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Alan Rickman is a British actor best known for his role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter film series and Hans Gruber in the action film Die Hard. His distinctive voice has made him a frequent subject for impersonations by other actors.
Rickman made his onscreen debut playing Tybalt in a 1978 TV movie adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. He went on to act in several TV miniseries throughout the ‘80s before landing his first big screen role, Hans Gruber, in Die Hard (1988). He won a Primetime Emmy and a Golden Globe for his titular role in the TV movie Rasputin (1996). He went on to co-star as Professor Snape in the eight films in the Harry Potter series beginning with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001 and ending with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011.
On May 6th, 2009, UK television channel T4 uploaded a video to its YouTube channel featuring actor Steve Coogan impersonating Rickman. As of February 2014, the video has over 290,000 views.
On May 20th, 2012, photographer David Michalek uploaded a short film starring Rickman to his YouTube channel. The video features Rickman, drinking tea in slow motion set to dramatic music from the film Inception. As of February 2014, the film has over 1 million views.
On October 11th, 2013, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon uploaded a segment from its show to its YouTube channel featuring actor Benedict Cumberbatch and Jimmy Fallon doing impersonations of Rickman in what Fallon called a “Rickman-off.” (shown below) As of February 2014, the video has over 890,000 views.
As of February 2014, Rickman’s Facebook page has over 130,000 likes.
Severus Snape, who is played by Rickman in the eight Harry Potter films, is the potions master of Hogwarts school and one of the main antagonists throughout the Harry Potter series. However, in the last book, he is revealed to be a tragic hero. His constantly acerbic attitude and wit, as well as the revelations in the last book, have made him a fan favorite. Rickman’s portrayal of the character in the film series only increased fan interest and Snape is frequently featured in fan art and fanfics.
Snape Kills Dumbledore
Previous to the sixth Harry Potter book’s release, a scanned page from a preview copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince began circulating online, spoiling the scene in which Severus Snape kills Albus Dumbledore, Harry’s mentor/guide and the headmaster of Hogwarts. A LiveJournal community named _dumbledoredies was created on July 15th, 2005, featuring neon colored GIFs with spoilers in a large font. It mass-friending users who had Harry Potter listed as an interest, causing commotion among the fans on the site. The scan of the book also inspired several YTMND sites and fan reaction videos, which show fans in tears after reading the scene.
Alan Rickman was born on February 21st, 1946, in London, England. He studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.