Alan Rickman was born in London in 1946 and grew up in a working-class family

He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and began his acting career on stage in the 1970s

Before becoming an actor, Rickman worked as a graphic designer and also ran his own graphic design business

He made his film debut in 1988 with a supporting role in the action thriller "Die Hard," playing the villainous Hans Gruber

Rickman received critical acclaim for his portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1991 film "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Rickman directed two films during his career, "The Winter Guest" in 1997 and "A Little Chaos" in 2014

Rickman was married to his partner of over 50 years, Rima Horton, until his death in 2016

Rickman was offered the role of Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" films without having read the books, but became a fan of the series after accepting the role

He was a vocal critic of the film industry's obsession with youth and beauty, and spoke out against ageism in Hollywood

Rickman passed away in January 2016 at the age of 69, from pancreatic cancer