Alan Rickman Dies at 69

Mike Marsland/WireImage
Alan Rickman photographed on Oct 17, 2014 in London.  

British icon of stage and screen Alan Rickman has died. He was 69.

The actor's reps confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the actor had passed away on Thursday.

"The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends," his family said in a statement.

Rickman, who rose to fame in Hollywood as the sharp-tongued baddie Hans Gruber in the firstDie Hard film, was much-loved on both sides of the Atlantic, later adding to his list of on-screen antagonists when he played the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Price of Thieves, for which he won a BAFTA, and finding a new generation of fans as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter series.

Other hugely memorable roles along the way would include playing Metatron - the voice of God - in Kevin Smith's Dogma, a deceased lover in Anthony Minghella's Truly Madly Deeply, and Col Brandon alongside frequent collaborator Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility.

Speaking at a special BAFTA event held in his honor last year, Rickman said that he was offered the iconic breakout role of Gruber - his first film – after being in LA for just two days, adding that he was "extremely cheap" at the time.

Last year Rickman released the period drama A Little Chaos starring Kate Winslet, his second stint as director after 1997's A Winter Guest. His final film as an actor look set to be Alice Through The Looking Glass, reprising his role as the voice of Absolem the caterpillar in the upcoming follow up to Disney's 2010 hit Alice in Wonderland.

Although Rickman would never win an Oscar, he would add to his BAFTA win for Robin Hoodwith a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, both for his lead role in HBO's 1996 TV film Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny.

On stage, however, he was arguably more celebrated than on screen, breaking through in 1986 in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The role would earn him a Tony nomination and see his co-star Lindsay Duncan say that his performance would have  most audience members leaving the theater wanting to have sex "and preferably with Alan Rickman."

Other standout theatrical roles included playing Mark Antony alongside Helen Mirren's Cleopatra in London, and in Noel Coward's Private Lives, which would transfer to Broadway from the West End. He also directed the award-winning 2005 play My Name is Rachel Corrieabout the American student who was killed by an Israeli Defense Force bulldozer in the Gaza Strip.

Rickman is survived by his wife Rima Horton, who he met as a teenager and married in New York in 2012.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter