Remembering Alan Rickman: 7 Memorable Roles

Celebrated British actor Alan Rickman died Thursday at age 69 after a battle with cancer. Over the course of his 40-year acting career on the stage and screen, he starred in everything from action movies to romantic comedies to literary adaptations, making him beloved by audiences of all ages. In memory of the esteemed actor, let’s look back at some of his most memorable movie roles:

Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard introduced the movie-going public to Rickman, who in turn gave us one of the greatest villains in cinema history: Hans Gruber. The actor plays the smooth, sinister criminal mastermind so magnificently, it’s difficult to imagine anyone else in the role.


Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

Rickman’s deliciously campy Sheriff of Nottingham steals every scene he’s in. According to IMDb, it was rumored that star Kevin Costner had some of Rickman’s scenes cut because he was upstaging him.


Sense and Sensibility (1995)

In this adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, Rickman’s performance as the sensitive Colonel Brandon showed audiences that he could play the nice guy as convincingly as the villain.


Galaxy Quest (1999)

“How did I come to this? I played Richard III. There were five curtain calls!” Rickman is wickedly funny as a jaded has-been from a Star Trek-esque TV show in this Sci-Fi parody.


Love Actually (2003)

Rickman re-teams with Emma Thompson in this modern Christmas classic, but this time he cheats on her and breaks her heart. The fact that he’s so convincing makes it that much more terrible.


Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Rickman is at his smoothest and sing-iest as the corrupt Judge Turpin in Tim Burton’s adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical.


The Harry Potter film series (2001-2011)

Rickman will be best remembered by younger generations as the man who brought Severus Snape to life in the Harry Potter films. Over the course of eight movies, Rickman portrayed the seemingly villainous Snape with a subtle, slow-revealing depth that made the character’s fate even more heartbreaking.



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