Alan Rickman passes away aged 69

Alan Rickman, one of Britain's most beloved actors, has passed away in London aged 69 after battling cancer. The sad news was confirmed on 14 January by his family.

Alan found global fame in 1998, taking on the role of villain Hans Gruber in the hit Hollywood film Die Hard, opposite Bruce Willis.


Alan Rickman has passed away at the age of 69

It was the first of many 'bad guy' roles he took on; Alan famously starred as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, as Rasputin in the 1995 HBO film, and found a fresh legion of fans with his more ambiguous role as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise.

His other on-screen roles included Sense and Sensibility, which was scripted by Emma Thompson, who also starred in it. It was the start of a successful partnership between the pair, who reunited as husband and wife in the 2003 film Love, Actually, and as former lovers in the 2010 BBC drama The Song of Lunch.

Alan found a new legion of fans thanks to the Harry Potter franchise

Alan was also an acclaimed stage actor, and he returned to the theatre throughout his career. After graduating from RADA, he worked as a dresser for the likes of Nigel Hawthrone, before finding work with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He made his breakthrough in 1986 as Le Vicomte in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, a role which earned him a Tony.

Despite his distinguished career, Alan never won an Oscar – he did receive a Golden Globe, Emmy and a BAFTA (for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves). But that fact didn’t trouble the star himself. "Parts win prizes, not actors," he remarked in 2008.

The actor pictured with his longterm love Rima Horton

The star leaves behind wife Rima Horton. The couple met when they were teenagers, and were married in 2012, 47 years after they first got together.