Emma Thompson Pays Tribute to Alan Rickman: "He Was the Ultimate Ally"

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"Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye."

Emma Thompson paid tribute to her close friend Alan Rickman, who died Thursday of cancer at age 69.

"Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye," the actress wrote in an emotional statement to The Hollywood Reporter. Thompson and Rickman were longtime friends who worked together on seven films, including Love Actually, several Harry Potter pics and Sense and Sensibility.

"What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humor, intelligence, wisdom and kindness," said Thompson. "His capacity to fell you with a look or lift you with a word. The intransigence which made him the great artist he was — his ineffable and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things, including me, and the fact that he never spared me the view. I learned a lot from him."

She continued: "He was the finest of actors and directors. I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to do with his face next. I consider myself hugely privileged to have worked with him so many times and to have been directed by him."

Rickman directed Thompson in 1997's The Winter Guest.

"He was the ultimate ally. In life, art and politics. I trusted him absolutely," she said of her friend. "He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again."

Joining Thompson in heartfelt tributes was Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, who said Rickman was "one of the loyalest and most supportive people" he's ever met in the film industry.

Author J.K. Rowling said, "There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman's death. He was a magnificent actor and a wonderful man."

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