With what comes as 2016’s second big blow, it has been confirmed that British actor and director Alan Rickman has passed away after a battle with cancer. Like Bowie, he too was aged 69, and was considered a national treasure by Britons and remains one of the most memorable actors. With condolences pouring in from his peers on Twitter, all attesting to Rickman’s unusual charisma, charm and humour – it’s clear that the world has lost another giant of a performer. Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter himself, who had starred in 8 films with the actor, articulated everyone’s grief the best with this post:
While we mourn his loss, it’s important that we celebrate the man Alan Rickman was, and celebrate the diversity of his performances, and the vast demographic whose lives he enriched with his craft. Here are the top 5 Alan Rickman performances:
- Hans Gruber – Die Hard
Die Hard was the movie that shot a 40-year old Alan Rickman into superstardom. As the icy and malevolent Hans Gruber, Rickman gave the world one of its most memorable villains, one which made an action star out of Bruce Willis. Audiences lapped up his unique dialogue delivery – one which many stars have impersonated in jest. Already a well-noted thespian, Rickman was now an international star.
2. Severus Snape – The Harry Potter series
Few fictional characters have been personified as well in a cinematic adaptation as Severus Snape, the wry, misunderstood Potions teacher from the Harry Potter novels. Rickman’s portrayal brought the character to life as he managed to perfectly depict the pathos and anguish that drove the character. Rickman’s timing and his trademark hair flick, and intimidating glare also provided several humorous moments in each adaptation of the series and he continues to be the character of choice at several cosplaying events and conventions.
3. The Sheriff of Nottingham – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Once again proving himself as an antagonist to beat all antagonist, Rickman brought his inimitable dialogue delivery and sneer to the character of the Sheriff of Nottingham, the main villain in the Robin Hood story. In Robin Hood: Prince of Theives, Rickman managed to bring a comical level of outrageousness to the infuriated character who is constantly bested by Robin Hood.
4. King Louis XIV – A Little Chaos
Putting his unmistakably aristocratic air to good use, Rickman portrayed a discerning French monarch in whose service the movie’s protagonist Kate Winslet builds the enchanting Garden of Versailles.
5. Harry – Love Actually
Ever the ladies man, Rickman – who had swooned several women with his romantic portrayals on stage, put his charms to good use as one of the anthology’s many lovestruck characters (his former co-star once famously spoke of how their plays had people leaving the theatre “wanting to have sex, and preferably with Alan Rickman”). Harry falls for his secretary and attempts to hide the fact from his wife, played by Emma Watson, whom he frequently collaborated with.