Actor Alan Rickman Dies; ‘Snape’ In Harry Potter Films

Actor Alan Rickman

British actor Alan Rickman, a veteran of dozens of films, has died at age 69. Recently, Rickman was most well-known for portraying the complicated villain Severus Snape in the films based on J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books.

"Rickman had been suffering from cancer," The Guardian reports.

Rickman appeared in many blockbuster films during his prolific career, from 1988's "Die Hard" with Bruce Willis to 2003's "Love Actually" and the Harry Potter films.

He also directed films and theatrical works, and he was famous for his work on the stage, acting in plays from Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" to Noel Coward's "Private Lives."

Rickman's breakout role is considered by many to be the scheming Vicomte de Valmont in an acclaimed 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company production of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses."

Peter Sagal, the host of NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" remembered Rickman's performance in postings on his Twitter feed Thursday morning:

"Been going to theater all my life. 1000s of plays. Single greatest performance by anyone ever: Alan Rickman, 'Les Liaisons Dangereuse'. Saw it... 30 years ago? Still haunted by Rickman destroying his mistress by leaving her: 'It is beyond... my control'."

Rickman also appeared in the 1995 film version of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility," directed by University of Illinois alumnus Ang Lee. In that movie, Rickman player Colonel Brandon opposite Kate Winslet's Marianne Dashwood.

And Rickman showed his willingness to camp it up onscreen as early as 1999, when he starred with Sigourney Weaver and Tim Allen in "Galaxy Quest", a film that might best be described as a sci-fi romp.

Rickman came to Champaign in 2007 as a guest of Roger Ebert's Film Festival. He appeared on stage at the Virginia Theater to discuss his work in the 2006 movie, "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer".

(Updated 8:18 AM 1/14/16)

Story source: NPR