The Best of Alan Rickman
A Tribute by FF2 Associate Jarrod Emerson
The month of January 2016 was a bit rough. I was barely beginning to process the death of the legendary David Bowie when I awoke four mornings later to the news of actor Alan Rickman’s tragic passing from pancreatic cancer at the age of 69. The man, who many younger generations knew as Severus Snape in the beloved Harry Potter series, was gone.
I still remember my first brush with Rickman in the 1999 Tim Allen comedy Galaxy Quest. In the film, Rickman portrayed a typecast actor, Alexander Dayne, who despite his Shakespearean background remains known for his stint on the eponymous Star Trek-like cult show. Immediately struck by his memorable voice and comedic quips, he immediately became one of my favorite actors.
Born to a working class London family, Rickman was always artistically inclined. Although he initially received training as a graphic designer, Rickman instinctively knew his heart was in drama. After spending three years studying at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he spent the majority of the 1970s and 80s honing his craft on stage and on television in England. It wasn’t until 1988 that Rickman came to the attention of American moviegoers as the villainous Hans Gruber in John McTiernan’s iconic thriller, Die Hard, a role that opened the door to a long film career.
With his wonderfully deep and distinctive voice, and, seemingly, intense demeanor (I say seemingly because he was apparently an incredibly kind and gentle man), Rickman proved a true character actor, possessing the remarkable ability to disappear into any role he played. Throughout his impressive career, Rickman flourished in practically every imaginable genre in collaborations with a wide array of talented filmmakers.
As I write this, one of Rickman’s final performances is currently playing in theaters - Gavin Hood’s political thriller Eye In The Sky. In tribute to the late, great Alan Rickman, I wish to present my very favorite roles of one of the world’s greatest actors.
The following five films/franchises show Rickman at his very best:
- DIE HARD (1988)
- SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1995)
- DOGMA (1999)
- HARRY POTTER FILM SERIES (2001-2011)
- EYE IN THE SKY (2015)
MY BOTTOM LINE
There is a reason why multiple generations were captured by Rickman's skills. With an unforgettable presence, the sky was the limit for Rickman, easily one of the greatest thespians to grace the silver screen. Whether you knew him as a fantastic villain, a comedic genius or an enigmatic character that kept the viewer guessing until the end, Rickman gave us many voices and those shall be heard forever!
© Jarrod Emerson (4/28/16) FF2 Media