I don’t enjoy writing obituaries about heroes that have had a huge impact on my life. We’re only two weeks into 2016 and this is the second time in days. So, with that being said it is very hard but we must acknowledge the passing of a truly great artist, Alan Rickman.
Like Bowie, Mr.Rickman succumbed to cancer at the age of 69 and again, I had hoped it was a hoax. It’s not, but fortunately for all of us we will have access to his movies and his performances, forever. The first time I remember him, it is probably the same for most of us who grew up in the 80’s, was Die Hard. At the age of 41, it was his first major film. He starred as the villain, Hans Gruber after almost turning it down and now, it’s a performance that is legendary. The movie that ignited my crush for Alan Rickman, and I know I’m not the only one, was Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. He was cast again as the villain, the Sheriff Of Nottingham, and he was damn sexy! I loved him when he was pitted against Tom Selleck in another of my favorite movies, Quigley Down Under, I loved him as Colonel Brandon in Sense And Sensibility, he made me cry in Galaxy Quest, and I loved and hated him in Love Actually. Then there’s Harry Potter. I don’t know what else to say….
Here are a few tributes from some of Rickman’s closest friends:
Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye.
What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom, and kindness. His capacity to fell you with a look or lift you with a word.
That intransigence which made him the great artist that he was — his inedible and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things, including me, and the fact that he never spared me the view. I learned a lot from him.
He was the finest of actors and directors. I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to do with his face next. I consider myself hugely privileged to have worked with him so many times and to have been directed by him.
He was the ultimate ally. In like, art and politics. I trusted him absolutely.
He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again. – Emma Thompson
Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with. He is also, one of the loyalest and most supportive people I’ve ever met in the film industry. He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I’m pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn’t have to do that. I know other people who’ve been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say, ‘If you call Alan, it doesn’t matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he’s doing, he’ll get back to you within a day.’
People create perceptions of actors based on the parts they played so it might surprise some people to learn that contrary to some of the sterner (or downright scary) characters he played, Alan was extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny. And certain things obviously became even funnier when delivered in his unmistakable double-bass.
As an actor, he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child. 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. – Daniel Radcliffe
ALAN RICKMAN (1946-2016)
There is so much that is matchless to remember about Alan Rickman. His career was at the highest level, as actor on stage and screen and as director ditto. His last bequest of his film “A Little Chaos” and his indelible performance as Louis 14th, should now reach the wider audience they deserve.
Beyond a career which the world is indebted to, he was a constant agent for helping others. Whether to institutions like RADA or to individuals and certainly to me, his advice was always spot-on. He put liberal philanthropy at the heart of his life. He and Rima Horton (50 years together) were always top of my dream-list dinner guests. Alan would by turns be hilarious and indignant and gossipy and generous. All this delivered sotto, in that convoluted voice, as distinctive as Edith Evans, John Gielgud, Paul Scofield, Alec Guinness, Alastair Sim or Bowie, company beyond compare.
When he played Rasputin, I was the Tzar Nicholas. Filming had started before I arrived in St Petersburg. Precisely as I walked into the hotel-room, the phone rang. Alan, to say welcome, hope the flight was tolerable and would I like to join him and Greta Scacchi and others in the restaurant in 30 minutes? Alan, the concerned leading man. On that film, he discovered that the local Russian crew was getting an even worse lunch than the rest of us. So he successfully protested. On my first day before the camera, he didn’t like the patronising, bullying tone of a note which the director gave me. Alan, seeing I was a little crestfallen, delivered a quiet, concise resumé of my career and loudly demanded that the director up his game.
Behind his starry insouciance and careless elegance, behind that mournful face, which was just as beautiful when wracked with mirth, there was a super-active spirit, questing and achieving, a super-hero, unassuming but deadly effective.
I so wish he’d played King Lear and a few other classical challenges but that’s to be greedy. He leaves a multitude of fans and friends, grateful and bereft.
— Ian McKellen, London, 14 January 2016
We are all so devastated to lose Alan. He was loved enormously by so many. He was an exceptionally warm and giving man and an utterly phenomenal actor and gifted director. I remember being so intimidated by him when we worked together when I was 19 , because he had such a powerful and commanding presence . And that voice! Oh, that voice….. But the reality of course, was that he was the kindest and best of men. Had the patience of a saint. He was a warm hearted puppy dog, who would do anything for anyone if it made them happy. He was a loving and devoted partner to Rima, and like so many of us in our vast industry, my life was enriched by knowing him. My heart goes out to his family and those he loved. – Kate Winslet
Alan’s enormous strength of character infused every character he played. Who else could have brought such pain and wit to Snape? He used his talent always to make a difference, his production of Rachel Corrie being one of the most powerful examples. I can’t believe he’s gone. – Sigourney Weaver
Alan was a towering person, phsically, mentally and as an artist. He was utterly distinctive, with a voice that could suggest honey or a hidden stiletto blade, and the profile of a Roman Emperor. He was also a great friend, generous and social. He will be very missed by many. – Helen Mirren
— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) January 14, 2016
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.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 14, 2016
Quigley Down Under
Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves:
Sense And Sensibility
R.I.P. Mr. Rickman, By Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!