If you grew up watching movies at all, chances are Alan Rickman was in one (or some) of your favorite films. On Thursday morning, fans of the English actor awoke to news of his passing from cancer at the age of 69. Similarly, celebrity friends of Alan Rickman reacted to his death with the heavy-hearted sadness and grief that exemplified a man loved and cherished by those who knew him well.
Rickman's passing came as a shock to many, mere days after the death of another beloved British icon, the irreplaceably weird and wonderful David Bowie, early Monday morning — also from cancer, also at 69.
A star both on stage and on the silver screen, Rickman first emerged as one of Hollywood's leading villains, Hans Gruber, opposite Bruce Willis in Die Hard. He was later introduced to a younger audience in his role as the complex Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films. For decades, Rickman held fast to the title as one of Britain's best-loved and most esteemed actors.
Rickman's friends and colleagues took to the Internet to express their loss as they — and we — reel from the grief of yet another revered artist's unexpected, quiet death.
Jamie Campbell Bower
Cover image via Matej Divizna / Getty Images