'I Just Kissed Him Goodbye': Emma Thompson's Moving Tribute to Her Close Friend Alan Rickman

Thompson and Rickman appeared in several movies together, including Love Actually

Photo: Eric Charbonneau/BEImages/Shutterstock

As the world mourns the death of British stage and screen star Alan Rickman, one of his closest friends and frequent collaborators is grappling with the loss.

Emma Thompson, who appeared with Rickman in several films, including Love Actually, three Harry Potter films, Sense and Sensibility and 1998 crime thriller Judas Kiss said in a statement that saying goodbye to the 69-year-old Rickman was “painful.”

“Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye,” Thompson, 56, wrote. “What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom and kindness. The intransigence which made him the great artist he was his ineffable and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things, including me, and the fact that he never spared me the view.”

Rickman’s family confirmed his death on Thursday, and said the Golden Globe winner and two time Tony Award nominee was battling cancer.

“I learned a lot from him,” Thompson continued. “He was the finest of actors and directors. I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to do with his face next. I consider myself hugely privileged to have worked with him so many times and to have been directed by him.”

Thompson and Rickman most recently shared the screen in 2010 television movie The Song of Lunch, where they played former lovers. Their real-life relationship dates back much farther, however.

In 1995, Rickman portrayed Colonel Brandon in Thompson’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

Rickman then directed the Thompson in 1997’s The Winter Guest – a film that landed him a Golden Lion nomination, the highest prize at the Venice Film Festival.

Later came Judas Kiss, and then, the Harry Potter franchise – Rickman, famously as Severus Snape and Thompson, as Sybill Trelawney in three of the films.

The pair memorably broke hearts in 2003’s Love Actually as a couple dealing with marital issues.

Rickman, who has also been honored by many of his devastated collaborators and fans on social media, is survived by his wife Rima Horton. The couple were together for 40 years before secretly tying the knot in 2012.

Kate Winslet, who starred alongside Rickman and Thompson in Sense and Sensibility, also gave her condolences for her former colleague: ”We are all so devastated to lose Alan. He was loved enormously by so many. He was an exceptionally warm and giving man and an utterlyphenomenal actor and gifted director,” she said. “I remember being so intimidated by him when we worked together when I was 19, because he had such a powerful and commanding presence. And that voice! Oh, that voice….

“But the reality of course, was that he was the kindest and best of men. Had the patience of a saint. He was a warm hearted puppy dog, who would do anything for anyone if it made them happy. He was a loving and devoted partner to Rima, and like so many of us in our vast industry, my life was enriched by knowing him. My heart goes out to his family and those he loved.”

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