Renowned actor Alan Rickman has passed away at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer. He died in London surrounded by family and friends, according to an official statement released by his family.
The actor was one of Britain’s brightest and most beloved stars, first shooting to fame as Die Hard baddie Hans Gruber and gaining a whole new generation of fans as the brooding Professor Snape in the Harry Potter film franchise.
Author JK Rowling was one of the first to pay tribute to the actor on Twitter, where she wrote of her shock at hearing the tragic news.
“There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death,” she wrote.
“He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.”
Close friend and actress Emma Thompson, who worked with Alan on several films including Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually and Harry Potter, released a statement honouring Alan today.
“Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye,” she wrote.
“What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom and kindness. The intransigence which made him the great artist he was – his ineffable and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things, including me, and the fact that he never spared me the view.”
Daniel Radcliffe, who starred alongside Alan in the Harry Potter films, wrote a moving tribute to the late actor on his Google+ page, calling him "extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny".
He also shared a photo from the Harry Potter set showing himself, Alan and Rupert Grint sharing a laugh behind the scenes.
"I like this photo. It was taken, if I'm not mistaken, while rehearsing a scene where Alan clipped me and Rupert round the back of a head with a book. We all, apparently, found this hard to do without laughing," he captioned the picture.
Alan leaves behind his wife, Rima Horton, who he married in a private ceremony last year after having been together for 50 years. The pair met when he was 19 and she was 18.