Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman

Infobox Actor

imagesize = 180px
caption = Rickman at the Tribeca Film Festival, April 2007
birthdate = birth date and age|1946|2|21|df=y
birthplace = Hammersmith, London, England, UK
birthname = Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman
yearsactive = 1978- present
baftaawards = Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1992 ""
emmyawards = Outstanding Lead Actor - Miniseries/Movie
1996 ""
goldenglobeawards =
1997 ""
sagawards = Best Actor - Telelvision Movie
1997 ""

Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman (born 21 February 1946) is a Tony Award- nominated English film, television and stage actor. He has won the Emmy, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Awards, and is perhaps best known to film audiences for his roles as Hans Gruber in "Die Hard" and Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" films. He also featured prominently as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1991 blockbuster, '. More recently, Rickman portrayed Judge Turpin in Tim Burton's ', a role that brought forth predictions of his first Oscar nomination (although he was not nominated).

Early life

Rickman was born Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman in Hammersmith, London to a working-class family, the son of Margaret Doreen Rose (née Bartlett), a housewife, and Bernard Rickman, a factory worker.cite news|last=Solway|first=Diane|coauthors=|title=Profile: Alan Rickman|pages=|publisher=European Travel and Life|date=August, 1991|url=|accessdate=2007-10-03] Rickman's mother was Welsh and a Methodist and his father was of Irish Catholic background.cite news|last=Mackenzie|first=Suzie|coauthors=|title=ANGEL WITH HORNS|pages=|publisher=The Guardian|date=1998-01-03|url=|accessdate=2007-10-03] [ [ Search Results ] ] He has one older brother, a younger brother and a sister. His father died when Rickman was eight, leaving his mother to raise their four children mostly alone. She married again, but divorced his stepfather after three years. "There was one love in her life," Rickman later said. Rickman excelled at calligraphy and watercolour painting, and he won a scholarship to Latymer Upper School in London, where he started getting involved in drama. After graduating, Rickman attended Chelsea College of Art and Design and made his way as a graphic designer, which he considered a more stable occupation than acting. "Drama school wasn't considered the sensible thing to do at 18," he said. Rickman received a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) which he attended from 1972–1974. While there, he studied Shakespeare's works and supported himself working as a dresser for Sir Nigel Hawthorne and Sir Ralph Richardson, [ [ Interview Alan Rickman] Retrieved on 20 December 2007.] and left after winning several prizes such as the Emile Littler Prize, the Forbes Robertson Prize, and the Bancroft Gold Medal.


After graduating from the RADA, Rickman worked extensively with various British repertory and experimental theatre groups on productions including "The Seagull" and Snoo Wilson's "The Grass Widow" at the Royal Court Theatre, and has appeared three times at the Edinburgh International Festival. In 1978, he played with the Court Drama Group, performing in several plays, most notably "Romeo And Juliet" and "A View from the Bridge". While working with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) he starred in, among other things, "As You Like It". He would be the male lead in the 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company production of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses", directed by Christopher Hampton, which would be a sellout. [

He met his longtime girlfriend, politician Rima Horton, when he was 19 years old. [ Vanity Fair - Living Dangerously (May 1987)] Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] When the show went across the Atlantic in 1986, Rickman went on with it to Broadway and there earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance. [ [ - Les Liaisons Dangereuses Tony Award Info] Retrieved on 7 January 2008.]

"You can act truthfully or you can lie. You can reveal things about yourself or you can hide. Therefore, the audience recognises something about themselves or they don't — You hope they don't leave the theatre thinking 'that was where's the cab?'" [Tait, Ollie; MacDonald-Smith, Fiona. " [ Mellow Drama] ", Big Issue, May 1992. Retrieved on 23 December 2007.]

While with the RSC he shared a house with fellow company member Ruby Wax. Rickman put her into writing comedy and proceeded to direct several of her successful shows. "If people want to know who I am, it is all in the work", he said.

To television audiences he also became known as Mr. Slope in the BBC's 1980s adaptation of "Barchester Towers". He played future Irish Taoiseach and president Éamon de Valera in the film "Michael Collins" alongside Liam Neeson as the title character. While playing romantic leads in British movies (Colonel Brandon in "Sense and Sensibility"; Jamie in "Truly, Madly, Deeply"), he was generally typecast in Hollywood films as an over-the-top villain (German terrorist Hans Gruber in "Die Hard" and the Sheriff of Nottingham in '). His role in "Die Hard" earned him a spot on the American Film Institute's list of the "100 Best Heroes/Villains" as the 46th best villain in film history. His performance of Sheriff of Nottingham in ' also made him known as one of the best actors to portray a villain in films. [ [ Hannibal voted top film villain] from "BBC"] [ [ The Screening Room's Top 10 British Villains] from "CNN"] [ [,,315063,00.html Pop Culture News TOUGH ACTOR TO FOLLOW] from "Entertainment Weekly"]

Rickman has also played comedic roles in films such as "Galaxy Quest", "Dogma", and "Love Actually". He won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his performance as ' in 1996, and was also nominated for an Emmy for his work as Dr. Alfred Blalock in 2004's "Something the Lord Made". He appeared in the "Harry Potter" films as the Potions professor Severus Snape. Rickman was cast in 2005 as the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" film. Coincidentally, Rickman and David Learner, who occupied Marvin's costume for the TV adaptation and stage shows, studied together at RADA. He was very busy in 2006 with "Snow Cake" (with Sigourney Weaver and Carrie-Anne Moss) which had its debut at the Berlinale, and also ' (with Dustin Hoffman), directed by Tom Tykwer.

Rickman has performed on stage in Noel Coward's romantic comedy "Private Lives", which transferred to Broadway after its successful run in London at the Albery Theatre and ended in September 2002. Rickman had reunited with his "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" co-star Lindsay Duncan, and director Howard Davies for this Tony Award-winning production.

His previous stage performance was as Mark Antony, opposite Helen Mirren as Cleopatra, in the Royal National Theatre's production of "Antony and Cleopatra" at the Olivier Theatre in London, which ran from 20 October to 3 December 1998. Before that, he performed in Yukio Ninagawa's "Tango at the End of Winter" in London's West End and the Riverside Studio production of "Hamlet" in 1991, directed by Robert Sturua. He directed "The Winter Guest" at London's Almeida Theatre in 1995. He also directed the film version in 1996 starring Emma Thompson and her real life mother Phyllida Law.

Rickman has also been featured in several musical works — most notably in a song composed by the English songwriter Adam Leonard. Moreover, the actor played a "Master of Ceremonies" part in announcing the various instruments in Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells II" on the track "The Bell". Rickman was one of the many artists who recited Shakespearian sonnets on the 2002-released "When Love Speaks" CD, and is also featured prominently in a music video by the band Texas entitled "In Demand", which premiered on Europe MTV in August 2000. In the video, lead singer Sharleen Spiteri danced the tango with Rickman: the clip was nominated for Best British Video at the Brit Awards.

Rickman played Severus Snape, the seemingly sinister potions master of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter saga, in the five films of that series to date. In 2007, "Entertainment Weekly" named him one of their favorite people in pop culture, saying that in the "Harry Potter" films, "he may not be on screen long - but he owns every minute," and that he is capable of "turning a simple retort into a mini-symphony of contempt." [ [,,20043289_20043293_20043278_3,00.html Entertainment Weekly's 100 Favorite People in Pop Culture] ]

Rickman directed the play "My Name Is Rachel Corrie" in April 2005 at the Royal Court Theatre, London, and won the Theatre Goers' Choice Awards for best director. The production is based on the writings of Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old American woman who was killed on 16 March 2003 by an Israeli armored bulldozer. The show played at the West End's Playhouse Theatre in London from March to May 2006. The play also ran at both the Galway Arts Festival and the Edinburgh Fesitval in 2006.

In 1995 Rickman turned down the role of Alec Trevelyan in the 1995 James Bond film "Goldeneye". Rickman has taken issue with being labeled as a "villain actor", citing the fact that he has not portrayed a stock villain character since the Sheriff of Nottingham in 1991. He has further said that he has continued to portray characters of complex and varying emotions, and does not think it is fair to assign characters a label of good or evil, hero or villain. Prior to the book release of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", Rickman had spoken on occasion about Snape quite easily, but with the controversy of the character following the events of the sixth book, Rickman refused to speak on the character. [cite web
last = Schwartz
first = Missy
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Sundance Diary: Alan Rickman talks 'Harry Potter' ..., well, sorta
work =
publisher = Entertainment Weekly
date = 2008-01-24
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-01-25

In 2007, Rickman appeared in the critically-acclaimed "" directed by Tim Burton; he played the role of Judge Turpin, the main antagonist. According to "Miami Herald", Rickman performance "makes the judge's villainy something to simultaneously savor and despise", with his "oozing moral rot and arrogance". [ [ Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (R) ***½ | Sinister musical's razor sharp - 12/21/2007 - ] ]

In the media

Rickman was chosen by "Empire" as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (No 34) in 1995 and ranked No 59 in "Empire"'s "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list in October 1997. Rickman became Vice-Chairman of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 2003. He was voted No 19 in "Empire" magazine's Greatest Living Movie Stars over the age of 50 and was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actor (Play): in 1987 for "Les Liaisons Dangereuses", and in 2002 for a revival of Noel Coward's "Private Lives".

Alan Rickman was recently sent up by BBC Radio 4's Dead Ringers programme. The impressionist programme satirised Rickman's distinctive inflection when playing 'baddies.'

Research to find 'the perfect voice' has indicated that Rickman's voice is one of the best. ["BBC News", 2008. [ Formula 'secret of perfect voice'] .] The combination of his voice along with Jeremy Irons' voice was deemed the best voice based on intonation, trustworthiness, and soothingness.


In early 2008, several teenagers from Iowa formed a cult-like religion centering around Alan Rickman. The religion is similar to a parody of other religions, in that there are equivalents to Jesus, Buddha, and many others. Rickmanism's equivalent of Jesus is a boy named William, who is a member of this religion himself. He enjoys the attention he gets because all of the other members of Rickmanism are female. There are seven Rickmanites total: Lemily, Lasha, Laclynn, William, Kat, Sam, and Rachel the Vampire. The practice of Rickmanism involves refering to William as Jesus, and saying "Rickman" instead of "God" (i.e. "Oh, my Rickman!" "Rickman, that was awesome!").

Filmography and awards


External links

*imdb name|id=0000614|name=Alan Rickman
*ibdb name|id=57772|name=Alan Rickman
* [ Alan Rickman]

NAME= Rickman, Alan
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Rickman, Alan Sidney Patrick
SHORT DESCRIPTION=English film, television and stage actor
DATE OF BIRTH= 21 February 1946
PLACE OF BIRTH= Hammersmith, London, England

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