Biography of Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman is a British theater and film actor who gained worldwide fame after the release of the action movie Die Hard, the romantic comedy Love Actually, and the Harry Potter movie saga. Winner of Golden Globe and BAFTA awards.
Pictured: Alan Rickman
Childhood and family
Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman was born on February 21, 1946 in London to an Irish and Welsh mother. The parents of the future famous actor also had talents – although his father worked at a factory, he was a good artist, his mother, a housewife, sang beautifully.
The family was rather poor. In addition to Alan, the Rickmans had three more children growing up: the eldest David (b. 1944), the youngest Michael (b. 1947) and sister Sheila (b. 1949).
Alan Rickman in high school
The family adhered to strict principles of education, where, according to Alan, “children should be seen, but not heard.” And certainly none of the closest relatives in a special way encouraged his interest in the theater. Alan subsequently assured that his talent was “just an accident.” However, the actor always emphasized that his parents were wonderful people, and he received their care and support to the fullest.
In 1954, Alan’s father died of cancer. At that time, the boy was only eight years old, and the rest of the children were nine, seven and five. The death of the sole breadwinner came as a great shock to the entire family.
Young Alan Rickman
Alan was shocked by the loss of his beloved father, but the extreme affection for his mother did not allow him to plunge into a long despondency. The boy tried with all his might to remove the burden of worries from her shoulders, helping around the house and not giving her unnecessary trouble. Also, Alan diligently sat down for textbooks, trying to be the best student in the class. Soon, perseverance bore fruit: he received a scholarship from the elite London school “Latimer”. There, the boy first became interested in drama and appeared on stage in a school production.
First steps to success
So, Alan made his debut in the student production of King Grizzly Beard. Countless similar school plays followed. In 1962, after one of these amateur performances (16-year-old Rickman played a role in the “Caucasian Chalk Circle”), his creative mentor Tierner Glyn said: “Alan, your voice is a guide to later life.” Even then, the whole environment of Rickman was sure that he was an actor from God.
What was the surprise of relatives when, after school, Alan, with the words “dramatic art does not seem to me a practical choice,” entered the College of Art and Design in Chelsea.
After graduating from college, Rickman founded a design studio in Soho with friends. It could not be called a successful enterprise: although Alan assured that he “had a great time,” the business did not bring much money to its creators.
Alan Rickman graduated from the College of Art and Design
Rickman was increasingly drawn to that first childhood dream – the professional stage. As a result, in 1972, 26-year-old Alan decided to go back to school. This time to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He was accepted the first time. Moreover, Alan became a brilliant student who received a royal scholarship. The aspiring actor received such awards as the Emily Litter Prize, the Forbes Roberston Prize and the Bancroft Gold Medal.
Alan Rickman acted in plays based on Ibsen, Brecht and Shakespeare
However, after graduating from the academy, his career did not go uphill. Rickman had to travel all over England, playing in the plays of Ibsen, Brecht and Shakespeare. In 1981 he traveled to the Soviet Union with the play The Brothers Karamazov. Alan Rickman grabbed any job and honed his skills for many more years.
And now, the first victory – the role of Valmont in the play “Dangerous Liaisons” by Choderlos de Laclos, where he won unconditional success with the English public. The audience loved him so much that they began to buy posters with the image of Rickman in advance. So for the first time in the history of London, posters for the play became an additional source of income for the theater.
Alan Rickman in Dangerous Liaisons
In 1986, the production was invited to Broadway, and in 1987 Alan Rickman received the New York Critics Circle American Critics Circle Award for it. The actor became an American theater star. Producer Joel Silver noticed him, offering him a film role in the action movie Die Hard.
It was Die Hard, a 1988 film directed by John McTiernan about terrorists who hijacked a plane, that made Alan Rickman a Hollywood star of the first magnitude.
Alan Rickman in the movie Die Hard
Before filming began, Alan had doubts: he was already 42, and he was just about to make his debut in a big movie. In addition, the main partner on the site is Bruce Willis himself. Rickman had to act as the main villain, with which, by the way, he coped brilliantly. True, then he complained for a long time, they say, he did his work almost “for nothing”. According to Rickman, Willis’ fee was so high (about $7 million) that the directors of the project recruited other actors on a “whomever they could pay nothing” basis.
The glory went to Rickman along with the label “that bad guy”
But in the long run, Rickman still hit the jackpot: “Die Hard” instantly became a classic of the genre and critics argued for a long time whose role was performed better – the good guy Bruce or his opponent Alan. The actor subsequently sadly joked more than once that he got fame along with the label “that bad guy.” Still, further proposals were not long in coming.
Alan Rickman in the movie January Man
So, in 1989, he had a small role in Pat O’Connor’s January Man, where he managed to work with the stars of the time – Kevin Klein and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.
And already in 1991, he starred in several films at once: the thriller Country in the Closet, the romantic story True, Madly, Deep, and the melodrama Close My Eyes. His partners on the site were Clive Owen, Madeley Stowe, Juliet Ivenson.
Alan Rickman in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”
True, only one of his works of that year, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, directed by Kevin Reynolds, aroused the greatest interest among viewers and film critics, where Rickman got the role of an embittered sheriff. For the sympathy of the public in this story, Alan had to compete with Kevin Costner himself in the image of Robin Hood.
In 1995, Rickman finally created the image of a good hero (“Sense and Sensibility”)
In 1995, Rickman finally created the image of a goodie in the film adaptation of the novel Sense and Sensibility. Emma Thompson, scriptwriter and friend of Alan, was able to convince the producers that the actor would look good in the film. Subsequently, some critics even felt that Rickman came out too “good” character. But fans of this opinion did not share, and the actor was nominated for a BAFTA award in the category for best supporting role.
Alan Rickman in the movie Rasputin
In 1996, Alan received two awards at once: Emmy and Golden Globe. They noted the title role of Rickman in the film “Rasputin”, where he talentedly expressed the image of a Russian rebel and a historically controversial personality.
In the same year, Alan tried himself as a director, staging a play based on Sharman MacDonald’s play The Winter Guest. The debut did not go unnoticed: the tape received two awards at the Venice Film Festival.
Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson
As for the acting career, Alan Rickman continued to accumulate dozens of brilliant roles. Among the most famous films in the filmography of the actor of that period are the thriller Judas Kiss by Sebastian Gutierrez, the military drama Michael Collins by Neil Jordan, the comedy Dogma by Kevin Smith, the drama The Barber by Paddy Bretnack and others.
Rickman was invited personally by JK Rowling to play the role of Severus Snape.
In 2000, a new creative era began for the actor: he signed a contract for the role of Severus Snape, the dean of the Slytherin faculty in the Harry Potter series of films about the wizard boy. He received an invitation to this role personally from JK Rowling, the author of a series of novels of the same name. Joan was sure that she simply could not find a more excellent candidate.
Frame from “Potteriana”
If until the release of the first film about the boy, Harry Rickman was an extremely popular actor, then after him he became a cult. Of course, “Potteriana” lit the stars of many, mostly young actors – Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and others. However, they all emphasized more than once how important it was to collaborate on the set with Alan Rickman.
He, in contrast to his villainous roles, was invariably restrained, polite and never stinted on good advice to newcomers.
“Alan is one of the most dedicated and sensitive people in the film industry,” starring actor Daniel Radcliffe spoke of his colleague Rickman.
From 2006 to 2012, directors such as Mark Evans (drama “Snow Cake”), Tom Tykwer (fantasy drama “Perfume”), Tim Burton (musical “Sweeney Todd”), Michael Hoffman (comedy ” Gambit) and others.
Alan Rickman in Love Actually
In 2013, Alan Rickman delighted fans with his participation in the film The CBGB, where he played the legendary musician and owner of the iconic club in New York. Ashley Greene, Stana Katic and Rupert Grint worked on the same set with him. The film was appreciated by both devoted fans of Rickman’s work and numerous film critics.
In 2013, Alan Rickman delighted fans with his participation in the film “CBGB”
By the way, in addition to the undoubted acting talent, Rickman possessed another natural gift – an unusual, velvety, low timbre of voice, as well as perfect English pronunciation. Not without reason in the film industry he was given the nickname The Voice (voice). Alan was often invited to voice animated and feature films. One of the last cartoons he voiced was “Alice in Wonderland” (2010) in the interpretation of Tim Burton, where he worked as the “voice” of the famous caterpillar Absolem.
In 2016, the last film featuring the famous Rickman voice, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, was released, which is a continuation of the film Alice in Wonderland. In this film, Alan Rickman again voiced Absolem (only not a caterpillar, but a butterfly that turned out of it).
Alan Rickman’s personal life
Alan Rickman has often been called “the last Hollywood one-man”. The actor met his future and only wife Rima Horton in 1965, when he was 19 and she was 18 years old. A chance meeting gradually grew into love, which warmed the couple throughout their life together, namely 51 years.
Horton Rickman met his future and only wife Rima in 1965.
Rima was and remains a woman of liberal views. As a young woman, she ran for Parliament as a candidate for the Labor Party. She chose teaching economics as her life calling.
Alan Rickman with his wife
The couple has always lived very closed, Rickman did not like to go into the details of his personal life. They legalized their relationship only in 2012 (after 47 years of dating). Alan commented on the wedding: “It was wonderful because there were no guests.”
The couple also did not have children. Rome once made this decision, the actor supported her: “The fact that I have no children gives me room to work.”
Illness and death
In 2015, a few months after the wedding, Rome and Alan learned that the actor was seriously ill. Doctors diagnosed him with an oncological disease, pancreatic cancer. The forecasts were disappointing. Alan Rickman died on January 14, 2016. A memorial service for the actor was held two weeks later at St. Paul’s Church (“church of the actors”) in London. The service was attended only by close people and family.