Harry Potter actor Alan Rickman dies

January 14, 2016

LONDON (AP) — British actor Alan Rickman, the sensual screen villain in the "Harry Potter" saga and other films, has died.

 

He was 69.

 

Rickman's family said Thursday that the actor had died after a battle with cancer.

 

Millions know Rickman from the Potter films, in which he Professor Severus Snape, who was either a nemesis or an ally — possibly both — to the titular teenage wizard.

 

Born to a working-class London family in 1946 and trained at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Rickman was often cast as the bad guy; with his rich, languid voice he could invest evil with wicked, irresistible relish.

 

His villains were memorable, and included an Emmy-winning turn as "mad monk" Rasputin in a 1996 TV biopic.

 

Other film roles included the psychopathic villain Hans Gruber who tormented Bruce Willis in "Die Hard" in 1988; a deceased lover who consoles his bereaved partner in 1990's "Truly Madly Deeply"; the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" in 1991; and a wayward husband in 2003 romantic comedy "Love Actually."

 

Rickman was also a filmmaker, directing and co-starring opposite Kate Winslet in 2014 costume drama "A Little Chaos." Seventeen years earlier, he'd directed Emma Thompson and her mother Phyllida Law in "The Winter Guest."

 

Rickman is survived by his partner of 50 years, Rima Horton, whom he married in 2012. 

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