Film industry luminaries paid tribute to British film star Alan Rickman following his death from cancer earlier today at the age of 69.
Many praised his character. One of them was Ang Lee, who directed Rickman in the 1995 “Sense and Sensibility,” and who was one of the four film industry figures who announced Oscar nominations in Beverly Hills this morning. After the presentation, he called Rickman”a great human being,” a “brilliant actor” and a “soulful actor.”
Rickman, who acted on stage as well as on the big screen in a career spanning 40 years, was known for such films as “Die Hard,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” and the Harry Potter series, in which he portrayed Severus Snape.
“There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death,” tweeted Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. “He was a magnificent actor and a wonderful man.”
Potter star Daniel Radcliffe posted a lengthy tribute on his Google Plus page, writing in part, “Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with. He is also one of the loyalest and most supportive people I’ve ever met in the film industry.”
Tweets for Rickman were trending exponentially ahead of Oscar news, with more than 2.7 million tweets mid-morning.
British actor Stephen Fry called the actor’s death, “desperately sad news” about “a man of such talent, wicked charm & stunning screen & stage presence. He will be sorely missed.” Another British actor, Sir Michael Gambon, told the BBC that Rickman was “a great friend.”
“Everybody loved Alan,” said Gambon.
A family statement published by the BBC said the cause of Rickman’s death was cancer and that, at the end, “he was surrounded by family and friends.”