2/2/1946 to 1/14/2016
Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman was an English actor and director. Rickman trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), performing in modern and classical theatre productions. His first big television role came in 1982, but his big break was as the Vicomte de Valmont in the RSC stage production of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” in 1985, and after the production transferred to Broadway in 1987 he was nominated for a Tony Award.
In his first “Hollywood” movie he played the part of the German terrorist Hans Gruber in “Die Hard” 1988. Some of his many movies are; “Galaxy Quest” 1999 (Alexander Dane), “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” 2005 (Marvin), “Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” 2007 (Judge Turpin), “Alice in Wonderland” 2010 (Blue Caterpiller), and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” 2013 (Ronald Reagan). He also play professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies; “The Sorcerer’s Stone”, “The Chamber of Secrets”, “The Prisoner of Azkaban”, “The Goblet of Fire”, “The Order of the Phoenix”, “The Half Blood Prince”, and “The Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2”.
He also has three writing credits; 2014 “A Little Chaos” (screenplay), 1997 “The Winter Guest” (screenplay) and 1987 “Don't Miss Wax” (TV Series) (1987). He has two director credits; 2014 “A Little Chaos” and 1997 “The Winter Guest”. He also has two producer credits; 2018 “Sink” (associate producer); 2001 “Inspiration” (Short) (executive producer).
While filming Die Hard, he was found proficient at mimicking American accents; a scene in which Hans Gruber and John McClane finally meet was then added to the screenplay. For the shot where Hans Gruber falls from the top of the building in Die Hard, he was actually dropped by a stuntman from a 20-foot high model onto an air bag. To get a genuine surprised look, the stuntman dropped him on the count of two instead of three. Hart Bochner's line "Hans... Bubby!" was ad-libbed. Alan Rickman's quizzical reaction was genuine.
He failed his California driving test at one point for "driving too cautiously through a green light". During his time at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he worked as a dresser for actors. He was told by his acting coach at RADA that his voice sounded like it was coming out of the back end of a drainpipe. Before becoming an actor, he studied graphic design at Chelsea College of Art and Design and at the Royal College of Art, forming a successful graphic design company, Graphiti, with several friends.
Rickman was married to Rima Horton from 2012 to 2016 (his death). He had been in a relationship with Rima since 1965. The couple married in a private ceremony in New York City 2012. Rima Horton has retired from her lecturing position, and lost her seat on the council she worked for in the local elections of May 2006.
Alan Rickman died of pancreatic cancer on 14 January 2016. He was 69 years old. His remains were cremated.