I am very sad that we lost Alan Rickman in mid-January (2016). He was a great actor and one of the best bad-guys of all times. I wanted to jump out of line and do a small tribute to Alan Rickman.
Rickman was born in London in 1946. He attended Chelsea College of Art and Design where he studied graphic design. He undertook graduate studies at the Royal College of Arts before opening and running a successful graphic design company with several friends.
Finally, his love of theater lead him to audition for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. At the age of 26, he received a scholarship to study acting. His professional career lasted almost 40 years, covering theater, television, and film.
Rickman came to Broadway in 1987 in “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.” He burst onto to the film scene as villain Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988). Paired with Bruce Willis, Rickman set the standard for generic European villain for decades to come. Continuing with Rickman’s villain roles was Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991). As much as I hate to do it I going to say the Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham was better than Melville Cooper in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). There I said it. When Rickman’s character as the Sheriff of Nottingham explained why he would cut out his foes heart with a spoon, because it would hurt more, he won the title. Next would be Quigley Down Under (1990) where again, Rickman was masterful as a sniveling bad-guy. Finally in a movie that is way out of my time range, Rickman played another evil man, as Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). To show his amazing talent, he had to sing in this movie as well.
Rickman was adept at playing traditional dramatic roles such as the noble Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995). Rickman was also an outstanding comedic talent showing his skills in movies like Dogma (1999) as the straight faced angel Metatron, Galaxy Quest (1999) where he played Alexander Dane, a self-important actor that felt he was too good for the Spock inspired role that he was famous for, and finally The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005).
Beginning in 2001 and continuing through 2011, Rickman starred in all eight of the Harry Potter films as Severus Snape. For those of us that had not read the books, we were not sure if he was a good guy or a bad guy until the end. He was fantastic in this series and in the end he was good.
Alan Rickman will be missed.