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Harry Potter actor Alan Rickman has died, aged 69

Alan Rickman, the warmly admired British actor who played Harry Potter hero Severus Snape, has died from cancer aged 69.
Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman, the warmly admired British actor who played Harry Potter hero Severus Snape, has died from cancer aged 69.

His family confirmed his passing on Thursday morning, saying: “The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends”.

“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,” Harry Potter author JK Rowling tweeted.

Dumbledore actor Michael Gambon commented: “Everybody loved Alan. He was always happy and fun and creative and very, very funny.”

Alan Rickman as Severus Snape.

The news of Rickman’s death has shocked the Harry Potter fan community, but people are finding solace in his heartfelt final goodbye to his role as Snape. The letter was penned shortly after filming for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ended in 2011.

It reads:

‘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.

Alan Rickman’

Alan Rickman in Die Hard.

As well as his well-known role in the wizarding series, Rickman starred in Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Love Actually among many other films.

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