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Alan Rickman is remembered as a fantastic actor with a unique voice who was best known for portraying professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series. But that character is far from the only role the actor breathed life into throughout his career.
Rickman died Thursday at the age of 69 due to cancer. Those who worked with him through the years called him a kind, funny, gracious actor.
Sometimes playing a murderous villain, and other times the voice of reason, Rickman’s performances transcended the screen and made their way into pop culture.
Here are five of Rickman’s top non-Harry Potter performances:
Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988)
Rickman played the main villain in one of the most beloved action films of all time. The London native made his big screen and American debut playing opposite Bruce Willis in 1988’s Die Hard. With some of the best lines in the movie — “shoot the glass!” — Rickman made Gruber a cold, calculating bad guy who had no qualms about shooting people in the head at any given moment. For his death plunge, the story goes Rickman thought he would be dropped onto an air bag on the count of three, but the crew let go on count two for a genuine surprised reaction.
Sheriff George of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
Rickman played a cold-blooded villain once again in 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Rickman allegedly turned the sheriff role down twice before accepting with permission to interpret the part as he saw fit. With long, curly jet black hair and a hair-trigger temper, the sheriff flew into murderous rages and also had the memorable “carve his heart out with a spoon” line. The role also helped turn Rickman into an action figure.
Metatron in Dogma (1999)
Rickman got to spread his wings, so to speak, in the 1999 Kevin Smith comedy Dogma when he portrayed the angel Metatron, the voice of God. Acting as a guide and the voice of reason for the main character, Bethany, the Metatron chraracter gave humorous insight on how God, heaven and hell, at least in Smith’s world, worked. He also explained why angels couldn’t drink alcohol, and, in a moving speech, why the Metatron always regretted having to tell a child Jesus Christ that he would be murdered for others’ sin. On Thursday, Smith said, “Alan. Gone. F—, this one hurts …”
Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest (1999)
In the cult favorite, frame-film Galaxy Quest, Rickman portrayed Alexander Dane, the actor who played alien Dr. Lazarus of Tev’Meck. Playing a stuffy, Shakespearean actor who does not embrace his sci-fi TV role, Rickman’s character comes full circle after a dramatic death scene. Again, Rickman has one of the film’s most memorable lines: “By Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!” On Thursday, Tim Allen, the film’s main male star said, “Very sad that Alan has passed.”
Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Rickman got to show off his singing talent in Tim Burton’s 2007 musical Sweeney Todd when he played opposite Johnny Depp. Once again playing the villain, Judge Turpin falsely convicts and sentences Todd to penal colony so he can pursue Todd’s wife and later his daughter. In the film, Rickman and Depp sing the duet “Pretty Women.” Todd and his straight razor eventually get revenge against the judge.
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