LONDON, ENGLAND—On Thursday, January 14, Alan Rickman, 69, died of pancreatic cancer. The actor had not disclosed his condition to the public, and close friends said Rickman had not revealed the severity of his illness until recent weeks. Rickman’s representatives at the Independent Talent Group Ltd. say he had a short battle with cancer from the time of his diagnosis. Rickman had reportedly suffered a stroke in August 2015, which led him to discover his condition.
Rickman was surrounded by friends and family as he said final goodbyes at a hospital in London. Those who knew him well, say Rickman kept an upbeat demeanor and smiling face in the weeks leading up to his death. He is survived by his wife, Rima Horton, whom he met when he was only 19. The couple lived together for 35 years before secretly marrying in New York in 2012.
Amidst the news of his passing, colleagues who have worked alongside Rickman, have posted touching tributes of his character behind the realm of who he was known to be on the silver screen. Actor Daniel Radcliffe wrote a touching post recalling Rickman’s support in his earlier years of acting, mentioning the actor treated him as an equal and even attended his plays after the world knew him as Harry Potter. Radcliffe referred to Rickman as “undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with. He is also, one of the loyalest and most supportive people I’ve ever met in the film industry.”
Actress Emma Thompson who starred in seven films with Rickman, referred to him as her “ultimate ally… The intransigence which made him the great artist he was—his ineffable and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things… and the fact that he never spared me the view. I learned a lot from him,” Thompson said in her tribute to Rickman.
Rickman was recognized for numerous roles, most prominently for playing Severus Snape in the world-renowned “Harry Potter” series. The actor received awards including a BAFTA and Golden Globe. Rickman has two films slated for release later this year, “Eye in the Sky” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”