbusters miniseries Amazon Studios hist adaptation HBO Max films GoT Pacific Islander anime vampires CMT nature dragons Cartoon Network TIFF telelvision Comedy Central 72 Emmy Awards Pop TV VOD classics razzies live action Interview TruTV diversity OneApp Sundance Now BET Fox News facebook Endgame scorecard Rock transformers 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards streaming movies CBS All Access MSNBC 20th Century Fox FOX fast and furious Emmy Nominations Holiday Drama reviews universal monsters ViacomCBS Food Network boxoffice adventure LGBT quibi WarnerMedia theme song cancelled television GLAAD movies ratings NYCC SDCC renewed TV shows women DC Universe CBS Mary Poppins Returns Nickelodeon TBS Nominations worst movies medical drama zombie BBC America golden globe awards Apple TV Plus concert Pop hidden camera The Walt Disney Company 2016 heist movie comedies breaking bad black blockbuster Captain marvel TV One Watching Series Pet Sematary TV movies YouTube green book Rocky Marathons technology cats laika sag awards Syfy Calendar know your critic 93rd Oscars First Reviews Musicals TCA 2017 President dc 24 frames TCA Awards dark A24 comic books DGA Netflix Christmas movies Awards Tour binge DC Comics Apple godzilla Christmas Discovery Channel FXX DirecTV Red Carpet Mary Tyler Moore ESPN TCM Spike Rocketman Walt Disney Pictures YouTube Red nbcuniversal Action Winter TV Sci-Fi Song of Ice and Fire thriller spanish APB foreign New York Comic Con doctor who animated TLC LGBTQ Lionsgate blaxploitation what to watch Star Trek cooking Elton John Premiere Dates Chernobyl Lifetime revenge OWN Apple TV+ Comics on TV independent Ovation Film Extras king arthur legend PaleyFest Hulu Holidays E! Tubi target south america Video Games Horror Photos Grammys Sundance TV festivals politics asian-american zero dark thirty Legendary El Rey Shudder Alien Disney Plus Stephen King Paramount Podcast comic screenings monster movies Election popular social media GIFs indiana jones Sony Pictures slashers Lifetime Christmas movies Best and Worst award winner The CW mutant Animation Superheroes Mary poppins ABC Warner Bros. based on movie saw USA canceled Crackle chucky game show psychological thriller Countdown spanish language kids Avengers Rom-Com true crime venice talk show San Diego Comic-Con The Academy richard e. Grant cancelled TV shows E3 TV renewals 21st Century Fox crossover Disney Oscars Box Office christmas movies Super Bowl hispanic zombies Classic Film Country The Witch BET Awards harry potter pirates of the caribbean DC streaming service Reality Competition documentaries Logo anthology sequels Heroines Amazon Prime new star wars movies prank twilight toy story BAFTA VICE Exclusive Video ghosts cartoon IFC Films spider-man VH1 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Peacock comiccon Paramount Plus Mystery RT History 2015 Travel Channel Trailer History latino IFC Wes Anderson Marvel Studios hollywood See It Skip It rom-coms BBC period drama criterion Musical Starz versus Mindy Kaling die hard book docuseries marvel cinematic universe science fiction Academy Awards Comedy Superheroe cops australia crime drama Marvel Television video SundanceTV justice league stand-up comedy Lucasfilm parents Universal Crunchyroll Fall TV supernatural Kids & Family war cinemax Epix Music comics ABC Signature singing competition CNN rotten movies we love Hear Us Out 007 historical drama stop motion TCA Winter 2020 Tarantino rt archives elevated horror toronto superman rotten Quiz trailers The Purge critics finale 1990s Emmys ID police drama mission: impossible psycho Disney streaming service boxing Family BBC One unscripted Amazon Prime Video aliens crime worst Arrowverse witnail 2020 jurassic park NBC directors cancelled TV series international Schedule TCA YA sitcom Tomatazos composers romantic comedy name the review FX on Hulu kaiju 45 football Sundance Showtime Opinion MTV news Freeform teaser biography TNT travel Pride Month RT21 lord of the rings Masterpiece Netflix best casting stoner Acorn TV adenture Paramount Network dceu Comic Book movie olympics documentary sequel Year in Review japanese Columbia Pictures mockumentary streaming suspense crime thriller Mudbound 4/20 game of thrones reboot Image Comics Disney Channel remakes Film Festival Television Critics Association Toys superhero scene in color Esquire Nat Geo Martial Arts king kong new york batman obituary Comic-Con@Home 2021 Teen book adaptation Shondaland Black Mirror NBA Fox Searchlight Spectrum Originals Western Winners