Alan Rickman, British film icon, dies at 69

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Actor Alan Rickman Dies at 69

Alan Rickman, a British film and theater veteran, died on Thursday. He was 69.

Rickman's family confirmed the news in a statement. It read, "The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends," per the BBC.

See more of Alan Rickman through the years:

46 PHOTOS
Alan Rickman's life in photos
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Alan Rickman, British film icon, dies at 69
LONDON - MARCH 9: Alan Rickman poses during a photo call held on March 9, 2004 at his home in London, England. (Photo by Cambridge Jones/Getty Images)
English actor Alan Rickman, London, 1984. (Photo by Geoff Shields/Getty Images)
British actor Alan Rickman holds the Golden Bear of the 46th Berlin Film Festival during the closing night in Berlin Monday, February 26, 1996. The jury awarded the American movie "Sens and Sensibility" directed by Taiwan Ang Lee as the best film of the competition. (Ap Photo/Jan Bauer)
54TH ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: Alan Rickman, Best Actor In A Leading Role - Mini-Series Or Television Movie for 'Rasputin' on stage during the 54th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 19, 1997 (Photo by Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
British actress Emma Thompson with British actor/director Alan Rickman at the 54th film festival in Venice, during a presentation of their movie in competition,"Winter Guest", Thursday August 28, 1997. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Cast members of 'Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban' stand together before the preview at Radio City in New York 23 May 2004. From left are: director Alfonso Cuaron, producer David Heyman, Robbie Coltrane, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, and producer Chris Columbus. AFP PHOTO/Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON - MARCH 9: Alan Rickman poses during a photo call held on March 9, 2004 at his home in London, England. (Photo by Cambridge Jones/Getty Images)
Die amerikanische Schauspielerin Sigourney Weaver, links, und der britische Schauspieler Alan Rickman posieren waehrend eines Fototermins zu ihrem Film 'Snow Cake' in Berlin am Donnerstag, 9. Februar 2006. Mit dem Wettbewerbsfilm 'Snow Cake' wird die 56. Internationalen Filmfestspiele Berlinale in Berlin am Abend eroeffnet werden. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz) --- Actress Sigourney Weaver, left, and British actor Alan Rickman pose during a photocall for their movie 'Snow Cake' at the Berlinale in Berlin on Feb. 9, 2006. The competition movie 'Snow Cake', a British Canadian co-production, is the opening movie of the 56. International Film Festival Berlinale, held in Berlin from Feb 9. until Feb. 19. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz)
British actor Alan Rickman is seen during a news conference for the movie 'Snow Cake' at the Berlinale in Berlin on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006. The competition movie 'Snow Cake', a British-Canadian co-production, is the opening movie of the 56. International Film Festival Berlinale, held in Berlin from Feb. 9. until Feb. 19. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz)
Alan Rickman-November 29, 2006-Alan Rickman, English actor now appearing in new made-in-Canada movie Snowcake (Snowcake is one word). shot in Toronto Wednesday November 29, 2006. (Tannis Toohey/ TORONTO STAR) (Photo by Tannis Toohey/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST15: Actors Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman (R) wave as they arrive for the premier of the film 'Snow Cake' at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, August 15, 2006 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
British actor Alan Rickman arrives for the European premiere of the film 'Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street', London, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Rachel Hurd-Wood and Alan Rickman At The Premiere Of In 'Perfume' In Berlin Cinestar. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 20: Actor Alan Rickman poses at the Gibson Guitar celebrity hospitality lounge held at the Miners Club during the 2008 Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2008 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Marsaili McGrath/Getty Images for KC Events)
Alan Rickman on set of the final Harry Potter film ' Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' at Gloucester Cathedral.; - 7th February 2008; 38625; (Photo by Jules Annan/Photoshot/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 31: Alan Rickman attends the 'Bottle Shock' press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on July 31, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 04: Actress Christine Ebersole and actor Alan Rickman attend the premiere of 'Bottle Shock' at Cinema 2 on August 4, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
FILE - A July 9, 2009 file photo, actor Alan Rickman attends the premiere of "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince", in New York. Rickman, who won a Tony Award in the 2002 production of Noel Coward's "Private Lives," will star in the world premiere of Theresa Rebeck's new play "Seminar" on Broadway this fall. The production will open at a Shubert theater to be announced soon. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File)
NEW YORK - JULY 09: Actor Alan Rickman attends the 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' premiere at Ziegfeld Theatre on July 9, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK - JULY 09: Actors Michael Gambon, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Alan Rickman attend the 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' premiere at Ziegfeld Theatre on July 9, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Actor Alan Rickman attends the Son Jung Wan Fall 2011 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Studio at Lincoln Center on February 17, 2011 in New York City.
Alan Rickman signs autographs as he arrives for the North American premiere of âHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows â Part 2â July 11, 2011 at Lincoln Center in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Alan Rickman Arriving At The World Premiere Of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, In Trafalgar Square In Central London. (Photo by John Phillips/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Alan Rickman and Suzanne Bertish sit in the Royal Box on Centre Court before the Ladies' Singles final match between Sabine Lisicki of Germany and Marion Bartoli of France on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 6, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 04: Actor Alan Rickman attends 'Une Promesse' Photocall during the 70th Venice International Film Festival at Palazzo del Casino on September 4, 2013 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Luca Teuchmann/WireImage)
VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 04: (R-L) Actors Alan Rickman, Rebecca Hall, director Patrice Leconte and actor Richard Madden attends the 'Une Promesse' Premiere during the 70th Venice International Film Festival at Sala Darsena on September 4, 2013 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Danny Martindale/WireImage)
VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 04: Actors Alan Rickman attends the 'Une Promesse' Premiere during the 70th Venice International Film Festival at Sala Darsena on September 4, 2013 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 908 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Alan Rickman during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on October 9, 2013 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 13: Director/actor Alan Rickman speaks onstage at the 'A Little Chaos' premiere introduction during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 13, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)
Actress Kate Winslet and director/actor Alan Rickman seen at the premiere of "A Little Chaos" at Roy Thomson Hall during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Toronto. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Alan Rickman attends a screening of 'A Little Chaos' during the 58th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon West End on October 17, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Alan Rickman and Collin Kelly-Sordelet backstage after a preview performance of 'The Last Ship' at the Neil Simon Theatre on October 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)
Alan Rickman arrives on the red carpet for the evening tribute to Viggo Mortensen during the 14th Marrakech International Film Festival on December 7, 2014 in Marrakech. AFP PHOTO /FADEL SENNA (Photo credit should read FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress Helen McCrory, left, Kate Winslett, right, and film Director Alan Rickman pose for photographers upon arrival at the UK premiere of A Little Chaos in west London, Monday, 13 April, 2015. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/WIREIMAGE REQUIRED) Helen McCrory (L) and Alan Rickman attend the UK premiere of 'A Little Chaos' at ODEON Kensington on April 13, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: (SUN NEWSPAPER OUT. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE J. HOGAN GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) Alan Rickman attends the UK premiere of 'A Little Chaos' at ODEON Kensington on April 13, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Alan Rickman attends a Memorial Service for Sir Richard Attenborough at Westminster Abbey on March 17, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)
Alan Rickman attends The Public Theater's Annual Gala at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19: Director Alan Rickman attends Apple Store Soho: Meet the Filmmaker at Apple Store Soho on June 19, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19: Actor Alan Rickman speaks at AOL Build Speaker Series at AOL Studios In New York on June 19, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/FilmMagic)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0282 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Alan Rickman during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on June 17, 2015 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Actors Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman attend the premiere of "A Little Chaos" at the Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
CHICHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 29: Alan Rickman attends on day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse on July 29, 2015 in Chichester, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Qatar Goodwood Festival)
CHICHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 29: Alan Rickman attends on day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse on July 29, 2015 in Chichester, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Qatar Goodwood Festival)
FILE - In this Wednesday, April 15, 2015 file photo, actor Alan Rickman poses for photographers on arrival at 'BAFTA A Life In Pictures, with Alan Rickman' in central London. British actor Alan Rickman, whose career ranged from Britainâs Royal Shakespeare Company to the âHarry Potterâ films, has died. He was 69. Rickmanâs family said Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016 that the actor had died after a battle with cancer. (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP, File)
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Born in 1946, Rickman went to college to study graphic design, but decided after several years in that profession to pursue acting. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and after graduation found work in various theater companies throughout the UK.

His biggest stage role came in 1985 when he landed the male lead in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses." When the production moved to Broadway in 1987, Rickman was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance.

However, when the play was adapted into the 1988 film "Dangerous Liaisons," Rickman was not asked to reprise his role, losing out to John Malkovich.

Rickman's big break in front of American audiences did come in 1988, however, when he played the villainous German thief Hans Gruber opposite Bruce Willis' John McClane in the action classic "Die Hard."

Stars took to social media to pay their respects to the actor:

53 PHOTOS
Stars react to Alan Rickman's death
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Alan Rickman, British film icon, dies at 69
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.
My thoughts are with Rima and the rest of Alan's family. We have all lost a great talent. They have lost part of their hearts.
What desperately sad news about Alan Rickman. A man of such talent, wicked charm & stunning screen & stage presence. He'll be sorely missed
Terribly sad news about the passing of Alan Rickman. A funny and engaging person who put a shy young actor at ease when I was on HP.
I was at Leavesden Studios today when I heard the news. As I walked through the canteen I thought of Alan queuing up for his lunch with us mere mortals. I recalled the trailer in which he offered me some of the greatest advice I ever received about this mad profession we shared. Being back in those corridors made me remember a lot of things and I will treasure those memories all my life. He inspired my career more than he ever knew and I'll miss him.
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved #AlanRickman who played #ProfessorSnape (1/2) https://t.co/FrIadBBTGR
There are few things I enjoyed more than watching Alan Rickman sigh in a movie. RIP
We are deeply saddened to learn that Alan Rickman has passed away: https://t.co/73Hz0Koxgb https://t.co/Eqlign7IDb
Alan Rickman. Incredible actor and director. Above all, the most generous, funny, loving friend to us. @Deborra_lee and I will miss you so .
So terribly sad to hear of the passing of Alan Rickman. Honoured to have shared the screen with him. #Marvin #Snape He'll be sorely missed.
RIP Alan Rickman. You'll be missed.
Completely lost for words. #AlanRickman #legend #RIP
#AlanRickman.. Auditioned me as a v young actor..he sent the most lovely, encouraging hand written note.. I still cherish it .. And him. RIP
Everyone who knew Alan Rickman- or worked with him or watched his brilliant performances, feels this awful loss https://t.co/pKOxFYYMUM
Goodbye Alan Rickman. You were genius in Harry Potter.
RIP Alan Rickman. You were the voice, the stage, the film, the actor, and you will be missed truly, madly , deeply. https://t.co/4ZLx7JgX2V
"If people want to know who I am, it is all in the work"- what magnificent work it is. Sorry and sad to hear about Alan Rickman's passing.
Oscar noms out. Couldn't care as Alan Rickman is gone & could have done every job on those movies as well, women included. Stunning talent.
The spectacular Alan Rickman passed away... One of my favorite actors of all time. Thank you for your gifts. RIP
Shocked & sad to hear Alan Rickman has passed away. One of the nicest actors I've ever met.Thoughts and prayers with his family at this time
David Bowie dead from cancer at 69. Now Alan Rickman dead from cancer at 69. Two great talents, one bloody awful disease.
Five weren't enough... The seven greatest roles of #AlanRickman: https://t.co/k8OnMK9nFF https://t.co/KmDOPFcSUg
Devastated to hear about the passing of Alan Rickman. I had the pleasure of working with him on my first movie. A true legend and gentleman.
A true legend of stage and screen. Alan Rickman, RIP. https://t.co/VbpSOi7e5X
Truly Madly Deeply is, to this day, one of the greatest and most moving films I've ever seen #AlanRickman
R.I.P #AlanRickman. Between harry potter and sense and sensibility he practically helped raise me https://t.co/ZOdabDyHhA
Long Live Snape. And Hans Gruber. And Sheriff of Nottingham. #saddestweek
One of the greatest to do it. Truly terrific in every single role he played. Thanks u for your talent #AlanRickman https://t.co/nk4VTsdpl0
So sad to hear about #AlanRickman ! A giant of an actor. RIP. X
RIP #AlanRickman He was comic genius in #GalaxyQuest
Alan. Gone. Fuck, this one hurts... https://t.co/asRFLfrblO
I cannot believe Alan Rickman has past! I had the privilege of meeting him a few times and was a true legend! Very sad #AlanRickman RIP
#AlanRickman - such an incredible actor! Grateful he was enveloped by family as he passed. Thoughts/prayers to them https://t.co/8gVqcoKMFY
We’re incredibly sad to hear about the passing of Alan Rickman. Our thoughts are with his family. https://t.co/efkBra1rCj
Farewell my friend.Your kindness & generosity ever since we met in LA in 1987 & ever since is incalculable.XX https://t.co/BCUkCxMFj5
Rest In Peace Alan Rickman. Such sad news. A huge loss.
I do not want my heroes to die! Alan Rickman is dead & he was another hero. Alan - thank you for being with us. We are sorry you had to go
RIP Alan Rickman. He will forever be in our hearts. https://t.co/oUXYo3qcwA
One of my very, very favourites. Huge loss. https://t.co/a5iBzlepHH
This week can do one. #AlanRickman
RIP Alan Rickman.
Dreadful to hear Alan Rickman has passed away. A wonderful actor and friend. What a sad day.
Alan Rickman 😔
Another truly sad loss this week, I'm so shocked. Rest in peace Alan Rickman
So sad to hear that we’ve lost Alan Rickman. What a brilliantly talented man. Countless amazing performances. What a sad week.
Another legend and massively talented human being has died. Rest in peace Alan Rickman.
Gutted about alan rickman!!! What a wonderful actor!!
Our hearts are broken. Thank you for sharing your talent with us #AlanRickman We will miss you #Always
RIP Alan Rickman. So, so sad. Another loss of someone so talented. #RIP
So sad to hear of the news about Alan Rickman, a very fine actor and a lovely gentleman. My heart goes out to his family.
RIP Alan Rickman. You will be missed. #TrulyMadlyDeeply
First Bowie, and now Alan Rickman. A sad day British entertainment, rest in peace you legends.
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His career skyrocketed after that, with his dry British sensibility often leading to him being cast as villains, as in the 1991 film "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" as the Sheriff of Nottingham, which earned him a BAFTA Award that same year. Rickman also played Jamie in the film adaptation of "Truly, Madly, Deeply," a role he had previously played on the stage.

Watch more coverage:

5 Facts You Didn't Know About Alan Rickman

Rickman was also adept at comedy as well drama, playing memorable comedic roles in films like Kevin Smith's 1999 divine comedy "Dogma" and in the 1999 "Star Trek" spoof "Galaxy Quest." He also voiced a depressed robot in the 2005 film adaptation of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

Rickman became well known to young audiences when he was cast as Professor Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" franchise. The films were a monstrous international success, with the eight films grossing almost $7.8 billion worldwide in total.

RELATED: Some of Rickman's most famous roles:

18 PHOTOS
Famous Alan Rickman roles
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Alan Rickman, British film icon, dies at 69

Harry Potter

(Photo via Warner Bros.)

Harry Potter

(Photo via Warner Bros.)

Truly Madly Deeply

(Photo via Alamy)

Die Hard

(Photo via Alamy)

Galaxy Quest

(Photo via Alamy)

Galaxy Quest​

(Photo via Alamy)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

(Photo via Alamy)

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

(Photo via Alamy)

Bottle Shock

(Photo via Alamy)

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

(Photo via Alamy)

Love Actually

(Photo via Alamy)

Dogma

(Photo via Alamy)

Gambit

(Photo via Alamy)

Sense and Sensibility

(Photo via Alamy)

Sense and Sensibility

(Photo via Alamy)

An Awfully Big Adventure

(Photo via Alamy)

A Little Chaos

(Photo via Alamy)

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Rickman also appeared in several recent Tim Burton-led projects, playing Judge Turpin in Burton's 2007 film adaptation of "Sweeney Todd" opposite Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. He also played Absolem the Caterpillar in Burton's 2010 version of "Alice in Wonderland." He will reprise that role in the upcoming sequel "Alice Through the Looking Glass."

Rickman also worked behind the scenes, directing several plays as well as the films "The Winter Guest" and "A Little Chaos," both of which he also wrote.

Rickman had been with his partner Rima Horton since 1965. Yet despite being together for decades, the two did not officially marry until 2012 in a secret ceremony in New York, Rickman admitted in April 2015.

Read original story Alan Rickman, British Film Icon, Dies at 69 At TheWrap

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