Many of his friends, co-stars, and admirers are expressing their sadness at the actor’s passing. J.K. Rowling said in part, “There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.” Rickman was in the business for over 30 years with one of his most iconic characters being Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise. Personally, this is my favorite role the actor ever took on.
Harry Potter has meant more to me than most people even really know. It not only gave me a world to escape into any time I needed a release from reality, but it gave me the tools to exercise my imagination in a way that no other story had ever achieved by guiding me in building this entire world in my mind. And Alan Rickman was such an important part of that world. Never has a character wrenched such opposing emotions out of me. I hated Snape for so long in the story, but by the end of the series not only was he completely redeemed but I also deeply admired him and hurt for him. Although, Rowling wrote the character, Rickman brought him to life in such a way that the was unforgettable. No one could have played Snape the way that Alan Rickman did…between the look, the hair, the voice, and the eyes, Rickman was Snape in every sense of the word. And I truly believe that is the highest compliment you can give an actor. I know that he has countless other roles that were favorites among his legion of fans, but in my mind, Alan Rickman took on Snape so fully that he became Severus Snape.
Having lost a family member to cancer, I can imagine what Rickman’s family is experiencing right now. We just want them to know that they are in our thoughts and that he will live on in all of the great work he has done. There are generations of Harry Potter fans to come that will revere him just the way that we do now, so he will never be forgotten. After all, being unforgettable is what he excelled at! Always.
My fellow SisterGeeks would like to share their tributes to the great Alan Rickman. Read on to see which Alan Rickman role made the deepest impact on them.
I love the Harry Potter films and consider Alan Rickman a bright spot in them. But those aren’t the only movies for which I hold a special place for him in my heart. I am one of the cliched masses who adores the neo-classic holiday film, Love Actually. And Rickman is one of the reasons for my adoration. His character, Harry, is about as far away from Snape as you can get. He’s a kind and cheerful family man and office manager who is a bit bumbling and quite stupid when it comes to receiving advances from his young secretary. Rickman’s performance as he goes from clueless to intrigued to sneaky to remorseful is funny and sad. His chemistry with long-time friend and coworker, Emma Thompson, is like magic. It was this role, which was so far removed from the other role for which I knew him, that made me realize just what an amazing actor Alan Rickman was. He disappeared fully into each of his roles, becoming the character totally. If you weren’t concentrating, you might not have even realize he was the same actor you knew from other movies. That is the goal of every actor. And it is what Rickman did so incredibly well. He will be missed, but his legacy will live on… Always.
“Never give up. Never surrender.”
Not his most-famous role, but memorable and fun nonetheless, Rickman was perfect as Sir Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest. His character was once a moderately-famous stage actor, but after being typecast as Dr. Lazarus on Galaxy Quest, an 80’s sci-fi show, he can’t get a job. Now, he spends his days appearing at conventions and on crappy TV commercials, misquoting his lines from the series- all of which he does with utmost annoyance. When REAL aliens come to Earth, having seen Galaxy Quest and thinking he and his co-stars are actual space heroes, they’re whisked away to save the Galaxy. Hilarity ensues.
Rickman’s acting is superb as always, really capturing the burnt-out Hollywood actor, then slowly rediscovering purpose in his life on the adventure. I love everything about this role, but Dane’s curmudgeouny humor is the best part, down to the campy prosthetics. Though Rickman isn’t known for his humor, this is one of those roles that proves his epic range as an actor.
We’ll miss you, Sir Alexander Dane, and by Grabthar’s hammer… by the suns of Worvan… you shall be avenged!
When I first saw the news about Alan Rickman pop up in my Facebook feed, I thought it had to be wrong. Surely this icon of my adult visual life could not be gone already? As this morning has worn on, though, I have seen the tributes begin to roll in, from people of all stripes, the famous and the friends that have loved Alan Rickman for all of the things that he has been. I’ve seen every Harry Potter movie, first at the theatre and then on DVD and television many times over, each time alternately rooting and ruing Severus Snape. Galaxy Quest was one of the first movies I ever saw on DVD way back when and of course I’ve seen Die Hard. I’ve loved Love Actually each time I’ve seen it, always marveling that the man who played Harry, Emma Thompson’s philandering husband, was also Snape, for crying out loud. But most iconic to me, more so than all of those roles Rickman has had, is Colonel Brandon of the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility. There, he embodied all of the things one would want in an unlikely romantic hero: strength and tenderness, sacrifice and kindness. He was sexy in a way that one wouldn’t expect from the man who went on to play Severus Snape, but that IS Alan Rickman: he’s an actor who plays people, real people, with all of their virtues and flaws and imbues into those characters a realness that might be unexpected. I will remember him most for making Colonel Brandon a man to desire.
What will you miss most about Alan Rickman? Which of his many roles was your favorite??