Thursday, January 14, 2016

'Harry Potter' and 'Die Hard' star Alan Rickman has died at age 69

Despite the celebration of the announcement of Oscar nominations, today turned out to be a day of mourning for Hollywood as the world learned of the death of Alan Rickman. The beloved actor's family confirmed his passing earlier this morning after a long fight with cancer. Rickman was 69 years old. The British actor broke onto the scene in Die Hard as Hans Gruber, one of the most instantly iconic cinematic villains of all time. In addition, Rickman appeared in films like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Galaxy Quest, Love Actually, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Alice in Wonderland. But in all likelihood, Rickman's biggest legacy will be his performance as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise, which brought him to new levels of fame and popularity. Rickman played the prickly head of Slytherin house in eight Potter films, concluding the character's arc in 2011's Deathly Hallows- Part 2. As for Rickman's remaining films, Gavin Hood's drone drama Eye in the Sky and James Bobin's Alice Through the Looking Glass are set to debut in March and May of this year, respectively.

This was already a sad week for show business, with the death of famed rockstar and actor David Bowie earlier this week. And with Rickman's passing, a tremendously sad couple of days has become downright devastating. Rickman was one of Hollywood's best supporting actors, whose wonderful delivery and phenomenal character skills created so many instantly amazing lines. I grew up with the Potter franchise, and Severus Snape is still one of my favorite characters, mostly because of Rickman's performance. Snape is a character that you absolutely love to hate and it's so much fun to see how he finds new ways to torment Harry and his friends. And despite how brilliantly written the character is, Snape would not have become an icon without the help of Alan Rickman. It's a masterclass in acting with subtle mannerisms- with Rickman, Snape's every move is funny and scary to the audience, and there are so many fantastic moments that are indescribable. Rickman gave a performance over the course of a decade that is both deliciously evil and profoundly sad, and it's one of the great triumphs of that series. It's a tough task trying to put into words what Rickman did with the character, but I think anyone who has watched the Potter films knows what I'm trying to say. Rickman practically jumped off the screen and as a young kid, Snape always commanded my attention whenever he came on screen. That's a testament to the true power of Rickman's performance.

And on top of that, how can anyone forget Hans Gruber? Before there was Severus Snape, there was Hans Gruber, the "terrorist" that loves to chase down John McClane in what is possibly the greatest action movies ever. One of the funniest and most delectably evil villains in movie history, Gruber is a great character on every level and he's perfected by Rickman's terrific performance. From Hans to Snape and everything in between, Rickman was one of the best around. This one hits pretty hard. We'll miss you, Alan Rickman. Rest in peace.

Image Credits: Telegraph

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