Celebrated and beloved throughout his career, actor and filmmaker Alan Rickman died today at the age of 69. He had been suffering from cancer. A member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he was an acclaimed star of both stage and screen, where his many memorable roles were testament to his talent for the dramatic arts. His stage work included a breakthrough leading part in Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985, which would soon be followed by a highly successful transition into film. Rickman's debut role was one of his most famous - as villain Hans Gruber in John McTiernan's 1988 action classic Die Hard. From there, his film career continued with one excellent turn after another, in films such as Truly Madly Deeply, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Sense and Sensibility, Galaxy Quest, Love Actually and, of course, all eight of the Harry Potter films. He also wrote and directed two films, 1997's The Winter Guest, and last year's A Little Chaos. Among the many film honours received through his career were four BAFTA nominations and one win, two Chlotrudis Award nominations, a London Critics Circle Film Award, two SAG nominations for film and one more for TV (his TV work also yielded Rickman two Emmy nominations and one win, and a Golden Globe), two major awards from the Venice Film Festival and a Camerimage prize. He is survived by his spouse of four years, Rima Horton. Film fans around the world are sure to miss this fine performer; be sure to see his final role later this year, providing voice work for Alice Through the Looking Glass.