The legendary actor Alan Rickman, best known for his role as the brooding professor Snape in the Harry Potter movie franchise, lost his battle to pancreatic cancer on January 14, 2016.
For many, Rickman represented a symbol of childhood– Snape was a character that people grew up relating to. However, Rickman was so much more than just his on-screen portrayal of professor Snape.
Whether it was his ability to play a wide variety of characters, or his deep, remarkable voice, he was an incredible actor with an abundance of talent. Rickman’s career consisted of multifaceted roles, and playing the villain was only one of them. He not only performed on Broadway, but also acted in the films Die Hard, Love Actually, and Robin Hood.
Although he was often typecast as a villain in films, in his personal life, Rickman was the opposite. Friends and colleagues have referred to him as generous, smart, kind, and irreplaceable. Harry Potter fans across the globe raised their wands in tribute to this incredible human being, showing the great impact his character truly had on anyone who watched the Harry Potter movies.
Snape taught us all a lessons about judgement, love, and compassion. Portrayed throughout the majority of the Harry Potter franchise as a mysterious, brooding antagonist, Snape turned out to be “one of the bravest man I’ve ever known.”
Rickman taught similar lessons to those he touched, including fellow Harry Potter castmates. Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who played Harry Potter, payed a tribute to his friend, saying, “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.”
Other Harry Potter actors have written touching tributes to Alan Rickman. Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, said “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.”
The unexpected death of Alan Rickman has rocked not only the film community, but also all of the children who have grown up with Harry Potter as a part of their childhood memories. Harry Potter and the actors involved in the series are a part of our generation that will never be forgotten. Rickman will be remembered for his incredible talent as an actor, and his generosity as a friend and husband.
Rickman’s long-time friend and colleague, Emma Thompson, said, “He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again.”