Celebrated British actor Alan Rickman, an actor who tackled iconic roles on both the stage and screen, died on Thursday at 69, The Guardian reports, after battling cancer. His loved ones confirmed that he had been "surrounded by family and friends."
Rickman got his start on the London stage, working with the Royal Shakespeare Company and starring in many well-received plays on the West End and on Broadway. He first shot to stardom in 1988's Die Hard, playing villain Hans Gruber; he got offered the part two days after moving to Los Angeles.
Younger generations primarily know him for his role in the Harry Potter series, in which he played Professor Snape, a man with a conflicted history whose true allegiances were only revealed after his tragic demise. His roles in Love Actually, Sense and Sensibility, and Galaxy Quest are just a few examples of his range—and sense of humor about himself. He also directed two films, The Winter Guest in 1995 and A Little Chaos just last year.
Rickman is survived by his wife, Rima Horton, whom he secretly married three years ago after a decades-long relationship. He will still be seen in the film Eye in the Sky, a thriller about drones being used in war, and in Alice Through the Lookingglass, in which he plays Absolem the Caterpillar.
His colleagues and admirers mourned his loss through social media:
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