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Alan Rickman of ‘Harry Potter’ Dies at 69, Questlove, Ariana Grande React

Tristan Fewings
Tristan Fewings, Getty Images

Film and stage star Alan Rickman died on Thursday (Jan. 14) after a battle with cancer, according to his reps. The 69-year-old thespian was known for hit films like Die Hard and as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films built a lengthy resume spanning more than 35 years as an actor.

Rickman memorably starred as the diabolical Hans Gruber in Die Hard back in 1988, and was instantly thrust to the forefront of noteworthy Hollywood bad guys. It was a role that he almost turned down, but revealed years later that he was attracted to the script because of the portrayal of black characters. “Every single black character in that film is positive and highly intelligent,” he said. “So, 28 years ago, that’s quite revolutionary, and quietly so.”

The British star was known for his unforgettable portrayals of classic movie villains; from the nefarious Gruber and the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves to the mysterious Rasputin and Prof. Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series. His distinctive voice and classic performances as some of contemporary film’s most sinister baddies resonated with fans, and there was an immediate outpouring of grief on social media.

As news of Rickman’s passing spread, several notables in the hip-hop community offered their condolences for the famed star via Twitter. Read them below.

We want to send our condolences to the family of Alan Rickman. May he rest in peace.

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