Alan Rickman, who died at the age of 69 today from cancer, will be remembered for so many wonderful roles despite having only started his film acting career at 41.
He is perhaps most cherished among younger fans for playing deceptive hero Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films however, and here we reproduce his thoughtful and heartfelt goodbye letter to the role, first published in Empire after filming wrapped on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
‘I have just returned from the dubbing studio where I spoke into a microphone as Severus Snape for absolutely the last time. On the screen were some flashback shots of Daniel, Emma, and Rupert from ten years ago. They were 12. I have also recently returned from New York, and while I was there, I saw Daniel singing and dancing (brilliantly) on Broadway. A lifetime seems to have passed in minutes.
Three children have become adults since a phone call with Jo Rowling, containing one small clue, persuaded me that there was more to Snape than an unchanging costume, and that even though only three of the books were out at that time, she held the entire massive but delicate narrative in the surest of hands.
It is an ancient need to be told in stories. But the story needs a great storyteller. Thanks for all of it, Jo.
Rickman passed away in London surrounded by his family, who said in a statement: “The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends.”
Rickman was born in Acton, west London. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and began his career on stage after graduating, including on productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
He is best known for the Harry Potter series, Die Hard and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
RIP Alan Rickman.