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Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman is born the 21th february, in 1946, in Hammersmith, a London district, from Bernard Rickman, an Irish catholic graphist, and Margaret Doreen Rose, a Welsh methodist. His father died in 1954 and his mother in 1997. Alan has three brothers and sisters, David Bernard John, graphist born in 1945, Michael Keith, a tennis teacher born in 1947, and Sheila, born in 1950. During his childhood, Alan studied at the Latymer Upper School, a private school in the working-class district where he lived with his family, which accommodated other english actors like Hugh Grant by exemple. Afterwards, Alan decided to keep up class at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, and at the Royal College of Art in order to become a graphist. He succeeded and created a graphist office, "Graphiti", with some of his friends, during 3 months where they created jackets for books or records, booklets for political parties or posters. He continued to have an interest in theater joining a London amateur theater group, "The Brook Green Players" among whom Rima Horton, his future girlfriend, with who he registered for the "Court Drama Group", where he played in "Romeo et Juliet" and "View from a bridge".
When he was 26 years old, Alan succeeded to be accepted at the prestigious RADA, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, thanks to a Richard III speech, being interior decorator at the same time and making TVfilms for the BBC. During three years he played in many Shakespeare's plays and he won the Emile Litter Prize, the Forbes Robertson Prize and the Bancroft gold medal. After leaving this theater, Alan tried lighter comedies, as "Babes in the wood", "Lock up your daughters", "There's a girl in my soup", or "Guys and dolls", a musical in which Marlon Brandon played in the movie. He made some tours as Bristol or Birmingham afterwards, where he played Sherlock Holmes. At the same time, Alan continued to play in more serious plays like "Hamlet", in which he could show his wonderful talent of actor. In 1978, Alan was in the "Royal Shakespeare Compagny" only during a year because he didn't like the elitist and traditional side of this theater. In 1979, he played in "Therese Raquin" for the BBC, playing and directing the play "Desperately yours" at the Colonnades, in New-York. He spent one year, between 1983 and 1984 at the "Royal Court", after playing in "Smiley's people" with Alec Guiness, in 1982, and in the TV adaptation of Anthony Trollope's "The Barchester chronicles", in which he was the Reverend Obadiah Slope. Afterwards, he got the role of Valmont in "Les liaisons dangereuses" which he played in London and New-York, between 1985 and 1987, which permit to him to be nominated for a Tony award, but unfortunately for Alan, John Malkovitch was chosen to be Valmont in the movie with Glenn Close. However, the producer Joel Silver saw him on the theater and chose him to play the terrorist Hans Gruber, with Bruce Willis, in "Die hard", in 1988.
Afterwards, he continued his career in the USA with movies like "The January man", in 1989, with Kevin Kline, in which he played his friend Ed he painter, and in the western "Quigley down under" with Tom Selleck, in 1990, in which he was still an evil guy. The following year, Anthony Minghella, the future director of "the English patient", offered to Alan Jamie's role, by Juliet Stevenson's side in "Truly, madly, deeply", in which he played the dead boyfriend of the heroine. It was the same year that he played in "Robin Hood : Prince of the Thieves", with Morgan Freeman and Kevin Costner . The funny character of the sheriff of Nottingham, who was more interesting than the one of Robin for me, permitted to Alan to win a BAFTA award for this character. Afterwards came the movie "Close my eyes" where Alan played Sinclair, Saskia Reeves' s husband. The woman had an affair with her brother, played by Clive Owen. Alan was after in "Closet land", an opressive movie with Madeleine Stowe, violently interrogated and tortured by the character played by Alan. According to Maureen Paton, Alan Rickman was the second choice for Hannibal Lecter in "The Silence of the lambs" in 1991. In 1992, Alan performed Lukas Hart III in the Tim Robbins movie "Bob Roberts", and played in an episode of "Fallen angels" with Laura Dern, in 1993. He obtained afterwards the main character of "Mesmer" by Roger Spottiswoode, in 1994, but they had problems with the production and the movie was only released in 1999.
During that time, Alan played in the Mike Newell's movie "An awfully big adventure" with Hugh Grant, in which he was P.L O'Hara, and in the beautiful movie "Sense and sensibility", in 1995, with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, where he performed the cute and romantic Colonel Christopher Brandon. After directing Emma in his play "The Winter guest", Alan offered her the same character in the first movie he directed, in 1997, with the true mother of the actress, Phyllida Law, and the movie won a very good critic success, and prizes at the Venice and Chicago festivals. Afterwards, Alan got the role of Rasputin in a TVfilm, which made win to him an Emmy award and a Golden Globe. He played then with Liam Neeson in the biopic "Michael Collins", in 1996, in which he was the Irish president Eamon de Valera. The following year, he found again his friend Emma Thompson for an american movie, "Judas kiss", which took place at the New-Orleans, and they took the regional accent. Alan played then in some comedies like "Dogma" with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck or "Galaxy Quest" with Sigourney Weaver. He came back to theater with Helen Mirren in "Antony and Cleopatra" in 1998, in which he was Antony. He made clips too, like in the Texas one "In demand", in 2000, after the request of Sharleen Spiteri, who has certainly enjoyed herself during the shooting ;) After his role in "Play", by Samuel Beckett, with Kristin Scott-Thomas and Juliet Stevenson, Alan came back to theater with "Private lives", in 2002, in London and Broadway, for which he was nominated for different prizes.
In 2001, after the refusal of Tim Roth, Alan has been chosen to perform the character of the mysterious (and sexy :) ) Professor Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" movies, until now, fortunately for us :) He's the only actor to know all the truth and the future of his character because JK. Rowling told him. Afterwards, Alan played in the english comedy "Blow dry" with Natasha Richardson, in the hairstyle background, before playing John Gissing in Mike Binder's "The search for John Gissing" which unfortunately hasn't been released yet. Alan found again Emma Thompson and a wonderful cast, among Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson or Laura Linney, in the beautiful movie "Love actually" where Alan had a great scene with Rowan Atkinson in a supermarket ! In 2004, Alan has been awarded, just as his partner Mos Def, for his character in "Something the Lord made", in which he played Alfred Blalock, a doctor who did research for the "blue-babies". He made dubbings too, like in the cartoon "Help, I'm a fish", in 2000, and this year with "Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy", in which he makes the voice of the depressive robot Marvin. For his roles, Alan is quite perfectionnist, he always knows his lines and gives good advices to the directors. By exemple, he proposed to John McTiernan, the director of "Die hard" that his character would be better with a costume (and he was right :) ). Alan is also a very generous person because he's involved in many associations. The year 2005 is a busy year for Alan Rickman because he has taken part in the shootings of "Perfume : a story of a murderer", "Snow cake", and "Nobel son", and he has directed a play, "My name is Rachel Corrie".