Remembering Rickman

RIP Alan Rickman 1946-2016 (Photo Courtesy of

RIP Alan Rickman 1946-2016 (Photo Courtesy of

Brooke Gagnon, Photojournalist

This past Thursday, on January 14th, beloved British actor Alan Rickman passed away at the age of 69. He had previously been battling pancreatic cancer.


Born in Acton, West London, Rickman was the second of four children to Margaret Doreen Rose and Bernard Rickman. He has an older brother David, a younger brother Michael and a younger sister Sheila. When Rickman was just eight years old, his father passed away from lung cancer. A young Rickman already showed a great interest in the arts and trained in graphic design and typography at the Royal Academy of Art, where he wrote for the college journal ARK. Following his graduation, he studied graphic design at Chelsea College of Art and Design. After three years at Chelsea College, Rickman did graduate studies at the Royal College of Art. He opened a successful graphics design business, Graphiti, with friends and ran it for several years before his love of theatre led him to seek an audition with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). At the relatively late age of 26, Rickman received a scholarship to RADA, which started a professional acting career that has lasted nearly 40 years, a career which has spanned stage, screen and television and has lapped over into directing, as well (


Rickman is best known for his roles in Die Hard and the Harry Potter series. However, he also stared as Vicomte de Valmont in the play Les Liaisons Dangereuses, where  he earned his first of two Tony nominations. After his performance, his next role was as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, where he was shot to permanent, international fame. Rickman is known for his thoughtful interpretations of his characters, often straying from his scripted lines and actions. He also is heralded for his portrayal of Professor Severus Snape in J.K. Rowling’s hit Harry Potter series (


Alan Rickman will be missed by all. His sensitive and provocative interpretations of his characters earned him 16 awards, including an Emmy, Golden Globe, and BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television). J.K. Rowling mournfully reminisces that “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 fan Rachel Toledo (12) states that “he was an amazing actor. Every role he played he got into the part so much and made you feel the character. Although you thought Severus snape was bad, somehow through Rickman’s acting, you knew that snape wasn’t a bad guy and that he was good. My favorite movie of his is one his more unknown roles in the movie Love Actually. His acting abilities are a once in a lifetime talent and I know that he will be greatly missed.”