The celebrated British actor, Alan Rickman, has died, aged 69, following a short battle with cancer.
Rickman’s death, earlier today was confirmed by his family, who released a statement saying:
"The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends."
Although now best recognised for his role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter franchise (2001-2011) and in Love Actually (2003), Rickman first became world-famous following his 1988 role as the baddie Hans Gruber in Die Hard, alongside Bruce Willis.
He won a number of awards including a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Rickman developed a reputation for playing the on-screen villain, which his unique and instantly recognisable nasal voice perfectly lent itself to.
His career also included roles in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (in 1991, for which he won a BAFTA), Truly Madly Deeply, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
He was also nominated for BAFTAs for his roles in 1995’s Sense and Sensibility (1995) and Michael Collins (1996), and won a Golden Globe for his performance in TV film Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny (1996).
A long-standing member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Rickman’s career also crossed stage and TV as well as film.
Born in Acton in west London in 1946, Rickman first developed a love for acting whilst at school.
After dabbling in graphic design, he secured a place at the prestigious RADA before embarking on what would become a stellar career.
In April last year, Rickman wed his long-term partner in a secret ceremony in New York, saying:
"We are married. Just recently. It was great, because no one was there. After the wedding in New York we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and ate lunch."
Further details about his illness are not yet known