Alan Rickman, Star of Harry Potter and Die Hard, Dead at 69

Began acting career with Royal Shakespeare Company

By James Vincent – The Verge
 (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Alan Rickman, the British stage and screen actor best known internationally for his roles in Harry Potter and Die Hard, has died in London at the age of 69. The Guardian reports that his family confirmed the death today.

Known for his aquiline features and languid, mesmerizing voice, Rickman begun his acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the late ’70s and early ’80s, before moving onto British TV shows and Broadway. In 1988 he starred in Die Hard alongside Bruce Willis as the incomparable villain Hans Gruber, following this up with the role of Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.

Then, with the Harry Potter franchise, Rickman’s talents were embraced by a whole new generation of fans. His performance as the cruel and drawling, ever-hypnotic Snape was without doubt one of the biggest draws of the films.