After news of Alan Rickman’s death broke Thursday, colleagues and fans alike took to social media to honor the actor, who played professor Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” films. And of course, plenty of tributes came from his “Potter” costars, as well as writer J.K. Rowling, with many commenting on his acting ability, character, and sense of humor–a stark contrast to some of the villainous characters he was known to play.
“There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death,” Rowling said on Twitter. “He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.” She continued: “My thoughts are with [Rickman’s wife] Rima and the rest of Alan’s family. We have all lost a great talent. They have lost part of their hearts.”
Rowling’s praise of Rickman as both an actor and person were echoed by numerous costars.
“I’m very sad to hear about Alan today,” Emma Watson, who played Hermione, posted to her Facebook page. “I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor. I’ll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you.” Watson also tweeted numerous quotes attributed to Rickman.
Similarly, Rupert Grint–who played Ron Weasley–released a statement, saying, “I am devastated to hear about the passing of Alan Rickman, I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to work with him on numerous occasions–Even though he has gone–I will always hear his voice. My thoughts are with his friends and family at this time.”
Grint’s onscreen brothers James and Oliver Phelps, who played the Weasley twins, also spoke out, with Oliver in particular mentioning his personal experience with the actor: “Terribly sad news about the passing of Alan Rickman. A funny and engaging person who put a shy young actor at ease when I was on HP.”
Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy, tweeted, “Heartbreaking news about lovely Alan. Nobody else could be as hilarious, tragic, terrifying & truthful all at the same time.”
“Am not prepared for a world without Alan Rickman,” said Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood. “Such a beautiful soul. He was so kind & generous in the moments he wasn’t Snaping about.”
Of course, some also mentioned Rickman’s famous deep voice.
“Everybody loved Alan,” Michael Gambon, who played Dumbledor, said. “He was always happy and fun and creative and very, very funny. He had a great voice, he spoke wonderfully well. He was intelligent, he wrote plays, he directed a play. So he was a real man of the theatre and the stage, and that’s how I think of Alan.”
But one of the most moving tributes came from Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, who posted a lengthy statement on his Google+ page:
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. He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I’m pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn’t have to do that. I know other people who’ve been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say, “If you call Alan, it doesn’t matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he’s doing, he’ll get back to you within a day”.
People create perceptions of actors based on the parts they played so it might surprise some people to learn that contrary to some of the sterner (or downright scary) characters he played, Alan was extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny. And certain things obviously became even funnier when delivered in his unmistakable double-bass.
As an actor he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child. Working with him at such a formative age was incredibly important and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career. Film sets and theatre stages are all far poorer for the loss of this great actor and man.
Although Rickman is perhaps most well-known for the role of Snape, he also starred in a number of beloved movies, including “Sweeney Todd,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “Die Hard,” “Galaxy Quest,” “Sense & Sensibility,” “Love Actually,””Dogma,” “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” and more. Rickman was also an award-winning stage actor.
Rickman died in London with family and friends by his side after battling cancer. He was 69 and is survived by wife Rima.