Friday, January 15, 2016

“By Grabthar’s hammer, by the Sons of Warvan, you shall be avenged!” – RIP Alan Rickman

The death has sadly occurred of London-born actor Alan Rickman at 69 due to cancer. Rickman was a Tony Award nominated member of the Royal Shakespeare Company who achieved significant notoriety for his silver screen acting performances winning Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG awards.

He first found significant fame as Hans Gruber, nemesis to Bruce WillisJohn McClane in the 1988 classic Die Hard. Rickman's Gruber was an evil and sardonic foil to to Willis' wisecracking hero cop and the character was ranked by the AFI as the 46th best villain in film history. Rickman continued to master a portrayal of evil by becoming the Sherriff of Nottingham in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves delivering perhaps the most over the top performance of his career. He objected to being constantly referred to a villain up to his later years citing that he hadn't actually played one since the Sheriff.

Rickman was someone as much at home with serious drama as he was with comedy delivering dozens of roles since the 90's. In 1996 he delivered a well acted albeit almost entirely inaccurate portrayal of Éamon de Valera in Neil Jordan's Micheal Collins which loosely depicted the events surrounding Ireland's struggle for independence from Britain. Later in 1999 he had comedic roles - as The Metatron in Kevin Smith's Dogma and a somewhat self-parodying role as the fictional method actor Alexander Dane who in turn portrayed the alien Dr. Lazarus on a fictional TV show Galaxy Quest.

In the 2000's Rickman adopted his most most common role and for which he acquired legions of fans; during the 10 year period of the Harry Potter film adaptations from 2001 to 2011. Rickman played the somewhat enigmatic Prof. Severus Snape in eight Harry Potter adventures for which his performance garnered universal praise.

Rickman will appear in and lends his voice to two projects which have yet to be released. Gavin Hood's suspense drama Eye in the Sky due for release in April and he most recently completed voice work for a reprisal of the character Absolem, the Caterpillar in Through the Looking Glass the sequel to the 2010 movie Alice in Wonderland

May he rest in peace.

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