Alan Rickman, British actor and director known for his roles as Hans Gruber in *Die Hard* and Severus Snape in the *Harry Potter* film series, died in London on Thursday at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends, according to a family statement, and had been privately battling cancer. Also a talented stage actor, he received a Tony Award nomination for his role as Vicomte de Valmont in Royal Shakespeare Company’s 1985 production of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.” The play was later moved to Broadway, a stage the actor would later return to in 2002 and 2011. Longtime friends, former co-stars, and fans have responded to the news with heartbreak. “There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death,” J.K. Rowling wrote on Twitter. “He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.” In the same hour, she added, “My thoughts are with Rima and the rest of Alan’s family. We have all lost a great talent. They have lost part of their hearts.” Although Rickman recently married Rima Horton in a secret wedding in 2012, the couple were together for 50 years. They first met when Horton was 18 and Rickman 19. Close friend Emma Thompson, who worked with him in films such as *Sense and Sensibility* and *Love Actually*, expressed, “He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again.” Sir Ian McKellen, who played Tsar Nicholas II to Rickman’s award-winning role as Rasputin, posted to Twitter as well. “”” “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.” “”” And finally, if you should find your heart breaking more and more at the loss of this great talent — his entrancing voice accompanied by strategic pauses that put you on edge every single time — remember this quote by Rickman himself: “If people want to know who I am, it is all in the work.” **You can always learn more about Alan Rickman through his acting career, which spans more than 40 years:**
From left to right: Vic Reeves, Eddie Izzard, Alan Rickman, and Harry Enfield together before the ‘We Know Where You Live. Live!’ event in London.