Title: Alan Rickman: A Legendary Actor
Author: Philippe Gairaud
Review: As a non-fiction review this is will slightly different to my average review. I picked this book up purely because I love Alan Rickman and wanted to know more about the man behind the legend that was Severus Snape. This book very short but I loved it nonetheless. We get some background on Alan which I enjoyed especially since he started as an Art Major while performing in amateur theater where he met his wife Rima Horton for the first time.
Alan started his professional acting career in 1975 and made his television debut in 1978 as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet which is befitting of a man who started in theater. From then on he started in numerous television shows and series until he made his film debut in Die Hard as Hans Gruber only 10 years after his television debut. He also starred in many great films over the following 10 years including Rasputin and Truly, Madly, Deeply. It is also in this period that he begins to pick up some of his numerous awards including an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his primary role in Rasputin – which is a great film if you haven’t seen it already.
Alongside his television and movie career he was still a keen stage performer. He entered the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1978 where he was cast in some keys roles including Hamlet in 1992 and Antonio from Antony and Cleopatra in 1998. His film career also took of after his appearance as Hans Gruber in Die Hard with him being cast in several amazing films from 1992 – 2011. Some of these films included Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Love Actually, Dark Habour and of course, the Harry Potter franchise. Rickman received several accolades for his role as Severus Snape and would easily qualify as one of his best works.
During his career Rickman won many awards and was nominated for so many more including that fact he was nominated for BAFTA’s for his roles as Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995), and his role in Dogma (1999).
His portrayal of Severus Snape in the triumphant series of eight films that adapts very famous novels by JK Rowling about Harry Potter (2001-2011); I do not know about you, but I can think of no better actor than Rickman to transform himself into another troublesome, enigmatic character as Snape, who is also my favorite professer that inhabits the world of Hogwarts: this mixture of nonchalance, and English phlegm perversity and rigid persona Rickman projects with every gesture and intonation is absolutely stunning.
In addition to his life in front of the camera he also did a huge amount of work behind it starting in 1997 when he directed The Winter Guest and A Little Chaos in 2014.
In his personal life Rickman married Rima Horton in 2012 whom he had been dating since 1965, the ceremony was held in secret and not revealed until 2015. I found this to be extremely sad because having only been married for 3 years the beloved Alan Rickman passed away on January 14th 2016 because of cancer leaving a massive hole in the hearts of his fans and the television, stage and movie world.
This may just be a small glimpse at the life and works of Alan Rickman but we can truly see he was an amazing man. He will always be remembered with fond memories by me and in my heart he will always be Professor Severus Snape, Potions Master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I loved this book and I would recommend it to all Alan Rickman fans of which there are millions. And despite its length I loved getting this small glimpse into the life of an actor who honestly changed my life for the better.
One downside to this book is there are a lot of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors but the information is correct and you can see the author did enjoy the work of Alan Rickman, so if these errors don’t put you off I would recommend picking it up.
Buy it here: