Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman (21 February 1946 – 14 January 2016) was an English actor and director. Known for his deep, languid voice, he 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. He played the Vicomte de Valmont in the RSC stage production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985, and after the production transferred to the West End in 1986 and Broadway in 1987, he was nominated for a Tony Award. Rickman's first cinema role came when he was cast as the German terrorist leader Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988). He appeared as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), for which he received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He earned critical attention for his leading roles in Truly, Madly, Deeply (1991) and An Awfully Big Adventure (1995) before gaining acclaim for his supporting roles as Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995), and Éamon de Valera in Michael Collins (1996). He is also known for his comedic roles in Dogma (1999), Galaxy Quest (1999), and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005). He played Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series (2001–2011). During this time he also appeared in Love Actually (2003), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), and Alice in Wonderland (2010). His final film roles were Eye in the Sky (2015), and Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016). Rickman made his television acting debut playing Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet (1978) as part of the BBC's Shakespeare series. His breakthrough role was Obadiah Slope in the BBC television adaptation of The Barchester Chronicles (1982). He later starred in television films, playing the title character in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny (1996), which won him a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, and Alfred Blalock in Something the Lord Made (2004). In 2009, The Guardian named him one of the best actors never to have received an Academy Award nomination. Rickman died of pancreatic cancer on 14 January 2016 at age 69.
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