It has now been two years since the world lost Alan Rickman, a legend of the stage and screen.
On January 14 2016 Rickman died at the age of 69 in London following a short battle with cancer.
He had been unaware of the severity of his illness until weeks before and only told his family and friends the tragic secret, keeping it out of the public eye.
Playing a wide variety of roles from super-villain Hans Gruber in Die Hard to his show-stealing performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, to the younger generation Rickman will always be remembered for being Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series of films.
A deeply complex character that was a favourite of every fan, Rickman brought life to the surly potions professor in a way no-one else could have done.
After he had completed his work on the films, Rickman wrote a letter to Empire Magazine that was a heartfelt goodbye to the millions of Potter fans around the world.
In the poignant letter, he wrote:
I have just returned from the dubbing studio where I spoke into a microphone as Severus Snape for absolutely the last time.
On the screen were some flashback shots of Daniel, Emma, and Rupert from ten years ago. They were 12. I have also recently returned from New York, and while I was there, I saw Daniel singing and dancing (brilliantly) on Broadway.
A lifetime seems to have passed in minutes.
Three children have become adults since a phone call with Jo Rowling, containing one small clue, persuaded me that there was more to Snape than an unchanging costume, and that even though only three of the books were out at that time, she held the entire massive but delicate narrative in the surest of hands.
It is an ancient need to be told in stories. But the story needs a great storyteller. Thanks for all of it, Jo.
I’m not crying you are!
We lost Alan Rickman two years ago today. Here's the letter he wrote after completing his work on the Harry Potter films: pic.twitter.com/Vb6MzGQTqP
— Empire Magazine (@empiremagazine) January 14, 2018
As the shocking news of his death made headlines, tributes from some of the most prominent figures in the entertainment industry came flooding in.
Writer of the Harry Potter books J.K. Rowling wrote:
There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death. He was a magnificent actor and a wonderful man.
There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman's death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 14, 2016
Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman added:
Alan Rickman. Incredible actor and director. Above all, the most generous, funny, loving friend to us. Deborra Lee and I will miss you so.
Alan Rickman. Incredible actor and director. Above all, the most generous, funny, loving friend to us. @Deborra_lee and I will miss you so .
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) January 14, 2016
Rest in peace Alan. You are dearly missed and will always be remembered.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.