10 Things About Alan Rickman That Will Make You Love and Miss Him Even More
Inimitable and beloved actor Alan Rickman has died in London at age 69 from cancer. Rickman captivated fans of all ages in his almost 40-year stage and cinema career with a wide range of iconic roles like Hans Gruber in the original 1988 Die Hard and Professor Snape in the Harry Potter film series.
Many are mourning the loss of a great talent, a compassionate man and one of the most unique voices in entertainment. Yet there's more to Rickman than talent and a perfect voice. Some lesser-known facts about Rickman will make fans appreciate the legendary actor's uniqueness in ways they might not have known.
He didn't take selfies: Rickman refused to take selfies out of dignity, his friend and the Guardian reporter Katherine Viner recalled. "He refused all selfies — a solid rule about dignity," she wrote. "Non-selfie photos were fine."
He never won an Oscar and didn't care: "Parts win prizes, not actors," he said in 2008. Rickman won a Golden Globe, Emmy, Bafta and other honors throughout his several-decades career, but never an Oscar.
He believed with talent came responsibility: "Talent is an accident of genes, and a responsibility," Rickman said. He publicly disapproved of what he called a "Hollywood ending" in the 1996 Irish civil war biopic Michael Collins, in which he played Éamon de Valera, because he believed art was responsible for educating as well as entertaining.
He knew how to laugh at himself: Rickman parodied himself in the 1999 comedy Galaxy Quest as a Shakespearean actor (Rickman was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company) and in Victoria Wood's Christmas special in 2000 as an honorable colonel in the Battle of Waterloo.
He failed his driving test for being too careful: Rickman failed his California driving test the first time for "driving too cautiously through a green light," according to IMDb.
He was once a graphic designer: He studied graphic design as an undergrad at the Chelsea College Of Art and Design and the Royal College Of Art. Before pursuing acting at age 26, he founded a graphic design company called Graphiti.
His wedding reception was a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge: He married his wife, Rima Horton, in a private New York City ceremony in 2012. The two celebrated their vows by taking a quaint stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge and grabbing lunch together. They had been dating since 1965 when he met her at a drama club.
He shot one of the most famous Die Hard scenes standing on one leg: Rickman tore cartilage in his leg while shooting the very first scene of Die Hard, forcing him to shoot the scene — when he first meets Bruce Willis — while discreetly standing on one leg.
He turned down playing Frank Sinatra in a biopic: Of the many roles Rickman said he turned down in his career, the decision to play Sinatra was a hard no. "Even I knew that was a bad idea," he said in a 2015 interview. "They'll throw anything at you at certain times. So, you know, to thine own self be true."
He never watched himself on screen: Rickman said he never once watched any of the movies he acted in. "Never," he responded to the question in a 2015 interview. "It's done. That's how I feel about that. I'm not saying it's wrong for everybody, I probably should be stronger and learn to do it, but I think you start to edit yourself."
Correction: Jan. 14, 2016