By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
This month will go down in entertainment history as one of the saddest Januaries of all-time.
Multiple news outlets including CNN, Entertainment Weekly, NBC News, USA Today and Time have reported the death of celebrated British actor Alan Rickman. A family member reported that Mr. Rickman passed away from a private battle with cancer.
Mr. Rickman was born on February 21, 1946, to a working class family. When his father died at 8-years-old, his mother raised him and his three siblings and encouraged him to pursue the arts. While he excelled in graphic design and opened a successful graphic design firm with several colleagues, Mr. Rickman always had a passion for the acting world. After auditioning for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), he earned a spot at the premier drama school and dove into studying Shakespeare.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mr. Rickman would be seen working with numerous dramatic troupes including both the Court Drama Group and the Royal Shakespeare Company on several productions including As You Like It, A View from the Bridge, Romeo & Juliet and Les Liaisons Dangereuses, where he earned both a Tony and Drama Desk Award nominee for his role as the Vicomte de Valmont when the show transferred to Broadway in 1987.
However, most people might remember Mr. Rickman for his iconic roles on the Silver Screen. His portrayal of Die Hard’s antagonist German terrorist, Hans Gruber, was named one of the American Film Institute’s greatest villains of all-time. Other prominent roles including the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Sir Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus in Galaxy Quest and Harry from Love Actually.
But to the countless Millennials and members of the Digital Generation, he will always be best known as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film franchise. I will always remember getting chills after Snape’s menacing monologue during Harry’s first Potions class and the way that he commanded the scene that made us want to “Pay Attention” to him in Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone and beyond to the series finale, where he was revealed to be a real hero all along.
After completing his work with the Harry Potter franchise, Mr. Rickman went on to portray President Ronald Reagan in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Hilly Kristal in CBGB and King Louis XIV in A Little Chaos. His final appearances on the Silver Screen will be in Eye in the Sky, where he will portray Lieutenant General Frank Benson, and Alice Through the Looking Glass where he will voice the Caterpillar for the final time.
Jake’s Take wants to send its condolences to Mr. Rickman’s family, friends, colleagues and countless of fans around the world. Thank you for the memories, Mr. Rickman! You will be missed.
I do not own the clips that are featured in this article. Die Hard is property of 20th Century FOX; Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone is property of Warner Bros. Pictures