London: Alan Rickman has died aged 69, his agent has confirmed. He had been suffering from cancer, and passed away in London on Thursday, his family said.
A family statement said: “The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends.”
The actor was known to generations for his roles in Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Sense and Sensibility and Love Actually, among dozens of other films and stage productions. He became a household name playing Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.
Rickman had not previously spoken about his illness publicly. The news is likely to be a shock for fans, and comes just days after the death of David Bowie, who had also been secretly living with terminal cancer.
Rickman is survived by his wife Rima Horton, whom he married secretly last year after meeting 50 years ago. After living together since 1977, the couple chose to finally marry in New York in April 2015. In an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper, last year, he surprised fans after being asked the secret to a successful relationship without getting married.
He replied: “We are married. Just recently. It was great, because no one was there. After the wedding in New York we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and ate lunch.”