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Alan Rickman - Harry Potter actor died from 'pancreatic cancer'

By Heather Saul

Published 15/01/2016

Alan Rickman in the role that terrified millions children - Severus Snape, the a fictional character in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
Alan Rickman in the role that terrified millions children - Severus Snape, the a fictional character in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
2011: Alan Rickman signs autographs as he arrives for the North American premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at Lincoln Center in New York. AFP PHOTO / STAN HONDASTAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images
1998: Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman during a photocall rehearsal for 'Anthony and Cleopatra' at the Olivier Theatre on London's South Bank. John Stillwell/PA Wire
2008: Alan Rickman, Tim Burton, Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp and Timothy Spall at the premiere of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Odeon West End Cinema, Leicester Square, London. Joel Ryan/PA Wire
Alan Rickman was the host at 'Hollywood Salutes Bruce Willis: An American Cinematheque Tribute' at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, Ca. 9/23/00. Rickman came out onstage with crutches after a clip was shown of him falling to his death in a Bruce Willis film. Photo:Kevin Winter/ImageDirect.
1999 Alan Rickman stars in the new movie "Galaxy Quest." Photo Dreamworks
2015: Alan Rickman in front of the Qatar Tourism wall of flowers containing 35,000 carnations during day two of the Glorious Goodwood Festival, Chichester. John Walton/PA Wire
2001: Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson at London's Ivy Restaurant, helping to launch ActionAid Week. Johnny Green/PA Wire
Alan Rickman and his partner Labour Councillor Rima Horton arrive for the 50th anniversary gala of the NFT at the National Film Theatre on the South Bank in London. Yui Mok/PA Wire
2010: Frances de la Tour, Alan Rickman, Tom Wilkinson and Andy de la Tour perform at the Concert For Haiti, sponsored by the TUC, at Congress House in London. Rickman has died from cancer aged 69, his family said. Ian West/PA Wire
2010: Alan Rickman attends the world premier of "Alice in Wonderland" at the Odeon Cinema in London's Leicester Square. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURTCARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images
2007: Alan Rickman arrives for the premiere of "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street" in New York. AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS ROBERTSNICHOLAS ROBERTS/AFP/Getty Images
2003: Alan Rickman is seen during a press conference for the premiere of the film "Love actually" in Paris. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYSGABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images
2012: Alan Rickman walks on the red carpet as he arrives to attend the World Premier for the film 'Gambit' in Leicester Square, central London. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW COWIEANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images
2009: Alan Rickman arrives at the New York premier of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in New York. AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERTDON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
2013: Alan Rickman poses during the photocall of "Une Promesse" presented out of competition at the 70th Venice Film Festival at Venice Lido. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYSGABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images
2015: Alan Rickman poses for photographers on the red carpet for the UK premiere of the film "A Little Chaos" in central London. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
2010: The Prince of Wales (left) meets Alan Rickman on arriving for the Royal world premiere of Alice in Wonderland at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London. Ian West/PA Wire
2015: Helen McCrory, Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet attending the UK premiere of the film A Little Chaos at the Odeon Kensington, London. Ian West/PA Wire
2006: Sigourney Weaver with Director Marc Evans and co-star Alan Rickman at the Dominion theatre in Edinburgh for the Premier of Snow Cake during the Edinburgh International Festival. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
2001: Alan Rickman as 'Elyot' and Lindsay Duncan as 'Amanda' at a photocall for Howard Davies's production of Noel Coward's "Private Lives" at the Albery Theatre in London. Peter Jordan/PA Wire
2000: Queen Elizabeth II meeting actors Juliet Stevenson and Alan Rickman at the opening of the new premises of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Ian Jones/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire
1999: Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Ben Affleck and Salma Hayek on the rooftop of the Palais des Festivals, promoting their latest movie "Dogma", directed by Kevin Smith during the 52nd Annual International Cannes Film Festival 1999. Neil Munns/PA Wire
2001: Comedian Vic Reeves, comedian and host Eddie Izzard, actor Alan Rickman and comedian Harry Enfield on stage during a photocall prior to the 'We Know Where You Live. Live!' event to mark the 40th anniversary of Amnesty International at London's Wembley Arena. William Conran/PA Wire

Alan Rickman died a few months after being diagnosed with cancer, a report has claimed.

Rickman passed away surrounded by his family and friends in London on Thursday, aged 69. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, according to a report by Channel 4.

The charity Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA) said in a statement: “We were very sad to hear that one of Britain’s most popular actors, Alan Rickman, passed away after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

”Our thoughts are with all his friends and family at this very sad time."

A source quoted by Showbiz 411 claimed Rickman may have suffered a small stroke in August, leading doctors to make their diagnosis shortly after.

Rickman only disclosed his illness to his friends and family. It apparently did little to hold him back and the stage and film giant was busy helping students raise money for the refugee crisis in December. Neighbours were equally shocked by his passing, describing him smiling and "looking well" only weeks before his death.

A representative for Rickman told The Independent it would not be commenting any further.

Tumours in the pancreas do not usually produce any symptoms in the early stages and those that do appear are often associated with common illnesses, making cancer difficult to diagnose.

Symptoms include lower back or stomach pain, which gets worse after eating or lying down, weight loss and jaundice.

NHS figures show around 8,800 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK each year.

A spokesperson for PCA told The Independent: “Pancreatic cancer is sometimes called a ‘silent cancer” because the early symptoms are often vague and unrecognised.

“Steve Jobs, Patrick Swayze and Pavarotti all died of pancreatic cancer. Sir John Hurt is currently the only famous survivor of the disease. Pancreatic cancer receives just one per cent of research funding. Considering it’s the fifth biggest cancer killer, we think this is disgraceful.”

Rickman's death comes just days after the passing of pioneering singer and artist David Bowie. Bowie had suffered from cancer for 18 months and also kept his illness a secret from all but close family. His death at 69 came as a huge shock to his fans globally.

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