The British actor Alan Rickman has died of cancer at age 69. He was a good guy who perfected the art of playing bad guys, from the villain in “Die Hard” to a stern, snarky teacher in the “Harry Potter” movies. And, he is another talented baby boomer to pass away.
Rickman’s appeal cut across many generations and audiences. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his role as a baddie in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” on Broadway in 1987. A year later, he became a movie star thanks to his role as the classically educated but evil Hans Gruber in “Die Hard.” In 1990, he played a ghost in the touching love story “Truly Madly Deeply” with Juliet Stevenson.
But Rickman is probably best remembered now as Professor Severus Snape, the intimidating wizard with a jet-black Prince Valiant haircut in eight Harry Potter movies from 2001 to 2011. An early antagonist of young Harry, he proved to be a resourceful, key ally in the end.
“There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death,” author J.K. Rowling wrote on Twitter. “He was a magnificent actor and a wonderful man.”