Tue. Nov 12th, 2019

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

In Memoriam: fans mourn the passing of Alan Rickman

3 min read
By HANNAH PARKER The world stood in shock as the news flooded social media sites that “Harry Potter” star Alan Rickman died at age 69 on Jan. 14 after battling pancreatic cancer.


The world stood in shock as the news flooded social media sites that “Harry Potter” star Alan Rickman died at age 69 on Jan. 14 after battling pancreatic cancer.

According to the United Kingdom paper, “The Independent,” Rickman died shortly after his diagnosis, which was announced only a few months earlier.

Rickman worked as an actor first in the U.K., then expanded his career overseas to the United States. Prior to Rickman’s entrance into the world of acting, he attended graduate school at the Royal College of Art where he studied graphic design.

After graduating, Rickman started a graphic design company with some of his graduate school peers. He worked with the company for many years until he decided to audition for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and test his love for theater.

With Rickman’s persistence and determination, it is no surprise that he was accepted into the academy at age 26, beginning his career as an actor.

Rickman led a diverse and fulfilling acting career, from touching lives and breaking hearts as Severus Snape in author J.K. Rowling’s book adapted film “Harry Potter” to completely switching personas and taking on the role as villain Hans Gruber in “Die Hard.”

Although these were Rickman’s best known roles throughout his acting career, he also did stage acting and film acting for lesser known movies.

Rickman received his first big break in the American acting world by scoring the role as Vicomte de Valmont in the 1987 Broadway version of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.” He received a Tony nomination for his role in this production.

After his stage work Rickman made his debut in “Die Hard,” which was the instigator to his overflowing fan base today.

Rickman also acted as character Jamie in “Truly Madly Deeply,” Colonel Brandon in “Sense and Sensibility,” Dr. Alfred Blalock in “Something the Lord Made,” Alex Hughes in “Snow Cake,” and Judge Turpin in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” He also was in the films “Dogma,” “Galaxy Quest,” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

Of course, let us not forget Rickman’s most popular role mentioned before, one that has become iconic all around the world: Severus Snape.

Once the world learned about the death of their beloved Snape, it exploded. It already felt the weight of Rickman’s death once in the Harry Potter movie series, but this time there was no happy ending.

“Harry Potter” co-stars were deeply affected by the death of Rickman, having worked with him for so many years of their lives.

Star of “Harry Potter” Daniel Radcliffe was especially affected by Rickman’s death, posting a public message on Google+ about his relationship with Rickman.

“As an actor he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child,” Radcliffe said. “Working with him at such a formative age was incredibly important and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career. Film sets and theatre stages are all far poorer for the loss of this great actor and man.”

Other co-stars such as Emma Watson posted messages about Rickman on social media sites such as Facebook.

“I’m very sad to hear about Alan today,” Watson said. “I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor. I’ll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you.”

Even Rowling, author of the Harry Potter book series, posted a message about Rickman’s death on Twitter.

“There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death,” Rowling said. “He was a magnificent actor and a wonderful man.”

Although Rickman will no longer appear on movie theater screens or on the stage, he will ‘always’ be in our hearts.

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