Alan Rickman's glorious acting career in 15 photos -- from the stage to 'Die Hard' and 'Harry Potter'

Alan RickmanGettyActor Alan Rickman at Goodwood racecourse on July 29, 2015 in Chichester, England.

Alan Rickman died Thursday after a battle with cancer. The actor was 69.

Rickman was 39 when he landed his big break as the lead male role in the 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”. He reprised the role in the 1987 Broadway revival and earned his first Tony nomination.

A year later, he made his film debut as the notorious villian Hans Gruber in “Die Hard”. And thus began Rickman’s ascension to one of the most recognisable actors, helped in part by his perfect voice. In 2001, he wove his way into the hearts of “Harry Potter” fans as the beloved Severus Snape and continued the role through 2011.

In honour of his remarkable career, here’s a look back at 16 of his most memorable roles:

Alan Rickman's first major film role was portraying the memorable villain Hans Gruber in 1988's 'Die Hard.'

20th Century Fox

In 1992, he was nominated for two BAFTA Awards. One for 'Truly Madly Deeply'...

Samuel Goldwyn

...and the other for 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,' for which he actually won.

Warner Bros.

He was nominated for another BAFTA in 1996 for his portrayal of the cordial Colonel Brandon in 'Sense and Sensibility'.

Columbia Pictures

His final BAFTA nom came the following year for the biopic 'Michael Collins.'

Warner Bros.

Rickman won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy in for his portrayal of Rasputin in the TV movie 'Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny.'


He starred alongside Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver in the sci-fi comedy 'Galaxy Quest.'

DreamWorks Pictures

2001 marked the beginning of the 'Harry Potter' film franchise and Rickman's portrayal of the formidable, misunderstood, and beloved Severus Snape cemented him in the hearts of a new generation. He portrayed the character in all eight 'Harry Potter' films, which ended in 2011 with 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.'

Warner Bros.

He returned to Broadway in 2002 in 'Private Lives' and earned a second Tony nomination.

Scott Gries/ImageDirect
Alan Rickman and Lindsey Duncan arrive for the 56th Annual Tony Awards in 2002.

'Love Actually,' which has become a classic holiday film, reunited Rickman and his 'Sense and Sensibility' costar Emma Thompson in 2003.

Universal Pictures

In 2007, he appeared as Judge Turpin in Tim Burton's film adaptation of 'Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.'

DreamWorks Pictures

He portrayed Ronald Reagan in 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' in 2013.

The Weinstein Company

He directed, starred in, and cowrote 2014's 'A Little Chaos.' This was his second time directing and cowriting. He previously did so in 1997 with 'The Winter Guest.'


He stars alongside Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, and Barkhad Abdi in this year's war drama 'Eye in the Sky.'

Entertainment One

His final role is the voice of the Blue Caterpillar in this year's 'Alice Through the Looking Glass.' He voiced the same character in 2010's 'Alice in Wonderland.'


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