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Alan Rickman

Date of Birth: Thursday, February 21, 1946
AGE: (DIED Thursday, January 14, 2016 aged 69)
Occupation: Actor

Biography: Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman is an English actor and theatre director. He is a renowned stage actor in modern and classical productions and a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Rickman is known for his film performances in Die Hard, the Harry Potter film series and Dogma.

He is also known for his prominent roles as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1991 film, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. More recently he played Judge Turpin in Tim Burton?s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and voiced the Caterpillar in Burton?s Alice in Wonderland.

Rickman was born in South Hammersmith, London, to a working class family, the son of Margaret Doreen Rose (nee Bartlett), a housewife, and Bernard Rickman, a factory worker. Rickman?s mother was from Wales and a Methodist, and his father was of Irish Catholic background. He has 2 brothers and a sister. Rickman attended Derwentwater Primary School, in Acton, a school that followed the Montessori method of education.

When he was eight, his father died, leaving his mother to bring up four children mostly alone. She married again, but divorced his stepfather after three years. "There was one love in her life," Rickman later said.

Rickman excelled at calligraphy and watercolour painting, and from Derwentwater Junior School he won a scholarship to Latymer Upper School in London, where he started getting involved in drama. After leaving Latymer, Rickman attended Chelsea College of Art and Design and then The Royal College of Art. This education allowed him to work as a graphic designer for the radical newspaper the Notting Hill Herald, which he considered a more stable occupation than acting. "Drama school wasn?t considered the sensible thing to do at 18," he said.

After graduation, Rickman and several friends opened a graphic design studio called Graphiti, but after three years of successful business, he decided that if he were to ever explore acting professionally, it was now or never. This led him to write a letter to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) requesting an audition and was awarded a place in RADA which he attended from 1972-74. While there, he studied Shakespeare?s works and supported himself by working as a dresser for Sir Nigel Hawthorne and Sir Ralph Richardson, and left after winning several prizes such as the Emile Littler Prize, the Forbes Robertson Prize, and the Bancroft Gold Medal.

After graduating from RADA, Rickman worked extensively with various British repertory and experimental theatre. In 1978, he played with the Court Drama Group, performing in several plays, most notably Romeo And Juliet and A View from the Bridge. While working with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) he starred in, among other things, As You Like It.

Rickman?s career has been filled with a wide variety of roles. He has played romantic leads like Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, and Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply, as well as numerous villains in Hollywood big budget films. In 1995, Rickman turned down the role of Alec Trevelyan in the James Bond film GoldenEye.

His role in Die Hard earned him a spot on the AFI?s 100 years...100 Heroes & Villains as the 46th best villain in film history. His performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves also made him known as one of the best actors to portray a villain in films.

In 2007, Entertainment Weekly named him one of their favourite people in pop culture, saying that in the Harry Potter films, "he may not be on screen long - but he owns every minute," and that he is capable of "turning a simple retort into a mini-symphony of contempt." He has taken issue with being typecast as a "villain actor", citing the fact that he has not portrayed a stock villain character since the Sheriff of Nottingham in 1991. He has further said that he has continued to portray characters of complex and varying emotions.

During his long career Rickman has also played a number of comedic roles, sending up classically trained British actors who take on "lesser roles" as the character Sir Alexander Dane / Dr. Lazarus in the science fiction spoof Galaxy Quest, portraying the angel Metatron, the voice of God, in Dogma, appearing as Emma Thompson?s foolish husband Harry in Love Actually, providing the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android in The Hitchhiker?s Guide to the Galaxy, and the egotistical, Nobel Prize-winning father in Nobel Son.

In October and November 2010, Rickman starred in the eponymous role in Henrik Ibsen?s John Gabriel Borkman at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin alongside Lindsay Duncan and Fiona Shaw. The Irish Independent called Rickman?s performance breathtaking.

Rickman was chosen by Empire as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (No 34) in 1995 and ranked No 59 in Empire?s "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list in October 1997. In 2009 and 2010 Rickman ranked once again as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars by Empire, both times Rickman was placed 8th out of the 50 actors chosen. Rickman became Vice-Chairman of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 2003.

Two researchers, a linguist and a sound engineer, found "the perfect [male] voice" to be a combination of Rickman?s and Jeremy Irons?s voices based on a sample of 50 voices. Coincidentally, the two actors played brothers in the Die Hard series of films.

In 1965, at the age of 19, Rickman met his partner Rima Horton, a London Labour party politician and former economics professor. They began living together in 1977

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