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Alan Rickman

We are not off to a great start this year. First David Bowie, and now Alan Rickman.

You know when you hear that someone famous has passed and then for the first time realize how much you truly liked them? I've always liked Alan Rickman, but his death has put this into sharper perspective: why did I like him so? Rickman was an every-man, not classically handsome, but attractive; he was British and his delivery measured, which gave him a slightly sophisticated air; and he worked on stage and screen, which gave him pedigree. He may have been made famous to audiences playing Hans Gruber in Die Hard, but it is his softer performances that get me, specifically Truly Madly Deeply. What always stood out to me was his ability to make every character, even the villains, sympathetic or, at the very least, understandable. In my book, that is the mark of a good actor.

Selected filmography:

Die Hard

Truly Madly Deeply

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Sense and Sensibility

Galaxy Quest

Harry Potter movies

Love Actually

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Alice in Wonderland

Lee Daniel's The Butler