The news came as a shock to his fans and fellow actors, who took to social media to mourn his passing.
|Rickman as Harry Potter's Snape.|
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
"I'm very sad to hear about Alan today. I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor. I'll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you."
Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye. What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humor, 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.
Rickman broke into Hollywood with his role as as the murderous German terror boss Hans Gruber opposite Bruce Willis in Die Hard. He quickly became known as one of the best "actor-villains" and went on to have over 60 film credits to his name, including the Sheriff of Nottingham in 1991's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, for which he won a BAFTA award, and Judge Turpin opposite Johnny Depp in 2007's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
By Grabthar’s hammer…he will be missed.