Stage, TV, and film actor Alan Rickman passed away at 69 years old just yesterday, January 14. The Guardian reports that he "died surrounded by family and friends." While the world mourns the loss of such an incredibly talented actor, those who knew him have started sharing stories of how kind-hearted the Harry Potter actor was in real life, proving that we didn’t just lose an amazing actor, but an amazing human being.
Sir Ian McKellen, famous for his role as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Magneto and the X-Men movies, recalls how Rickman welcomed and defended him in the movie Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny.
ALAN RICKMAN (1946-2016) There is so much that is matchless to remember about Alan Rickman. pic.twitter.com/x6cRB4VIIS— Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) January 14, 2016
Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe also released a touching statement about his co-star.
Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with. He is also, one of the loyalest and most supportive people I’ve ever met in the film industry. He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I’m pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn’t have to do that. I know other people who’ve been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say "if you call Alan, it doesn’t matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he’s doing, he’ll get back to you within a day."
People create perceptions of actors based on the parts they played so it might surprise some people to learn that contrary to some of the sterner(or downright scary) characters he played, Alan was extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny. And certain things obviously became even funnier when delivered in his unmistakable double-bass.
As an actor he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child. Working with him at such a formative age was incredibly important and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career. Film sets and theatre stages are all far poorer for the loss of this great actor and man.
Kate Winslet, who worked with Rickman when she was just starting out, told Buzz Feed that she was at first intimidated by the English actor.
We are all so devastated to lose Alan. He was loved enormously by so many. He was an exceptionally warm and giving man and an utterly phenomenal actor and gifted director. I remember being so intimidated by him when we worked together when I was 19 , because he had such a powerful and commanding presence . And that voice! Oh, that voice….. But the reality of course, was that he was the kindest and best of men. Had the patience of a saint. He was a warm hearted puppy dog, who would do anything for anyone if it made them happy. He was a loving and devoted partner to Rima, and like so many of us in our vast industry, my life was enriched by knowing him. My heart goes out to his family and those he loved.
Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter, also shared a touching encounter with the actor. "
I was at Leavesden Studios today when I heard the news. As I walked through the canteen I thought of Alan queuing up for his lunch with us mere mortals. I recalled the trailer in which he offered me some of the greatest advice I ever received about this mad profession we shared. Being back in those corridors made me remember a lot of things and I will treasure those memories all my life. He inspired my career more than he ever knew and I'll miss him.
Emma Thompson, whom Rickman worked with many times, including in Love Actually, only has wonderful things to say about her co-actor.
What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom and kindness. 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. 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.
He was the ultimate ally. In life, art and politics. I trusted him absolutely. He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again.
Evanna Lynch, the actress who played Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter, recalls how she stayed out of the actor's way when they were filming.
Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley in Harry Potter, once shared a hilarious story of how he drew a rather unflattering portrait of Rickman, not knowing that the actor was just right behind him. Watch the video to find out how Rickman reacted.