Veteran British actor Alan Rickman has died at the age of 69 after suffering from cancer, his family said Thursday.
Rickman, who won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA during his career as a film, television and theatre actor, was well-known for his portrayal of menacing villains.
“The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends,” a family statement said.
Rickman started out in theatre and shot to international fame in 1988 playing the German terrorist mastermind Hans Gruber, Bruce Willis’s adversary, in “Die Hard”.
Rickman did a memorable turn as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1991 blockbuster “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”.
His performance earned him a BAFTA, Britain’s film awards, for best supporting actor.
Rickman also won a Golden Globe for best actor in a miniseries or television film for the title role in “Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny” (1996).
He gained legions of younger fans with his portrayal of the malicious teacher Severus Snape in all eight “Harry Potter” films from 2001 to 2011.
Alan Rickman morphed from being a Shakespearian leading man to being a character actor of enormous flair — via a wonderful period of being a wildly charismatic bad guy in the movies,” The Guardian.
Fans of Alan Rickman expressed their condolences on social media:
There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 14, 2016
My thoughts are with Rima and the rest of Alan’s family. We have all lost a great talent. They have lost part of their hearts.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 14, 2016
We’re incredibly sad to hear about the passing of Alan Rickman. Our thoughts are with his family. pic.twitter.com/efkBra1rCj— Pottermore (@pottermore) January 14, 2016
What desperately sad news about Alan Rickman. A man of such talent, wicked charm & stunning screen & stage presence. He’ll be sorely missed— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) January 14, 2016
Shocked & sad to hear Alan Rickman has passed away. One of the nicest actors I’ve ever met.Thoughts and prayers with his family at this time— James Phelps (@James_Phelps) January 14, 2016
It’s the end of the world as Harry Potter fans knew it. You’ll stay in our hearts Alan Rickman. ‘Always’ pic.twitter.com/kqylqc8nX5— Namrata Nongpiur (@NongpiurN) January 14, 2016
So sad to learn about Alan Rickmans death. Another British entertainer gone. RIP x #AlanRickman— Sam (@ItsSaam) January 14, 2016
He was that rarest of things, an actor equally at home with comedy and drama. Also he was Hans Fucking Gruber. #AlanRickman— Nish Kumar (@MrNishKumar) January 14, 2016
Most definitely raising a wand today to one of the best British actors. pic.twitter.com/IfkaviNYpV— Luke Spillane (@lukespillane) January 14, 2016