ENTERTAINMENT
01/14/2016 07:50 am ET Updated Jan 14, 2016

Alan Rickman, 'Harry Potter' Star, Dead At 69

The beloved actor was known for his work in film, television and theater.

British actor Alan Rickman died at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer, a spokesperson for the London-based Independent Talent Group confirmed to The Huffington Post on Thursday. Rickman's career spanned decades, including a role in the Harry Potter franchise, 1988's "Die Hard" and "Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves."

Rickman’s breakout role came in 1986, when he played Le Vicomte in Christopher Hampton’s stage retelling of the French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The part earned him a Tony nomination, and a reviewer in The Guardian that year described his now-famous voice as “drawling” and “steeped in languor.” Rickman’s voice would become one of his signature trademarks, and younger fans would later recognize it from his portrayal of Harry Potter’s dark and mysterious Professor Snape.

Alan Rickman as Professor Snape in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in November 2001. 
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Alan Rickman as Professor Snape in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in November 2001. 

Rickman shot to global fame when he starred opposite Bruce Willis as Hans Gruber in 1988’s “Die Hard.” He would soon reprise his role as the evil villain in 1991, as the Sheriff of Nottingham in “Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.” 

Perhaps wary of being typecast as Hollywood’s typical villain, his roles thereafter varied and included Kate Winslet’s love interest in “Sense And Sensibility” and Emma Thompson’s husband in “Love Actually.”

Rickman’s achievements include Emmy and Golden Globe awards for his 1996 portrayal of Grigori Rasputin in HBO’s “Rasputin: Dark Servant Of Destiny,” as well as a BAFTA award for his role in “Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.”

News of the actor's death was met with an outpouring of grief, as celebrities, former co-stars and fans took to social media to express their sorrow. 

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling wrote that she was "devastated" by his death, while, his friend and former co-star Sir Michael Gambon told BBC News, "Everybody loved Alan. He was always happy and fun and creative and very, very funny. He had a great voice, he spoke wonderfully well." 

He is survived by his wife and longtime partner Rima Horton, whom he had lived with since 1977.

Rest in peace, Alan Rickman. 

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CORRECTION: This article previously misidentified the writer of the 1986 retelling of Les Liaisons Dangereuses

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