Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman (21 February 1946 – 14 January 2016) was an English actor and director known for playing a variety of roles on stage and on screen. Rickman trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in modern and classical theatre productions.
His first big television role came in 1982, but his big break was as the Vicomte de Valmont in the stage production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Rickman gained wider notice for his film performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988) and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series.
Rickman's other film roles included the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), for which he received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply (1991), Colonel Brandon in Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility (1995), the title character in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny (1996), which won him a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, Harry in Love Actually (2003), P.L. O'Hara in An Awfully Big Adventure (1995), Dr. Alfred Blalock in the Emmy-winning HBO film Something the Lord Made (2004), Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest (1999), and Judge Turpin in the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).
Rickman died of pancreatic cancer on 14 January 2016 at age 69. His final film roles are as Lieutenant General Frank Benson in the thriller Eye in the Sky (2015), and the voice of Absolem, the caterpillar in Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016).