London Actor Alan Rickman

By | December 22, 2010


Alan Rickman’s talent was first dedicated to theatre. However, the cinema industry did more than welcome this excellent actor. The whole public may not remember his name, but each of us is for sure always very pleased to see him on the screen.


Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman was born on February 21, 1946, in Hammersmith, London, from a Welsh mother and an Irish father. He and his three brothers and sisters were almost only raised by their mother for their father died when Alan was 8 years old.

Already gifted for art as a child, Alan won a scholarship to private West London’s Latymer Upper School. It allowed him to later attend the Royal College of Art and to start a successful career as a graphic designer.


But at the age of 26 Alan dropped his career, to pursue his dream of being an actor. He went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art for two years, where he already won several drama prizes, before joining the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). In the 80s he fast became a distinguished stage actor, playing important roles all around the UK. A good illustration is his role of Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, appearing in both London and Broadway RSC’s production, that got him a Tony Award nomination in 1987.


In 1988, despite no experience in cinema, Alan made his debut in cinema with Hollywood production Die Hard, playing a dangerous terrorist. He then played several small roles until his first breakthrough in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves (1991), being the Sheriff of Nottingham opposite Kevin Costner.
But he did not want to be typecast, so the same year he played a sensitive lover in Truly, Madly, Deeply.

Those successes gave Alan further opportunities. He co-starred Emma Thompson – the first of several teaming together – in Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility (1995), and Julia Roberts in Michael Collins (1996). He surprised the public when he played in thriller Judas Kiss (1998) or in the sci-fi Galaxy Quest (1999).

Alan next big hit came in 2001 with his cast in the big production Harry Potter series, in which he perfectly fits the role of enigmatic Professor Severus Snape.
Recently he played the devilish Judge Turpin in Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008).


Alan has been in a relationship with Rima Horton for over 40 years. Rima is an Economics lecturer and has a seat in her district Council. That is the reason why the couple live in separate houses.
Surprisingly they have no children.


Alan is respected both by the public and critics for remaining a true artist, exploring all sides of acting while always challenging himself.

In 1997 Alan turned to directing and made The Winter Guest. It was good enough to be nominated for the Golden Lion in Venice Film Festival.

Discreetly he won more nominations and awards: a BAFTA nomination for Sense and Sensibility, an Emmy and Golden awards for his acclaimed performance in HBO’s TV film Rasputin (1996).

But his growing fame didn’t take away his passion for theatre and he was always present on London stage, for example in Antony and Cleopatra (1998) with Helen Mirren, or in Private Lives (2001).

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