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Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has shared an emotional memory inspired by the late Alan Rickman.

Rickman played Professor Severus Snape, Harry’s longtime nemesis, in all seven of Rowling’s Harry Potter movies. The highly respected English actor, also known for his roles in Die Hard and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, passed away in January 2016 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

When an Italian fan tweeted about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 airing on local TV last night, Rowling shared a poignant moment from the dress rehearsal for her West End (and now Broadway) play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in which she momentarily forgot that Rickman had passed away.

“At the dress rehearsal I saw [Snape] in his long black wig & my eyes filled with tears because, for a split second, my irrational heart believed when Snape turned round, I’d see Alan,” she wrote poignantly.

Rowling also paid tribute to Rickman shortly after his passing was announced in January 2016, saying: “There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.”

We’ve always had an affinity for Rickman, which you can read about in this sort of love letter written to him. 

Which is your favorite Alan Rickman movie or TV role?

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By Nick Levine