Alan Rickman, who died on 14 January 2016, was one of last year’s more shocking celebrity losses. The star of Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually and the Harry Potter movies was just 69 years old, and had kept his terminal pancreatic cancer diagnosis private from all but his closest friends and family.
As the first anniversary of Rickman’s death approaches, one of his former co-stars has shared a moving story about how she remembers Rickman.
Kate Winslet appeared alongside Rickman in the 1995 movie adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, as well as 2014’s A Little Chaos. In an article for Entertainment Weekly, the actor wrote that Rickman “was always a great big softy”, adding: “If there was one word I could use to really describe Al, it would be kind. He was so kind.”
Winslet went on to share an anecdote told by fellow British actor Juliet Stevenson at Rickman’s memorial service.
“Whenever Al would go out to supper and anyone else would try and pay, he would somehow have phoned ahead of slipped his credit card ahead of the meal so no one even got a look at the check,” she recalled. “He’d just say, ‘I’ve got two words for you: Harry Potter.’ And he became known for doing that.”
Rickman, of course, played the villain (and eventually, the complex hero) of the Harry Potter series, Professor Severus Snape. He reportedly left behind an estate worth more than £4 million, the majority of which he specified should be left to his wife and partner of 50 years, Rima Horton.
Upon his death, tributes poured in from his friends in the acting world, many of whom – like Winslet – had worked with Rickman before. Emma Thompson, who collaborated with Rickman in Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually and The Winter Guest, wrote: “What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom and kindness. His capacity to fell you with a look or lift you with a word.”
Emma Watson, meanwhile, who appeared alongside Rickman in Harry Potter, shared one of her older co-star’s feminist quotes on Twitter.
She added in a post on Facebook: “I’m very sad to hear about Alan today. I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor. I’ll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you”.
Images: Rex Features