British actor Alan Rickman dies age 69

2016-01-14 14:58

Los Angeles – Alan Rickman has died at the age of 69.

The British actor lost a battle with cancer and passed away in London, his family has confirmed on Thursday.

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.

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."

English comedian and writer, Stephen Fry, took to social media shortly after the news first broke to share his condolences.

Fry tweeted: "What desperately sad news about Alan Rickman. A man of such talent, wicked charm & stunning screen & stage presence. He'll be sorely missed."

J.K. Rowling also shared a touching message on Twitter after Rickman's death was announced. She tweeted; "There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman's death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man."

Read more on:    celebrity deaths  |  movies

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.