Alan Rickman Biography

Alan Rickman is a renowned stage actor also known for his film performances. This biography of Alan Rickman provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: February 21, 1946

Nationality: British

Famous: British Men Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art

Died At Age: 69

Sun Sign: Pisces

Also Known As: Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman

Born Country: England

Born in: Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom

Famous as: Actor

Height: 6'1" (185 cm), 6'1" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Rima Horton (m. 2012)

father: Bernard Rickman

mother: Margaret Doreen Rose

siblings: David Rickman, Michael Rickman, Sheila Rickman

Died on: January 14, 2016

place of death: London

City: London, England

Cause of Death: Pancreatic Cancer

More Facts

education: Latymer School (1964), Chelsea College of Art and Design (1967), Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

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Alan Rickman was a renowned actor, and former member of the ‘Royal Shakespeare Company.’ He rose to fame with his portrayal of ‘Le Vicomte de Valmont’ in ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses.’ Rickman, a versatile stage actor, made an easy transition into films. Thanks to his impressive portrayal of ‘Hans Gruber’ in ‘Die Hard,’ he faced the danger of being typecast as a villain. He did not possess a strong muscular body or the unsettling glint in his eyes which one normally associates with a villain, but had something else that made him appropriate for playing characters with negative shades. The fact that he became typecast after playing villain in just one film is a testimony to the acting skills of this great artist. Over the course of his long career, he also played comic and romantic roles. He also acted in television movies and his role as ‘Grigori Rasputin’ in the ‘HBO’ production ‘Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny’ won him a ‘Golden Globe Award.’ He played ‘Severus Snape’ in the ‘Harry Potter’ film series which increased his popularity as a film actor.

Childhood & Early Life
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  • After his graduation, he opened a graphic design studio called ‘Graphiti’ along with his friends. Though the studio ran successfully, he decided to pursue a career in acting after three years.
  • He auditioned with the ‘Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’ (RADA) and attended the prestigious drama school from 1972 to 1974.
  • He worked extensively with several British repertory theatre and experimental theatre groups including the ‘Royal Court Theatre’ after graduating from ‘RADA.’
  • In 1978, he played the role of ‘Tybalt’ in the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ for ‘BBC Television Shakespeare,’ a television adaptation of William Shakespeare’s plays.
  • He portrayed ‘Obadiah Slope’ in the 1982 British television serial ‘The Barchester Chronicles.’ He won accolades for his performance in this TV adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s ‘Barchester’ novels.
  • He received a big break in 1988 when he was chosen to play the main antagonist ‘Hans Gruber’ in the action film ‘Die Hard.’ His portrayal of the urbane villain won him accolades from critics and industry experts.
  • In 1990, he appeared in the fantasy film ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’ in which he played ‘Jamie,’ a cellist who returns to his girlfriend as a ghost after his untimely death. The movie was very successful.
  • He once again played the villain in the 1991 adventure film ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.’ His performance as ‘George,’ the Sheriff of Nottingham, made him very popular.
  • The same year, he starred as ‘Sinclair Bryant,’ a rich and successful man whose wife has an extramarital affair, in ‘Close My Eyes.’ The movie won many awards.
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  • He landed one of his most acclaimed roles in 1996 when he was selected to play ‘Grigori Rasputin’ in the biographical television film ‘Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny’ for which he won a ‘Primetime Emmy Award.’
  • Even though he was an already established actor by the end of the 1990s, his career graph peaked during the new millennium. He portrayed the brilliant wizard and potions master ‘Severus Snape’ in the first installment of the ‘Harry Potter’ series, ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ in 2001.
  • In 2002, he reprised his role as ‘Severus Snape’ in ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.’
  • His portrayal of ‘Severus Snape’ in the hugely popular ‘Harry Potter’ series made him very famous. He went on to play the role in ‘Harry Potter’ movies, such as ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ (2004) and ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ (2005).
  • The character of ‘Severus Snape’ was one of the most complicated characters in the ‘Harry Potter’ series. The character’s true colors were never revealed till the very end. Rickman possessed the charisma and looks to portray this character to perfection.
  • He went on to play ‘Severus Snape’ in all ‘Harry Potter’ movies, the final one being ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part II’ in 2011.
Major Works
  • His role as the evil ‘Sheriff of Nottingham,’ the main antagonist, in the 1991 adventure film ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ was one of his highly acclaimed ones. The movie was a big success and his portrayal of the villain was greatly appreciated.
  • His most famous work is the portrayal of ‘Severus Snape,’ the skilled wizard and potions master, in the ‘Harry Potter’ film franchise. His appearance in the popular film series increased his popularity.
Awards & Achievements
  • He won the 1992 ‘BAFTA Film Award’ for ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’ for his portrayal of the ‘Sheriff of Nottingham’ in ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.’
  • In 1996, he won the ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Lead Actor – Miniseries or Movie’ for his portrayal of ‘Grigori Rasputin’ in ‘Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny.’ For the same role, he also won the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Actor’ in 1997.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • He was in a relationship with Rima Horton, a ‘Labour Party’ councillor and economics lecturer at the ‘Kingston University.’ Alan Rickman married Horton in a private ceremony in 2012. They did not have any children.
  • Alan Rickman died of cancer on January 14, 2016, at the age of 69, in London.
  • He hated being labeled as an actor who could only play characters with negative shades.
  • He was offered the role of ‘Severus Snape’ only after it was rejected by actor Tim Roth.

Alan Rickman Movies

1. Die Hard (1988)

  (Action, Thriller)

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

  (Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Drama)

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

  (Mystery, Fantasy, Family, Adventure)

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

  (Mystery, Family, Adventure, Fantasy)

5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

  (Mystery, Family, Adventure, Fantasy)

6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

  (Fantasy, Mystery, Family, Adventure)

7. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

  (Drama, Romance)

8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

  (Fantasy, Adventure, Family)


Golden Globe Awards
1997 Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Rasputin (1996)
Primetime Emmy Awards
1996 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special Rasputin (1996)
BAFTA Awards
1992 Best Actor in a Supporting Role Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

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