Ball State students remember Alan Rickman, contributions to 'Harry Potter'

Alan Rickman attends the BAFTA hosted A Life in Pictures with Alan Rickman event on April 15, 2015 in London. The actor has died from cancer at age 69, his family said on Jan. 14, 2016. (Yui Mok/PA Wire/Zuma Press/TNS)
Alan Rickman attends the BAFTA hosted A Life in Pictures with Alan Rickman event on April 15, 2015 in London. The actor has died from cancer at age 69, his family said on Jan. 14, 2016. (Yui Mok/PA Wire/Zuma Press/TNS)



BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves


Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie

Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny


Screen Actor's Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie

Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny

Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny

Gold Hugo Chicago International Film Festival

The Winter Guest

Satellite Award for Best Actor- Mini-Series or Television Film

Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny

Venice Film Festival CinemAvvenire' Award for Best First Film

The Winter Guest

Editor's note: Amanda Belcher is a member of the Ball State Quidditch team

British actor Alan Rickman, 69, died on Jan. 14. His family confirmed he was battling cancer.

Rickman was known most notably for his role as Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" films, and he has also starred as the antagonist Hans Gruber in "Die Hard" and as Colonel Brandon in "Sense and Sensibility," as well as several stage shows.

He's been awarded a BAFTA award for his role in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," as well as a Golden Globe, a Screen Actor's Guild and a Primetime Emmy award for his leading role in "Rasputin: The Dark Servant of Destiny," in addition to a host of film festival awards.

Many took to social media, expressing their sadness and sympathy for Rickman’s family.

J.K. Rowling, author of the "Harry Potter" books, tweeted, “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.”

British actress Emma Thompson, who starred alongside Rickman in several movies, including the "Potter" films and "Love Actually," released a statement via her management office, which Dave Itkoff of the New York Times shared. 

“What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom and kindness. His capacity to fell you with a look or lift you with a word. … He was the ultimate ally. In life, art and politics. I trusted him absolutely,” she wrote.

Daniel Radcliffe also shared a lengthy essay on his Google+ account. 

"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 met in the film industry," he wrote. 

Rickman’s death is not only felt by his family, friends and co-stars, but also by the many students who have been fans of his work.

Ashlynn Lewis, a sophomore social work major, said the news is unbelievable.

“I think it’s so surreal. I grew up on the 'Harry Potter' books and the movies, and he was absolutely one of my favorite characters, and I think as an actor he portrayed such a memorable character. … He really knew how to bring a character to life,” Lewis said.

The Ball State Quidditch team also feels Rickman’s loss, many of the members being fans of the Harry Potter series.

Alexis Palmer, a senior Japanese major and Quidditch player, notes the importance of the series to the team and the Quidditch community itself.

“Not only because the sport obviously came from the series, but also because it’s an interest that we all have in common. … It holds a special place in our heart, so it helps us connect and bond,” she said.

Palmer also notes her love for his work not only in the "Harry Potter" movies, but also his role as Judge Turpin in "Sweeny Todd."

“It’s really a shame he won’t be able to share more of his gift with the world,” she said.

Though many are filled with grief, some Rickman fans are staying positive, choosing to celebrate his life and accomplishments.

Erin Moreno, a junior secondary English education major, is among those celebrating the life Rickman led.

“I think he led an amazing life that half of us will only dream of. Dying in old age with so many accomplishments and such a host of fans, friends and family who all have such great stories and memories of you is the way to go,” Moreno said. “I just think he had such a wonderful life and we should be looking to that.” 


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