British actor Alan Rickman has passed away in London at age 69 after losing his battle with cancer. Family of one of film's most beloved "bad guys" confirmed the news on Jan. 14.
Alan found global fame in 1998, taking on the role of villain Hans Gruber in the hit Hollywood film Die Hard, opposite Bruce Willis.
It was the first of many "bad guy" roles he took on. Alan famously starred as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, as Rasputin in the 1995 HBO film and he found a fresh legion of fans with his more ambiguous role as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise.
His other onscreen roles included Sense and Sensibility, which was written by Emma Thompson, who also starred in it. It was the start of a successful partnership between the pair, who reunited as husband and wife in the 2003 film Love Actually, and as former lovers in the 2010 BBC drama The Song of Lunch.
Alan was also an acclaimed stage actor, and he returned to the theatre throughout his career. After graduating from Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he worked as a dresser for the likes of Nigel Hawthrone before finding work with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He made his breakthrough in 1986 as Le Vicomte in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, a role which earned him a Tony Award.
In his distinguished career, Alan received a Golden Globe, Emmy and BAFTA (for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves). That he never won an Oscar didn’t trouble the star. "Parts win prizes, not actors," he remarked in 2008.
The star leaves behind wife, Rima Horton. The couple met when they were teenagers and were married in 2012, 47 years after they first got together.