As most people know from the news and social media, British actor, Alan Rickman died on the 14th of January after succumbing to cancer.
Alan Rickman was an actor who found a place in the heart of the British and international public through his versatile roles both on stage and on screen, including Sense and Sensibility, Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Love Actually, Sweeney Todd and Harry Potter.
If you look at people’s statuses and articles about Alan Rickman, many different quotes from his work are given, just proving how diverse his roles were and how he touched many different generations and genres with his talent. As Alan Rickman said himself, “Older people say, ‘Oh I loved you in ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ and that’s the only film they want to talk about. Equally, there are people who only want to talk about ‘Galaxy Quest.’ And there’s a whole bunch of teenagers who only want to talk about ‘Dogma.'”
Alan Rickman was a private man, he wasn’t on the cover of tabloids and he didn’t have glossy interviews in Hello magazine. Away from the limelight, he was devoted to his partner, Rima Horton and was a patron of the arts and supported charities that helped impoverished and struggling actors. Alan Rickman was a man who preferred to share his time with his friends and family rather than the media and said of his life, “I don’t think it is right that everyone knows everything about me. If people want to know who I am, it is all in my work.”
Because of this then most of the tributes from fans to Alan Rickman are about his work and his life on screen. But through looking at his history and the various obituaries and tributes given by the world’s press and those who truly knew him, not as an actor, but as a man, it was clear that he was a very unique actor and person. He has been described as, “quietly but profoundly generous,” “hardworking,” “overwhelmingly intelligent,” “always funny,” “genuine,” “a passionately faithful friend,” and, “a patient and nurturing mentor,” by those such as Daniel Radcliff, Michael Gambon, JK Rowling, Emma Thompson and Bruce Willis.
It is clear that Alan Rickman had a prolific career and one which both entertained and moved people across the world. But beyond that he seems to have influenced and inspired those who met and given them, “the full glow of his warm and amazing personality,” which is what those who knew him best remember the most about him.
So perhaps one of the best ways to understand this truly remarkable man who lived a memorable and meaningful life both on screen and in reality, is to refer to his own words. He said that he loved the evolution of life and he was fascinated by people’s journeys. Even although Alan Rickman has passed away, we continue to learn more about him as stories about this exceptional man pour in from fans, friends and loved ones. These stories help us to read and discover more about the life of Alan Rickman, and he himself said, “I like it best when stories are left open.”
By Caroline Malcolm