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Harry Potter Movie Stars - Alan RickmanAlan Sidney Patrick Rickman (born February 21, 1946) is an English stage and screen actor.
Born in Hammersmith, London to a working-class family; his father was Irish Catholic and his mother was Welsh and a Methodist; there was consequently a religious tug-of-war between his parents. His father died when he was 8 years old, and his mother raised him afterwards.
Rickman attended the Chelsea College of Art and made his way as a graphic artist in Soho. He received a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) which he attended from 1972 - 1974. While there, he won the Emile Litter Prize, the Forbes Robertson Prize, and the Bancroft Gold Medal. Since then, he has been a constant presence on the British stage.
Rickman has worked extensively with various British repertory and experimental theater groups including The Seagull, Snoo Wilson's The Grass Widow at the Royal Court and has appeared three times at the Edinburgh International Festival.
While working with the Royal Shakespeare Company he starred in, among other things, As You Like It. He made a particular impression as the male lead in the 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. His casting as Le Vicomte de Valmont won him critical and popular acclaim as the elegant and heartless seducer. When the show came across the Atlantic in 1986, Rickman came with it to Broadway and there earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance. To television audiences he also became known as Mr. Slope in the BBC's 1980s adaptation of Barchester Towers.
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While playing romantic leads in British movies (Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility and Truly, Madly, Deeply), he was generally typecast in Hollywood movies as an over-the-top villain (German terrorist Hans Grüber in Die Hard and the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves). He has also demonstrated considerable talent as a comedy actor in films such as Galaxy Quest, Dogma, and Love Actually. He won a Golden Globe for his excellent performance as Rasputin in 1996. He is best known (to his younger fans) as the sneering potions professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies. More recently, Rickman was cast as the voice of Marvin in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie. Coincidentally, Rickman and David Learner, who occupied Marvin's costume for the TV adaptation and stage shows, studied together at the RADA. Rickman will continue playing the Potions Master Severus Snape in the 5th installment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which is currently being filmed in England. He will also be very busy this year with Snow Cake (with Sigourney Weaver & Carrie-Anne Moss) which will have its debut at the Berlinale and Perfume: the Story of a Murderer (with Dustin Hoffman), directed by Tom Twyker.
Rickman has directed the play, My Name Is Rachel Corrie in April 2005 at the Royal Court Theatre, London and won the Theatre Goers' Choice Awards for best director. His performance on stage in Noel Coward's romantic comedy Private Lives, which had transferred to Broadway after its successful run in London at the Albery Theatre, ended in September 2002. Rickman had reunited with his Les Liaisons Dangereuses co-star, Lindsay Duncan, and director, Howard Davies for this Tony Award winning production.
His previous stage performance was as Marc Antony, opposite Helen Mirren as Cleopatra, in the Royal National Theatre's production of Antony and Cleopatra at the Olivier Theatre in London, which ran October 20th through December 3rd, 1998. Before that, he performed in Yukio Ninagawa's Tango at the End of Winter in London's West End and the Riverside Studio production of Hamlet in 1991, directed by Robert Sturua. And even directing The Winter Guest at London's Almeida Theatre in 1995 (of which he also directed the film version in 1996 starring Emma Thompson and her real life mother Phyllida Law ).
Rickman has also been featured in several musical works, most notably in a song composed by English songwriter Adam Leonard. He also "narrated" the song Bell on the album Tubular Bells II. He was also one of the many artists who recites Shakespearian sonnets on the newly released (Feb. 4, 2002) When Love Speaks CD. He is also featured prominently in a music video, In Demand, by the Scottish band, Texas, which premiered on Europe MTV in August 2000.
Although he has never married, he has been romantically involved with Rima Horton since their days at the Chelsea College of Art.
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