Belfast Telegraph

Alan Rickman: Eclectic canon testament to his gift for acting

By Lorna Cooper

The career of award-winning star Alan Rickman began on the stage after he graduated from drama school Rada.

Rickman frequently returned to the stage throughout his career, but he was also lauded for key movie roles in front of the camera.

Here are eight of his best known vehicles.

Die Hard

Rickman's portrayal of German terrorist Hans Gruber introduced him to an international audience in 1988. The film, starring Bruce Willis, who had made his name on television in Moonlighting, was a surprise hit.

Truly Madly Deeply

Anthony Minghella's 1990 romantic feature fantasy remains a favourite for many movie fans. Rickman gave a stellar performance as Jamie, the deceased boyfriend of Nina, played by Juliet Stevenson.

Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves

US actor Kevin Costner was the unlikely star, but Rickman stole every scene as the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham.

The 1991 role deservedly earned Rickman a Bafta as best actor in a supporting role.

Sense And Sensibility

Jane Austen fans approved of Rickman's assured performance as Colonel Brandon in Ang Lee's 1995 adaptation, written by Emma Thompson. The acclaimed thespian received a Bafta nomination as best supporting actor.


In this 1996 dramatisation, Rickman was in commanding form in the title role of the Russian monk. Lauded for the portrayal, he won an Emmy for lead actor in a mini-series or special.

Galaxy Quest

The 1999 comedy about the cast of a defunct 1970s sci-fi TV show was a moderate success at the time. However, it has attained cult status due to its not-so-subtle parody of Star Trek.

Harry Potter

Rickman made an indelible impression as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies. A complex, half-blood wizard, few could have encapsulated the role of Snape as he did.

Love Actually

In this 2003 hit, Rickman's character Harry fooled around with his secretary Mia played by Heike Makatsch. Although this storyline is somewhat ambiguous in terms of its ending, there is no doubt about Rickman's convincing portrayal.

Belfast Telegraph


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