The death of Alan Rickman, the British stage and film actor widely known for his roles as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films and as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, has sent ripples of sadness around the world.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was “shocked and devastated” over the news, as she worked with the actor on the massively successful film franchise.
“There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death,” she tweeted on Thursday morning. “He was a magnificent actor & wonderful man.”
The Golden Globe winner and two-time Tony Award nominee, who died at 69, had been battling cancer.
In addition to Rowling, several members of the tight-knit Harry Potter community are expressing their devastation over the news.
Harry Potter himself, otherwise known as Daniel Radcliffe, posted a moving tribute on his Google Plus page.
“Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with,” Radcliffe wrote Thursday. “He is also one of the most loyal and most supportive people I ve ever met in the film industry. He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I’m pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn’t have to do that. I know other people who’ve been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say ‘if you call Alan, it doesn t matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he’s doing, he’ll get back to you within a day.”
Emma Watson posted her condolences on Facebook.
Matthew Lewis recalled Rickman giving him the best advice he’d ever received about this “mad profession.”
British actor Stephen Fry, who narrated the Harry Potter series for audiobooks, tweeted: “What desperately sad news about Alan Rickman. A man of such talent, wicked charm & stunning screen & stage presence. He’ll be sorely missed.”
James Phelps, who played Fred Weasley in the series, wrote, “Shocked & sad to hear Alan Rickman has passed away. One of the nicest actors I’ve ever met. Thoughts and prayers with his family at this time.”
Phelps’ twin in the series and in life, Oliver, remembered Rickman helping him get out of his shell.
“Terribly sad news about the passing of Alan Rickman,” he tweeted. “A funny and engaging person who put a shy young actor at ease when I was on HP.”
Michael Gambon, who played Professor Albus Dumbledore in the popular series, told BBC that Rickman was “a great friend.”
“Everybody loved Alan. He was always happy and fun and creative and very, very funny,” Gambon said. “He was intelligent … he was a real man of the theater and the stage and that’s how I think of Alan.”