Alan Rickman dies at age 69

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Emily McFarland, Staff Writer

Beloved English actor and director, Alan Rickman died on January 14, 2016, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Most widely known for acting as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series, Rickman’s death was mourned across the globe.

Rickman was born in Acton, London, and after graduating from the Royal College of Art, he made the decision to pursue acting professionally at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he studied from 1972-1974. After his graduation from the RADA, Rickman dove straight into his career, as he worked with British repitoriary and experimental theatre groups. Slowly, he climbed his way towards success, and in 1985, Rickman was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for his part in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Although he acted in a large range of films, ranging from Love Actually to Sweeney Todd, Rickman remained an audience favorite. Through his acting career, he earned a BAFTA award, a Golden Globe award, an MTV Movie award, a People’s Choice award, a Primetime Emmy award, a San Diego Film Critics Society award, a Screen Actors Guild award, a Satellite Award, and a Scream Award, and he was nominated for countless others.

Harry Potter fans mourned the loss of Rickman heavily, and in a tribute to his life, fans left him mementos at Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station (a reference to the Harry Potter films, where Hogwarts students boarded the Howart’s Express). Flowers and kind notes were left to Severus Snape, to memorialize Alan Rickman.

In response to Rickman’s sudden death, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling announced to the public that she had told Rickman a huge secret about the Harry Potter series before it had even been written, in order to assist him in playing his part. She explained to Rickman the relationship that Lily Potter had with Severus Snape during their childhood, something that the audience wasn’t aware of until the final book and movie of the series.

In thanks to his incredible acting career and persona, Alan Rickman will be remembered by audiences for generations to come.