Alan Rickman, the British actor beloved for playing Professor Snape in the Harry Potter film series, has passed away at the age of 69 from cancer.

Born on Feb. 21, 1946, Rickman was also known for his roles in Die Hard, Truly, Madly, Deeply, and Sense and Sensibility, among other films. His latest film, Alice Through the Looking Glass, comes out later this year. It is the sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. Rickman voices Absolem the blue caterpillar in both movies.

The actor was known for his talented portrayal of villainous characters in movies, including Professor Snape as well as Hans Gruber in Die Hard.

Rickman was also an established stage actor, beginning his career with the Royal Shakespeare Company and most recently in Seminar in New York from 2011-2012. In 1987 he won a Tony award for his performance in Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

Harry Potter fans and actors alike have expressed their dismay at Rickman’s death, including J.K. Rowling, the author, herself. Rowling went to Twitter to express her regrets: “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. My thoughts are with Rima and the rest of Alan’s family. We have lost a great talent. They have lost part of their hearts.”

Despite his villainous characters, Alan Rickman will be remembered as an excellent actor with an impressive career. Fans will cherish his movies – “Always.”

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Trea Lavery is a Blast correspondent

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