J.K. Rowling and the cast of Harry Potter paid poignant tribute to actor Alan Rickman on Thursday afternoon, following the sudden news that he had passed away from cancer, aged 69.
Titular actor Daniel Radcliffe and Hermione Granger star Emma Watson drove a significant outpouring of grief from fellow stars on social media.
Rowling’s words were brought to life when Rickman transformed children’s book character Professor Severus Snape for the big screen over 10 years but his death had left the author speechless on Thursday.
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Great loss: Stars took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon to share their grief at the loss of Alan Rickman, from cancer
She said on Twitter: ‘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.’
The loss hit the Harry Potter community noticeably hard, with leading actors Emma and Daniel growing up in the company of influential star Alan.
Though her response followed many fans of the franchise, Emma took to Facebook with a concise note that read: ‘I’m very sad to hear about Alan today.
‘I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor. I’ll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you.’
There are no words: Author of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling penned a poignant tribute to Alan on social media
Devastated: The author worked with Alan for 10 years when her book franchise was turned into a film
Biggest loss: Fans of the Harry Potter franchise were perhaps most saddened by the loss of the actor who played Severus Snape for 10 years
Then titular actor Daniel posted an extended, heartfelt message via his Google+ account beginning: ‘Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with.
‘He is also, one of the loyalest and most supportive people I’ve ever met in the film industry. He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter.’
The actor explained how he Rickman had been to see every stage show Radcliffe had put on, including Equus in both London and New York.
‘He didn’t have to do that,’ Daniel added. ‘I know other people who’ve been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say “if you call Alan, it doesn’t matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he’s doing, he’ll get back to you within a day”.
Daniel described how Alan had been the first of the adults on set to treat him like a peer, rather than a child, recalling his ‘extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny’ presence on set.
He continued: ‘Working with him at such a formative age was incredibly important and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career. Film sets and theatre stages are all far poorer for the loss of this great actor and man.’
Concise but heartfelt: Hermione Granger actress Emma Watson said she loved the star and would miss him dearly
A long dedication: Titular actor Daniel Radcliffe recalled how Rickman had been to see his stage shows, post-Harry Potter
Like peers: Alan, far left at Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 film premiere in 2011, was known among the younger stars including (pictured from left) Tom Felton, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Matthew Lewis to treat them like peers instead of children
In memory: Matthew Lewis, who starred as Neville Longbottom, had already remembered the star that afternoon
Neville Longbottom actor Matthew Lewis later concurred about his strong spirit, writing on Instagram beside a picture: ‘I was at Leavesden Studios today when I heard the news. As I walked through the canteen I thought of Alan queuing up for his lunch with us mere mortals.
‘I recalled the trailer in which he offered me some of the greatest advice I ever received about his mad profession we shared.
‘Being back in those corridors made me remember a lot of things and I will treasure those memories all my life. He inspired my career more than ever ever knew and I’ll miss him.’
Later, Chris Rankin, who played Percy Weasley, wrote of the loss: ‘Just had awful news of Alan Rickman’s death. Utterly devastated. Nothing more to say at this time.’
James Phelps, who played Fred Weasley, wrote: ‘Shocked & sad to hear Alan Rickman has passed away. One of the nicest actors I’ve ever met. Thoughts and prayers with his family at this time.’
His own tribute: Harry Potter fan Louis Smith collected all of his film franchise bits together as a tribute
Harry Potter fan: Fellow Harry Potter fan Boy George commended his work as Professor Severus Snape
And though there was a slow response from the leading stars, including Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, fans were quick to vocalise their sadness.
Musician Boy George, a closet fan of the book-to-film series, said: ‘Goodbye Alan Rickman. You were genius in Harry Potter.’
Gymnast Louis Smith also shared a picture of his film franchise merchandise collection with the caption: ‘My Harry Potter tribute in memory of Alan Rickman’
Fifty Shades Of Grey author EL James echoed the sentiments, adding: ‘RIP Alan Rickman. You will be missed. #TrulyMadlyDeeply’
Alan was perhaps best known for his roles as the villainous Professor but he previously won a BAFTA for his role as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and also appeared in Truly Madly Deeply and Love Actually – alongside Emma Thompson.
The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art trained star had been suffering from cancer, his family said.
He began as a Shakespearean actor and also starred in the musical of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Devastating: Fifty Shades Of Grey writer EL James also penned a tribute
Devastated: Jamie Campbell Bower thanked Alan for his support on the star’s first ever film
Young stars: Young actor Alan Rickman used social media to share his sadness
An influencer: Young actors Jamie Campbell Bower (left) and Will Poulter (right) said how influenced they’d been by the actor
The news unfortunately came on the same day that the annual Academy Awards nominations were revealed, and for some, it acted as a particularly sad coincidence.
Jamie Lee Curtis wrote: ‘Oscar noms out. Couldn’t care as Alan Rickman is gone & could have done every job on those movies as well, women included. Stunning talent.’
Actors influenced by his broad talent including Richard Madden and Jamie Campbell Bower were keen to express their sadness and were among those feeling the strongest loss this week.
Jamie Campbell Bower said: ‘Devastated to hear about the passing of Alan Rickman. I had the pleasure of working with him on my first movie. A true legend and gentleman.’
Jamie starred alongside Alan in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which was filmed in 2007 and marked the start of Jamie’s own Hollywood career.
Fellow young actor Will Poulter lamented the loss, having never got to work with the big name star: ‘Rest In Peace Alan Rickman. Such sad news. A huge loss.’ he said.
Touching hearts: Ed Miliband was sharing his own words and sending his love to Alan’s family
He did such brilliant work: David Schneider was quick to compliment the star’s work
Similarly, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies actor Douglas Booth said of his influence: ‘Devastated to hear of Alan Rickman’s passing. This week Britain has lost two of it’s (sic) greats, far too young.’
Cinderella actor Richard Madden then Tweeted: ‘Dreadful to hear Alan Rickman has passed away. A wonderful actor and friend. What a sad day.’
Just two years ago, the acting pair had shared the screen with A Promise and evidently remained close friends.
Les Miserables star Hugh Jackman wrote: ‘Alan Rickman. Incredible actor and director. Above all, the most generous, funny, loving friend to us. @Deborra_lee and I will miss you so .’
While Mia Farrow also said: ‘Such a lovely, kind, generous, funny and brilliant man. Thank you Alan Rickman for that and for so many flawless performances’
English actor David Schneider also added: ‘He did so much brilliant work but Alan Rickman in Galaxy Quest: one of the greatest comedy performances ever. RIP’
Admirers of his screen presence like comedian Stephen Fry similarly felt the need to express his condolences via social media.
Fry added: ‘What desperately sad news about Alan Rickman. A man of such talent, wicked charm & stunning screen & stage presence. He’ll be sorely missed’
Sorely missed: His words were poignant, paying reference to the talent and charm of the actor
Paying tribute: Stephen Fry was among the first stars to share their grief at the loss of another great man
Others sent their well wishings to Alan’s family as the star leaves behind long-term partner Rima Horton.
A family statement announcing the death on Thursday read: ‘The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends.’
Ed Miliband said: ‘Really sad to hear about Alan Rickman. Brilliant actor, deeply principled man. My heart goes out to Rima and his family.’
Jeremy Corbyn echoed the former Labour leader’s sentiments, by adding: ‘Very sad to hear that Alan Rickman has passed away. One of the greatest actors of his generation. My thoughts are with his family & friends’
Bianca Jagger said: ‘Deeply saddened to learn of the loss of one of Britain’s best-loved actors Alan Rickman. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.’
Touched: Eddie Izzard was quick to point out it had been a terrible week for the loss of heroes
A sad week: Earlier this week, music fans marked the passing of icon David Bowie
Sending well wishings: Jeremy Corbyn sent his best wishes to Alan’s family
Other referenced their sadness that Alan’s death had been announced in the same week – and of the same cause – as music icon David Bowie.
Eddie Izzard lamented: ‘I do not want my heroes to die! Alan Rickman is dead & he was another hero. Alan – thank you for being with us. We are sorry you had to go’
Musician Gary Kemp went on: ‘Oh no. Alan Rickman was not only an amazing, forensically good actor, but a lovely, genuine man to know. A week where Giants leave us.’
A saddened Jo Whiley also added: ‘And now Alan Rickman? Seriously? Another of my favourite men. Gah’
McFly singer Tom Fletcher said: ‘So sad to hear that we’ve lost Alan Rickman. What a brilliantly talented man. Countless amazing performances. What a sad week.’
Singer Alison Moyet started her tribute writing: ‘All the beauty we have lost this week. There was never justice.’ She ended her Twitter message writing: ‘Goodbye Alan Rickman. We shall miss you.’
Michael Ball: ‘And now we have lost Alan Rickman. A gifted actor and lovely man. What a week. #RIPAlanRickman’
Shock: It fell in a week where the world suffered the loss of David Bowie, too
Gifted: Michael Ball lamented the horrible week in showbusiness
Genuine: Gary Kemp had genuine words about the way that the actor worked and how he was as a person
Thinking of the family: Bianca Jagger sent her thoughts and prayers to the family
Young at heart: McFly’s Tom Fletcher said he too had experienced a lot of sadness this week with a second death
Acting talent: Alan got to work with some of the greats, including Johnny Depp, here in Sweeney Todd