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Alan Rickman (Photo: Matej Divizna/Getty Images)

Sad news this morning (January 14): Actor Alan Rickman has died at age 69, BBC NEWS has reported. The actor had been battling cancer. Blessed with one of the most mellifluous voices in cinema, Rickman starred as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (for which he won a BAFTA), Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, and Harry in Love, Actually. His role as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films won him a new generation of fans, bringing uncommon pathos to a deeply complicated character.

Actor Stephen Fry tweeted his tribute to Rickman:

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling tweeted this:

Emma Watson posted this to Facebook:

I’m very sad to hear about Alan today. I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor. I’ll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you.

Daniel Radcliffe shared this on Google Plus:

Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with. He is also, one of the loyalest and most supportive people I’ve ever met in the film industry. He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I’m pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn’t have to do that. I know other people who’ve been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say “if you call Alan, it doesn’t matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he’s doing, he’ll get back to you within a day”.

People create perceptions of actors based on the parts they played so it might surprise some people to learn that contrary to some of the sterner (or downright scary) characters he played, Alan was extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny. And certain things obviously became even funnier when delivered in his unmistakable double-bass.

As an actor he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child. Working with him at such a formative age was incredibly important and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career. Film sets and theatre stages are all far poorer for the loss of this great actor and man.

Note: BBC AMERICA is airing Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves on Sunday, January 17 at 8 pm ET.

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Filed Under: Alan Rickman
By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.