Kate Winslet tribute to 'warm hearted puppy dog' Alan Rickman who has died at 69
Published 15/01/2016 | 00:06
Kate Winslet called Alan Rickman a "warm hearted puppy dog" as she paid tribute to the acclaimed actor who has died aged 69 after suffering from cancer.
Winslet, who first worked with him in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, said her "life was enriched by knowing him".
Rickman first shot to stardom in 1988 when he played Bruce Willis's adversary Hans Gruber in Die Hard, and he went on to gain a new generation of fans for his role as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.
His death was announced by his family on Thursday.
Winslet added: "He was loved enormously by so many. He was an exceptionally warm and giving man and an utterly phenomenal actor and gifted director.
"I remember being so intimidated by him when we worked together when I was 19 , because he had such a powerful and commanding presence . And that voice! Oh, that voice ...
"But the reality of course, was that he was the kindest and best of men. Had the patience of a saint. He was a warm hearted puppy dog, who would do anything for anyone if it made them happy."
Their final collaboration was 2014's A Little Chaos, directed and co-written by Rickman.
Emma Thompson, who also appeared in Sense and Sensibility, said paying tribute was "hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye".
In 2003's Love Actually they played married couple Harry and Karen.
"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," she added.
"The intransigence which made him the great artist he was - his ineffable and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things, including me, and the fact that he never spared me the view. I learned a lot from him.
"He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again."
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling joined other stars paying tribute to Rickman on Twitter and passed condolences to his wife Rima Horton, writing: "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.
"My thoughts are with Rima and the rest of Alan's family. We have all lost a great talent. They have lost part of their hearts."
Harry Potter cast members Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson also both remembered Rickman in touching tributes.
Radcliffe called him "undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with", while Watson said she felt lucky to have worked and spent time with him.
"I'll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you," she wrote on Facebook.
Rickman died just months ahead of a new film called Eye In The Sky in which he stars alongside Dame Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul, which is to open in UK cinemas on April 8, according to IMDb.
The star had also completed another film set for release later this year called Alice Through The Looking Glass.
His career began on the stage after he graduated from prestigious drama school Rada, and he frequently returned to the theatre throughout his career.
Hailing from a working-class London family, he supported himself as a dresser before finding work with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Rickman's CV showcases a glittering career spanning almost four decades and featuring a list of hit films from Truly Madly Deeply to theatre credits including Private Lives and Antony And Cleopatra.
He will also be remembered for his turn as the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves from 1991.
A Little Chaos was the star's second outing behind the camera, 18 years after he directed Thompson in Scotland-based drama The Winter Guest.
Just last year he revealed he had married high school sweetheart, Rima, after 50 years together.
More members of the Harry Potter cast have paid tribute to their former co-star.
Rupert Grint said he felt "so privileged" to work with him.
"I am devastated to hear about the passing of Alan Rickman. I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to work with him on numerous occasions. Even though he has gone, I will always hear his voice. My thoughts are with his friends and family at this time," he said in an official statement.
Speaking at the UK premiere of The Revenan, Domhnall Gleeson, who starred as Bill Weasley and whose father Brendan played Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, told the Press Association that Rickman's death was a "huge loss".
He said: "He was the star of Harry Potter and I really had a cameo. He'll be greatly missed, in the industry, by people who enjoy films, by people who enjoy theatre. He's a huge loss, but obviously he's a bigger loss to his family and friends. There's nothing I can say that will match up to what they're feeling."