Alan Rickman, best known for his roles in the Harry Potter films and Die Hard, has died aged 69.
The much-loved British actor first shot to stardom in 1988 when he played Hans Gruber, Bruce Willis's adversary, in Die Hard.
He gained legions of fans for his role as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.
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."
Other film credits included 1995's Sense and Sensibility and Michael Collins the following year, both of which earned him Bafta nominations.
After graduating from the Royal College of Art, he opened a graphic design studio alongside some friends but later decided he wanted to pursue acting professionally.
He was awarded a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before going on to work with numerous theatre groups.
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