Today – 21st February – is the 65th birthday of the Sheriff of Nottingham, I mean Severus Snape. Wrong again, I mean Alan Rickman.
Courtesy of IMDb, Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman was born in Hammersmith, London. He attended Chelsea College of Art and Design and then the Royal College of Art.
After graduation, Rickman and several friends opened a graphic design studio called Graphiti. However, Rickman decided it was ‘now or never’ to try acting and so he wrote a letter to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) requesting an audition and was subsequently awarded a place.
Rickman’s first feature film was Die Hard, where he was terrorist Hans Gruber. He recieved critical acclaim for this role, although it was the first in a succession of ‘over-the-top villains’ with which Rickman became affiliated with.
Rickman won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his role as the Sheriff of Nottingham in 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
In 1995 he was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, a film which garned great critical acclaim and was nominated for Best Picture at the 68th Academy Awards in 1995.
For younger audiences, Rickman will be best remembered as Severus Snape, a role he has held in each of the eight Harry Potter films and is somewhat of, in my opinion, a ‘scene stealer’.
He will next be seen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, due to be released in July 2011.