Ac­tor Alan Rick­man dies

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OBITUARIES -

Bri­tish ac­tor Alan Rick­man, a clas­si­cally trained stage star and sen­sual screen vil­lain in the “Harry Pot­ter” saga and other films, has died. He was 69.

Rick­man’s fam­ily said that the ac­tor died early Thurs­day in Lon­don af­ter a bat­tle with can­cer. Daniel Rad­cliffe, who played op­po­site Rick­man in eight “Harry Pot­ter” films, said Rick­man was “un­doubt­edly one of the great­est ac­tors I will ever work with.”

Born to a work­ing-class Lon­don fam­ily in 1946 and trained at the pres­ti­gious Royal Academy of Dra­matic Art, Rick­man was of­ten cast as the bad guy; with his rich, lan­guid voice he could in­vest evil with wicked, ir­re­sistible rel­ish. His break­out role was as schem­ing French aris­to­crat the Vi­comte de Valmont in an ac­claimed 1985 Royal Shake­speare Com­pany pro­duc­tion of Christo­pher Hamp­ton’s “Les Li­aisons Dan­gereuses.”

Film roles in­cluded Hans Gru­ber, the psy­cho­pathic vil­lain who tor­mented Bruce Wil­lis in “Die Hard” in 1988; a de­ceased lover who con­soles his be­reaved part­ner in 1990’s “Truly Madly Deeply”; the wicked Sher­iff of Not­ting­ham in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” in 1991; and a way­ward hus­band in 2003 ro­man­tic com­edy “Love Ac­tu­ally.”

Mil­lions know him from the Pot­ter films, in which he played Hog­warts teacher Severus Snape, who was ei­ther a neme­sis or an ally — pos­si­bly both — to the tit­u­lar teenage wizard. Harry Pot­ter cre­ator J.K. Rowl­ing tweeted that “there are no words to ex­press how shocked and dev­as­tated I am to hear of Alan Rick­man’s death. He was a mag­nif­i­cent ac­tor (and) a won­der­ful man.” Emma Thomp­son, who starred with Rick­man in films in­clud­ing “Sense and Sen­si­bil­ity” and “Love Ac­tu­ally,” praised his “hu­mour, in­tel­li­gence, wis­dom and kind­ness” and called him “the finest of ac­tors and di­rec­tors.”


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