Alan Rickman was an English actor and director known for playing a variety of roles on stage and on screen.
Let’s see some interesting facts about him!
1. Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman was born 21 February 1946 in West London.
2. He was born to a working-class family, the son of Margaret Doreen Rose, a housewife, and Bernard William Rickman.
3. Rickman’s father was a factory worker, house painter and decorator, and former World War II aircraft fitter.
4. His ancestry was English, Irish and Welsh; his father was Catholic and his mother a Methodist.
5. Rickman’s family also included brothers David and Michael, and sister Sheila.
6. When he was eight years old, Rickman’s father died of lung cancer, leaving his mother to raise him and his three siblings mostly alone.
7. According to Paton, the family was “rehoused by the council and moved to an Acton estate to the west of Wormwood Scrubs Prison, where his mother struggled to bring up four children on her own by working for the Post Office.”
8. She married again in 1960, but divorced Rickman’s stepfather after three years.
9. Before he met Rima Horton at 19, he stated that his first crush was at 10 years old to a girl named Amanda “at sports day.”
10. As a child, he excelled at calligraphy and watercolour painting.
11. Rickman attended Derwentwater Primary School in Acton, a school that followed the Montessori method of education, and then Latymer Upper School in London through the Direct Grant system, where he became involved in drama.
12. After leaving Latymer, he attended Chelsea College of Art and Design and then the Royal College of Art.
13. This education allowed him to work as a graphic designer for the Royal College of Art’s in-house magazine, ARK and the Notting Hill Herald, which Rickman considered a more stable occupation than acting: “Drama school wasn’t considered the sensible thing to do at 18”.
14. After graduation, Rickman and several friends opened a graphic design studio called Graphiti, but after three years of successful business, he decided that he was going to pursue acting professionally.
15. He wrote to request an audition with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), which he attended from 1972 until 1974. While there, he studied Shakespeare and supported himself by working as a dresser for Sir Nigel Hawthorne and Sir Ralph Richardson.
16. His first big television part came in 1982, but his big break was as the Vicomte de Valmont in the stage production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award.
17. Rickman gained wider notice for his film performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series.
18. Rickman’s other film roles included the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, for which he received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply, Colonel Brandon in Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility, the title character in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny, which won him a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild Award, Harry in Love Actually, P. L. O’Hara in An Awfully Big Adventure, Dr. Alfred Blalock in the Emmy-winning HBO film Something the Lord Made, Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest, and Judge Turpin in the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
18. Rickman died of cancer on 14 January 2016 at the age of 69.
His final film roles are as Lieutenant General Frank Benson in the thriller Eye in the Sky, and the voice of Absolem, the caterpillar in Alice Through the Looking Glass.
19. In 1965, at the age of 19, Rickman met 18-year-old Rima Horton, who became his girlfriend and would later be a Labour Party councillor on the Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council (1986–2006) and an economics lecturer at the nearby Kingston University.
20. In 2015, Rickman confirmed that they had married in a private ceremony in New York City in 2012. They lived together from 1977 to 2016, the year Rickman died. They had no children.
21. Rickman was an active patron of the research foundation Saving Faces; and honorary president of the International Performers’ Aid Trust, a charity that works to fight poverty amongst performing artists all over the world.
22. When discussing politics, Rickman said he “was born a card-carrying member of the Labour Party”.
23. Rickman was the godfather of fellow actor Tom Burke.