Alan Rickman has died at the age of 69.
The British actor has lost a battle with cancer and passed away in London, his family has confirmed on Thursday (14.01.16).
Rickman had been dealing with his illness in secret and wanted to keep his medical problems a private matter.
The family statement said: "The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends."
Rickman had a fabulous acting career that spanned five decades with memorable roles in movies such as 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves', 'Love, Actually' and as villain Hans Gruber in action classic 'Die Hard' - in which he starred opposite Bruce Willis and was a role he was offered two days after arriving in Los Angeles at the age of 41.
In 2006, Rickman directed "My Name is Rachel Corrie," an off-Broadway play about the 23-year-old pro-Palestinian activist killed by an Israel Defense Forces bulldozer on March 16, 2003, while attempting to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian building.
But to millions around the world he will forever be known for portraying Professor Severus Snape in the 'Harry Potter' films.
Last year, Rickman married his life-long partner Rima Horton, who he met when he was 19 and she was 18 and whom he lived with in London for over 50 years.
When asked what the secret was to his happy relationship - even though he wasn't married - in April, he spilled: "We are married, just recently. It was great, because no one was there. After the wedding in New York we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and ate lunch."
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